The U.S. Navys latest laser is ready to be used in combat, Pentagon officials announced Wednesday, after overseeing a three-month test of the futuristic technology. Its 30-kilowatt beams of infrared light are invisible to the naked eye. The laser can vary its intensity to dazzle, disable or destroy targets.
The laser can vary its intensity to dazzle, disable or destroy targets. In a test video, the laser is shown overheating explosives mounted on nearby boats, and burning drones right out of the air.
After three months of testing, researchers found that heat, high winds or humidity didn’t pose a problem to LaWS’ operation. And though it cost $40 million, that’s actually not very expensive compared to the alternatives. It doesn’t fire or launch a thing — meaning that one laser shot costs the military about 59 cents, while the cost of one missile can go upwards of millions of dollars. See the U.S. Navy’s terrifying new laser weapon in action