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The Navy has awarded an initial $150 million contract to Lockheed Martin to develop shipboard lasers that can "dazzle" enemy drone swarms and take out small boats.

It's a "watershed moment" in the Navy's decades-long effort to develop laser weapons for surface ships, Ian McKennie, Lockheed's business development leader for laser systems, said Friday of the $150 million contract that could go to $942.8 million with options.

Lockheed plans to deliver two of the systems to the Navy in fiscal 2020. One would go on board an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer for testing and the second would be used for land testing at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

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Category: Science