Video of the day: Ship-based laser takes down boat.
Researchers had mounted the 15 kilowatt laser on board the USS Paul Foster, and were able to set alight both engines of the small boat one mile away. While this technology had been demonstrated on land, this marks the first completely sea based proof of concept.
This proved difficult to find not only a way to keep the laser on target in choppy waters, but to find a laser system that could work using the ships existing power supply. The Navy hopes to start having the systems installed in the next few years.
After that the Navy hopes to develop a megawatt class laser in the 2020’s, capable of cutting through 2,000 feet of steel per second, or as one Admiral has called it, the “Megawatt Death Ray”.