Saturday, January 10, 2015

One Small Beam For Man: US Navy Develops Laser Weapon

Not to be outdone by DARPA, the US Navy has developed a combat-ready laser weapon system on board the USS Ponce. Unlike the Real Genius laser cannon, they managed to test it successfully out in the Persian Gulf where no brilliant peacenik undergraduates could reach them.



According to ExtremeTech, the whole laser weapon consists of a 30-kilowatt solid-state infrared laser, a radar detection system, and a special computer terminal that controls the weapon. Interestingly, humans direct the laser with a console that looks uncannily like a PlayStation controller with an unnecessary mod on the back of it. Surely the Navy can give Sony a call to work out some design issues?



In testing, the laser was able to blow up a drone in the sky, blow up a set of rocket propelled grenades and blow the engine out of a small boat. At roughly a dollar per shot, the laser compares favorably to other established means of neutralizing similar targets (missiles or rocket propelled grenades costing potentially thousands of dollars). It seems the Navy has found an even cheaper way to turn targets into swiss cheese.

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