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posted by Dopefish on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the shoop-da-woop dept.

Sir Garlon writes:

"According to the Associated Press, the US Navy has announced plans to actually deploy an operational laser weapon aboard the USS Ponce later this year.

The solid-state laser weapon system is designed to target what the Navy describes as 'asymmetrical threats.' Those include aerial drones, speed boats and swarm boats, all potential threats to warships in the Persian Gulf, where the Ponce, a floating staging base, is set to be deployed.

'It fundamentally changes the way we fight,' said Capt. Mike Ziv, program manager for directed energy and electric weapon systems for the Naval Sea Systems Command."

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:39AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:39AM (#2319)

    They actually name ships the Ponce [soylentnews.org]?

    Perhaps a long time ago... or wikipedia is out of date:

    USS Ponce (SP-364), a boat or ship the United States Navy at least considered for service during World War I but for which no records have been found

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by basicbasicbasic on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:53AM

    by basicbasicbasic (411) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:53AM (#2321)

    The article calls it "a floating staging base", rather than a warship, but still... https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=ponce [google.co.uk]

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Darth Turbogeek on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:56AM

    by Darth Turbogeek (1073) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @10:56AM (#2322)

    Yeah, it looks liek it's legit - there's some other stories that line up and a few other Wiki entries as well for the ship in question.

    To be honest, I thought this was some sort of a joke, but no it appears real. Kinda cool we now have actual in field laser weapons and disappointing as there are so many better things to be doing with the money spent.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:47AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:47AM (#2346)

      I am still waiting with baited breath for the vaunted "rods from god"

      The US spends far too much on offence

      • (Score: 0, Troll) by mcgrew on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:30PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday February 19 2014, @06:30PM (#2701) Homepage Journal

        I am still waiting with baited breath for the vaunted "rods from god"

        Eww, you eat fish bait? Brush your teeth!

        --
        Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
        • (Score: 1) by mcgrew on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:01PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Thursday February 20 2014, @08:01PM (#3664) Homepage Journal

          LOL, the moderator apparently didn't realize I was poking fun at the GP's lack of written communication skills; he obviously meant "I am still waiting with bated breath."

          THAT is one of the things I came here from slashdot for; as bad as beta is, the uneducated barely literate normals at slashdot are just too annoying, and I've seen little of that stupidity here.

          Some people are completely humorless (and I'm completely offtopic, nobody can accuse me of being a karma whore).

          --
          Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by combatserver on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:41AM

    by combatserver (38) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:41AM (#2342)

    I think this is the article at wikipedia you were looking for...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Ponce_(LPD-15) [wikipedia.org]

    Long and busy history, although she looks like she could use a new coat of paint. Unfortunately, announcing her new capabilities just made her a high-value target.

    --
    I hope I can change this later...
    • (Score: 1) by shadov on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:15PM

      by shadov (296) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:15PM (#2509)

      Unfortunately, announcing her new capabilities just made her a high-value target.

      Hardly. Firstly, the laser weapon doesn't seem to be that capable compared to other air defense weapons used by the US navy. Its main selling point is that the "ammunition" is dirt cheap. Secondly, there isn't likely much to be gained from sinking Ponce. The navy could just install the weapon on another ship and carry on with the program. It is designed to be easily installed AFAIK, just bolt in to the deck and connect electricity, cooling water, etc.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by geb on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:54AM

    by geb (529) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @11:54AM (#2349)

    The US military used to mock the UK Royal Air Force for operating patrol aircraft called Nimrods. We then took the piss out of them for having a ship called Ponce. Mutual incomprehension ensued, with neither side really understanding why the other was laughing at them.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by drgibbon on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:11PM

    by drgibbon (74) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @03:11PM (#2508) Journal

    The definition for ponce in the OED is;

    ponce, n. slang.

    a. One who lives off a prostitute's earnings; a prostitute's protector; a pimp.
    b. A male homosexual; a lazy or effeminate man. Also as a vague term of abuse.

    Hmm.

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    • (Score: 2, Funny) by mhajicek on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:28PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Wednesday February 19 2014, @04:28PM (#2569)

      I now better understand Spike in Buffy...

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek