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In laser weapon testing, the U.S. Navy destroyed a floating target in the Mideast. The system could be used to counter bomb-laden drone boats deployed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.

The amphibious ship USS Portland test-fired its Laser Weapon System Demonstrator at the target in the Gulf of Aden, according to the Navy announcement and international news agencies.

The Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet described the laser as having “successfully engaged” the target in a statement. Previously, in May 2020, the Portland used the laser to bring down an unmanned aerial vehicle in a first-of-its-kind at-sea test of the Navy’s high-energy laser weapon system.

The Gulf of Aden sits along the southern coast of Yemen. The Houthi rebels have deployed drone boats into these waters, which can be piloted remotely and sent up to a target before detonating. These boats are suspected of being built with Iran’s help.

Watch last year’s interception: