If you're a fan of Star Wars or enjoy playing video games like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, then you'll be excited (or not) to hear that the United States Navy has added a piece of science fiction to its arsenal: lasers.
The Navy has been testing its new Laser Weapons System since last summer off the coast of California, and last month it finished a successful round of testing in the Persian Gulf on board the USS Ponce.
The Laser Weapons System, LaWS for short, is a solid state high-energy laser cannon that pretty much turns whatever it's focused on into a ball of flame. The system is mounted on board a ship, and, according to an article on Digital Trends, can fire a 30-kilowatt infrared beam that's only 2 or 3 nanometers in size. In addition, it can also be dialed down in strength to be used as a mild deterrent instead of a beam of total destruction. In other words, if you live in an area where crowd control is frequently an issue, then it's probably coming to a town near you…
Although it cost the Navy a considerable amount of money to develop and research, the Navy expects LaWS will save them money in the long run. Considering it costs less than a dollar per shot, and other missiles and defense systems aren't even close to that, it's a safe bet that we'll see more of these types of weapons in the future.
Link below is a video of the new laser system. Note: If you're expecting to see a laser show you will be disappointed.
Photo: U.S. Navy