The United States Navy has massive weapons. Big, booming guns that can destroy all kinds of things, and their latest is equally impressive, save for its ability to pinpoint its target. As you’ll see in the video below, the Navy’s new laser cannon is really powerful, but can pick a small target out. The new Laser Weapon System, or LaWS, is currently being tested, and if the video below is proof if its prowess, we’re not sure how much cooler it can get. Well, we have one idea.
Mounted atop the USS Ponce, the LaWS is shown picking a drone off a larger ship, and frying it instantly. Rear Adm. Matthew L. Klunder said “We ran this particular weapon, a prototype, through some extremely tough paces, and it locked on and destroyed the targets we designated with near-instantaneous lethality.”
Though expensive to produce, the LaWS is cost effective, at “less than a dollar per shot”, and potentially does less overall damage with its ability to fine-tune its targeting. The current human-controlled weapon is firing at 30kW, and the Navy wants to take it up to 50kW soon. After that, a 100kW beam is the goal.
The laser also has a smaller footprint than existing weapons, and is planned for wide deployment in the early 2020s. Until then, we’d encourage the Navy to put a few on sharks. You know, just for testing purposes.
Via: Popular Science