Remember the German guy who built his own working laser gun? That was nothing. The US Navy successfully tested their version of a weaponized laser, which they used to set fire to a boat off the coast of California.
Peter Morrison, program officer for the MLD warship raygun project says, “This is the first time a High Energy Laser, at these power levels, has been put on a Navy ship, powered from that ship and used to defeat a target at-range in a maritime environment.”
The test used a scaled-back 15kW beam to set the tiny vessel’s engines on fire (100kW is the arbitrary number for when a laser is considered a genuine combat weapon), but future implications could entail combining several 15kW beams to create much more powerful blasts.
These high-energy rayguns could be used “at lightspeed precision” to instantaneously wipe out an opposing ship’s engines (theoretically leading to fewer human casualties), or even zap incoming missiles out of the sky.
(via The Register)
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