A few days ago, the US Navy released a video showing one of its ships shooting down a drone. Nothing new there – except they shot it down with a laser gun.
The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) has not simply been developed because its cool – at less then $1 per shot, it represents very cost-effective form of destruction (although the prototype did cost over $30 million to make). It does have its drawbacks, however, as it may not work in rain or fog.
It may be incredible to think that a laser gun could be deployed on a US Navy warship as early as 2014 (and even more incredible when you learn that the ship is called the ‘USS Ponce’) but actually this is not the first laser gun to hit the military hardware stores. Otherwise known as ‘directed-energy weapons‘, a number of laser guns have been developed over the past few years, notably by Boeing.
The US Military-Boeing Advanced Tactical Laser program to mount lasers on planes successfully ‘defeated’ ground targets in 2009 tests:
And the Boeing Laser Avenger, a Humvee-mounted system that targets unexploded IEDS, is already out there in a theatre of war near you:
It can also shoot down drones.
Let’s just hope Petman doesn’t get hold of any lasers…
Via Boing Boing