The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey in San Diego, Calif. John F. Williams/U.S. Navy
For the first time ever, the United States is deploying a solid-state laser weapon. The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) successfully destroyed a drone in flight during a test run and will head to the Persian Gulf aboard the USS Ponce as part of what the military is calling an “at-sea demonstration.”
“The future is here,” Peter A. Morrision, program officer for ONR’s Solid-State Laser Technology Maturation Program, said in a statement. “The solid-state laser is a big step forward to revolutionizing modern warfare with directed energy, just as gunpowder did in the era of knives and swords.”
Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder said one of the big deals here is that a laser shot costs about $1.
“Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to fire a missile, and you can begin to see the merits of this capability,” Klunder said.
Another big advantage: A laser moves at the speed of light and in the future it may be able to disable an incoming missile.
The New York Times reports that deploying the laser aboard the Ponce “seemed meant as a warning to Iran not to step up activity in the gulf in the next few months if tensions increase because of sanctions and the impasse in negotations over the Iranian nuclear program.”
The laser, the Navy said, is capable of destroying a vessel to non-lethal disabling.
The Navy released a video of the weapon system during a test aboard the USS Dewey in San Diego. The Navy says it shows a laser beam hitting an unmanned aircraft and after about four seconds, it catches fire and crashes into the ocean.
It reports that putting the laser on the Ponce is a big deal. Wired reported:
“First, testing a laser gun — most likely a solid-state laser — on a ship at sea puts enormous pressure on a much-hyped weapon to show-and-prove. Second, the laser isn’t going on any old ship, it’s going on the Ponce, recently retrofitted to become an ‘Afloat Forward Staging Base’ — that is, a new launchpad for attack helicopters, drones and commandos for, among other missions, counterterrorism raids. In other words, the Navy is putting laser weaponry aboard one of the ships it’s most eager to highlight.”
President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Interior Department sat for a confirmation hearing today, chaired by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. She used the opportunity to condemn the Obama administration for its many resource protections in Alaska.
In January, Alaska's Energy Desk is celebrating the anniversary of the publication of John McPhee's 1977 book "Coming into the Country." On Jan. 24, 2017, Willie Hensley
In January, Alaska’s Energy Desk is celebrating the anniversary of the publication of John McPhee’s 1977 book “Coming into the Country.” On Jan. 24, 2017, Willie Hensley and other guests featured in the book will join us on stage as we discuss the Alaska of the 1970s and how the past (and the book) shaped the state today.
A simultaneous live forum in Anchorage will feature Pat Pourchot and other guests. Studios will be linked so audiences can participate in both discussions.
Join us for the ever growing annual KTOO and Taku Fisheries Seafood Festival with more than a dozen halibut, salmon and rockfish dishes to choose from, a variety of desserts,
Join us for the ever growing annual KTOO and Taku Fisheries Seafood Festival with more than a dozen halibut, salmon and rockfish dishes to choose from, a variety of desserts, live music from the Rob Cohen Jazz Group and a silent auction.
The seafood was generously donated by Taku Fisheries and will be prepared by the following participating restaurants:
The Rookery Café
The Coconut Thai Cuisine
TK Maquire’s at the Prospector
V’s Cellar Door
Heritage Coffee Roasting Company
All food is included in the ticket prize. No-host bar service provided by Salt Restaurant.
The annual KTOO & Taku Fisheries Seafood Festival is KTOO’s major fundraiser, and all proceeds from tickets sales and the silent auction benefit KTOO.
The annual tutored beer tasting by Alaskan Brewing Company at 5 p.m. is the kick-off to the 2017 KTOO and Taku Fisheries Seafood Festival. Your opportunity to sample some of the Alaskan Brewing Companies finest beers, to taste some of their new varieties and to learn about the magic behind their unique flavors and award winning brews. After the tutored beer tasting, you are welcome to stay on for the Seafood Festival which starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are sold separately. Get your tickets for the beer tasting and the Seafood Festival here, and join us for a night of food, drink and dancing to raise funds for public media in Juneau!
KTOO is honored to host NPR humorist and award winning author, David Sedaris this May 14th at Juneau Douglas High School. He’ll read new, original pieces for an hour, and will sign books before and after the performance. We’re told the book signings are just as much a part of the event as the readings, and he sticks around until the last person wanting to connect has a chance. Hearthside Books will be on hand selling his latest.
MATURE CONTENT: Adult Language and Themes.
BABIES – Discouraged. Ticket required for all ages.
CHILDREN – Recommended for ages 13 and older.
With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.
Sedaris is the author of “Barrel Fever” and “Holidays on Ice,” as well as collections of personal essays, “Naked,” “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim,” “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” and his most recent book, “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls,” each of which have become immediate best sellers. The audio version of “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls,” is a 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominee for Best Spoken Word Album. Sedaris is the author of the New York Times best-selling collection of fables, titled “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer.) He was also the editor of “Children Playing before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories.” Sedaris’ pieces appear regularly in The New Yorker and have twice been included in “the Best American Essays.” There are a total of ten million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into 29 languages.
An Evening with David Sedaris is made possible with support from:
MudroomsReal people. real stories. Live, on stage. “Mudrooms” is a community-powered monthly event in Juneau, where real people tell real stories, live. Anchorage has “Arctic Entries”. In Juneau, we’re just as sophisticated – just a little muddier. Mudrooms’ creators are Amanda Compton and Alida Bus. Audio production by Marc Wheeler.
Focus On Community“Focus on Community” is an hour long, public affairs program hosted by different volunteer, community members each week. The format ranges from in-studio discussions, to live call-ins. Topics vary from peace initiatives to mental health problems to hotly debated town issues. Any and all community members are invited to present a show idea and work with us to bring it the air.
Telling Tales with Ms. GEach week, host, Ms.G, reads a selection of writing based around a given theme. Audio of her show is available the following day here on our website.