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America’s Newest Amphibious Ship Is Getting a Laser Weapon

The U.S.'s latest amphibious ship is getting a laser weapon just in time to show off at the 2018 Rim of the Pacific wargames. The USS Portland, which will function as the flagship for the multinational military exercises, is set to receive the latest version of the Navy’s Laser Weapon System. The new weapon will likely make an impression on visiting sailors—especially those from China—that also participate in the exercises. The USS Portland, a San Antonio-class landing platform, dock ship is set to enter service with the U.S. Navy in April. US Naval Institute News reports the Navy is installing the next generation version of its Laser Weapon System (LaWS) on the ship. The Portland will receive LaWS just as it is scheduled to deploy as the flagship of the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises. RIMPAC is the largest multinational exercise in the world. Hosted by the U.S. Navy, it is held on even-numbered years off the coast of Hawaii. It is designed to practice interoperability among navies, allow naval forces from different countries to familiarize themselves with one another, and ends with a big SINKEX, a sinking exercise where everyone sinks decommissioned ships. Read More: Popular Mechanics

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