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The US Navy recently installed its first Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy (ODIN) laser weapon system (LaWS) on the ARLEIGH BURKE-class destroyer USS DEWEY (DDG 105), the service announced on 20 February.

A laser-based weapon that allows a ship to counter unmanned aerial systems (UAS), ODIN was developed, tested and built by Navy subject matter experts at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren Division, in support of Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems.

This is a great example of our organic talent at the warfare centers all working together with ship’s company to deliver a system which will provide game-changing capability,” stated Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, James F Geurts, during his recent visit to the DEWEY.

Going from an approved idea to installation in two and a half years, ODIN’s install on DEWEY will be the first operational employment of the stand-alone system, which functions as a dazzler. The system allows the Navy to rapidly deploy an important new capability for its surface force in combating UAS threats, which have increased measurably.

The Pacific Fleet Commander identified this urgent Counter-Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance need and the Chief of Naval Operations directed us to fill it as quickly as possible,” explained Cmdr David Wolfe, Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems Directed Energy office. “The NSWC Dahlgren Division team did an amazing job addressing challenges and keeping our accelerated schedule on track and moving forward to deliver this capability.”

The ODIN programme aims to have units operational within the fleet within a “couple of years,” providing the service with a safer, more technically advanced capability. Lessons learned from this installation will inform roll-out for future vessels, as well as further development of Surface Navy Laser Weapon Systems.

USS DEWEY conducting at-sea replenishment in the Philippine Sea in 2014. The destroyer is assigned to Carrier Strike Group 1 (USS CARL VINSON). (Photo: US Navy)

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