World's First Laser Weapon Is Powerful, Invisible, and Deadly Accurate

Friday, 21 July 2017 - 2:18PM
Technology
Friday, 21 July 2017 - 2:18PM
World's First Laser Weapon Is Powerful, Invisible, and Deadly Accurate
Image credit: US Navy Research YouTube Channel
Who hasn't wished that laser guns were real? Well, hold onto your Stormtrooper helmet and get ready to start missing every single target, because the world's first laser weapon (as it calls itself) is here. Created in part to "kill" airborne drones, the Laser Weapons System (LaWS) has much better aim than a Stormtrooper blaster. According to Christopher Wells of the U.S. Navy, in an interview with CNN, "It is more precise than a bullet...It's not a niche weapon system like some other weapons that we have throughout the military where it's only good against air contacts, or it's only good against surface targets, or it's only good against, you know, ground-based targets—in this case this is a very versatile weapon, it can be used against a variety of targets."



Lt. Cale Hughes continued by explaining how the weapon works, which is rather simple: the blaster "is throwing massive amounts of photons at an incoming object." Hughes added that "We're able to engage the targets at the speed of light." 

This weapon is a far cry from previous prototypical laser weaponry, mostly because it's a well-developed, controlled, accurate weapon. And, while it costs $40 million to build, "It's about a dollar a shot," according to Hughes. So, it's a relatively cost-effective laser weapon whose shots move at literally the speed of light.

Obviously, at a $40 million cost, there's not yet the concern of this type of weapon becoming publicly available. It is possible that it will become useful if the Space Corps, a space-based future U.S. military branch, becomes a reality. What travels really well through space? Light. So, if this branch does come to fruition and the need to protect satellites (and the country) with laser blasters arises, we now have the technology. The future is here—not only do we have the possibility for a "space army," but we have a massive, powerful, easy-to-use laser weapon to back it up.
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