Something we can all unite behind after a long day of contentiousness: Battleships with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.
‘This is more real than Star Wars,’ said Mike Booen, president of Directed Energy Weapons at Raytheon…
Although the idea of laser guns has been around since laser was invented in 1960, the old method of producing a beam from a chemical reaction was far too cumbersome and impractical for military use.
Solid state lasers, such as the ones used in the tests, are much smaller and more compact and generated through glass or ceramic material. It is only recently, however, that the solid state lasers were able to generate as much power as the chemical equivalent…
‘Airbases in Afghanistan, the Green Zone in Baghdad or the border with Gaza and Israel could all potentially use something like this,’ he added.
Problems dogging laser weapons in the past have been that damp weather conditions tend to slow down the beam before it reaches its target and reflective surfaces can throw it off course.
They’ve used lasers to hit targets before; the fact that this one hit a moving target over water is what’s cause for celebration. How glorious it’ll be to have weapons this insanely awesome in development when the Pentagon’s budget inevitably is cut waaaay back as part our grand national austerity plan a few years down the road. Good luck with it, China!