(CNN) — For the first time, the U.S. Navy plans to deploy a laser weapon aboard a naval ship.
Navy leaders announced the laser will be deployed on the USS Ponce early next year.
The Defense Department said the weapon has been tested against drones and fast-moving small boats. The laser is headed to the Persian Gulf where Iran is known to have used drones and speedboats, even though that nation was not specifically named as a target.
The cost of the laser is estimated to be $31-million.