Lasers on the high seas
This summer, the U.S. Navy will deploy the first prototype Laser Weapon System or LaWS -- on the USS Ponce, formerly an amphibious transport dock – for testing. The weapon is designed to be used against unmanned drones or small-boat attacks. The solid-state infrared beam can be tuned from low output to cripple the target’s sensors to high output for destruction. A YouTube video, from which this photo was taken, shows first an animation of the system, then actual video of an earlier test against a real drone. Six years in development, LaWS has rung up a price tag of $40 million.