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For the past decade plus United States Navy contractors retrofitted all of its Aegis class destroyers with port and starboard auxiliary power units. The idea is they balance out as well as power up what was thought to be railguns, but the barrels wore out too fast (rounds moving 10k feet per second destroy the tubes), so what they were actually charging up has been the big unknown, until now.

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SEATTLE — The Navy has never been closer to fielding lasers and other directed-energy weapons.

Technological challenges remain, but the sea service is slated to test a 150-kilowatt spectrally beam-combined fiber laser on the amphibious platform dock ship Portland this year.

And by 2021, the Navy’s director of surface warfare, Rear Adm. Ron Boxall, intends to mount a nastier warship killer on a guided-missile destroyer.

“This is something we have to have on our ships,” he told the audience at the 2019 Directed Energy Summit in Washington, D.C., on March 20.

To read more on Navy Times:

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