The first US Navy guided-missile destroyer to receive a new laser weapon system has joined the service’s Japan-based 7th Fleet in Yokosuka.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) arrived in Japan on September 8 “to support defense strategic initiatives in support of peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” the navy said.
Dewey transferred to the 7th Fleet after getting the Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy (ODIN) laser weapon system installed on its forward close-in weapon system pedestal in late 2019.
ODIN’s install on Dewey is the first operational employment of the stand-alone system that functions as a dazzler. The system allows the navy to rapidly deploy an important, new capability to the navy’s surface force in combating unmanned aerial system threats.
The navy plans to field the ODIN on all units in its fleet. Lessons learned from ODIN’s installation on Dewey will inform installation on future vessels and further development and implementation of surface navy laser weapon systems.
“Dewey is an excellent addition to our forward-deployed team,” said Capt. Chase Sargeant, Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron 15. “Dewey brings capability and lethality that enables US 7th Fleet to defend US and like-minded nation’s interests and supports a rules-based international order and free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Dewey is a Flight IIA multi-mission destroyer capable of embarking two MH-60 variant helicopters with air warfare, submarine warfare, and surface warfare capabilities, designed to operate independently or with carrier strike groups, surface action groups, or amphibious ready groups.
“Our forward-deployed forces send a clear signal that our alliances and partnerships demonstrate our continuing commitment to the region,” said Sargeant. “As Dewey’s motto states, she will demonstrate ‘the will to fight from the heart’ assuring our mutual commitment to maintaining stable regional maritime security.”