Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy announced Thursday that it has installed a laser weapon system that allows ships to counter aerial drones.
According to the Navy, the first Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy (ODIN) was installed on the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey during the vessel's recently completed dry-docking restricted availbility.
The system's development, testing and production was carried out by Navy experts at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division.
"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. Bravo Zulu to the entire ODIN team on being mission-focused and delivering lethal capability to the warfighter," said assistant secretary for the Navy for research development and acquisition after a recent visit on the Dewey.
According to the Navy, the install marks the first operational deployment of the system, which functions as a dazzler -- a non-lethal weapon that uses intense directed radiation to temporarily disable its target -- and allows the Navy to rapidly combat unmanned aerial threats.
"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," said 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."