Citing a statement made by Matthew L. Klunder, Chief of US Naval Research, Baluevsky asserted that the last four months of testing a ship-based laser weapon system “have exceeded all expectations.” According to him, the US Navy has developed a new combat laser capable of destroying small vessels and UAVs.
"I only can say this – the development of military technologies and creating test pieces of advanced and operating weapons goes alongside in all the countries capable of doing such a work," Baluevsky said.
"Russia has similar developments, but we are also supposed to develop and create an aircraft-based laser weapon. I should say such research needs a large amount of money, but it is needed to be done in order to maintain a technological balance with the US," Korotchenko said.
Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis, believes that US laser weapons will eventually be integrated into a brand-new short-range air defense system. "The US has come to a conclusion that there is one single scenario of using this weapon – for tactical air defense, in other words, as a short-range air defense weapon. Lasers could hit small-sized targets, including UAVs or ammunition supplies," the analyst opined. The US, he contends, will probably direct laser weapons against small ships and high-speed boats. Short-range air defense is the only possible scenario for using laser weapons, according to the expert.
"Now, it is quite clear that it is impossible to use combat laser for any other purposes, since the energy and beam scattering issues have not been solved yet," Khramchikhin said.