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The Naval Laser (NL) systems used aboard WarShips and planetary defense systems (SDS) are massive versions of the standard laser systems used on 'Mechs and other combat vehicles. They inflict damage via a focused beam of light that melts or overheats the target. The systems used by WarShips are massive, often costing as much as a 'Mech. In addition their huge size makes them impractical for targeting small craft or AeroSpace Fighters; Like their Naval PPC and Naval Autocannon counterparts they can only target sub-500 ton craft with extreme difficulty. For this reason WarShips typically carry standard sized weapons to defend against attacks by small craft. Their main advantage over Naval PPCs is their good damage to heat ratio; Two NL35's can fire on a target and inflict as much damage as a Light NPPC. Their advantage over Naval Autocannon is their lack of ammunition dependence. In addition, Naval Lasers were often used in the Terran Hegemony SDS systems to defend important worlds. In 3060, several lasers mounted on tower platforms were used to defend Tranquil. They proved to be capable of taking down an orbiting Union class DropShip with no more than two shots, although the targeting was slow enough to allow partial deployment of forces via Drop Pods.
Like their ground-based counterparts, the Naval Laser systems can be grouped into three families based roughly on size:
- Technical Readout: 2750, p. 122, "Naval Autocannon"
- Total Warfare, p. 303, "Provides to-hit penalty to capital weapons info"
- BattleSpace Rulebook, p. 38, "Optional Rules - Surface To Orbit Fire"
- Trial Under Fire, p.??