DefenseMediaNetwork has an interesting article about progress on weaponizing Lasers for use afloat. Some points that might be of particular interest to the Coast Guard were:
The Laser can be a less than lethal deterrent,.
“A laser offers scalable effects, from deter-and-dissuade to degrade or destroy. LaWS can address multiple threats using a range of escalating options, from non-lethal measures such as optical “dazzling” and disabling, up to lethal destruction of small attack boats and UAVs.”
The accompanying optics have other uses,
“The systems provide better high-resolution imagery than what existing shipboard EO/IR sensors provide now. With upgraded optics, a system like CLWS can bring targets as close as 1 kilometer or as far as 37 kilometers into clear focus. ‘The system enhances intelligence missions without engaging targets,’ …”