US Navy Completely Obliterates Drone Using Laser Beam Mounted On Warship
Seriously, we've entered the 'huge disintegrating laser warfare' stage of 2020, which is great.
Basically, this new war machine can destroy drones and unmanned aircraft mid-flight and leave absolutely no trace of it whatsoever afterwards.
Oh, and there's no reason that the aircraft have to be unmanned, either. They could just as easily have a person in there, but that would have been somewhat controversial for the test that they've filmed.
The footage, which looks like something from either a science fiction movie or your worst nightmares, shows a powerful laser beam being aimed at a small aircraft from a larger warship.
Sitting aboard the USS Portland, the laser completely destroys the aircraft while it is still in the air and moving at speed.
When the work is done - and it gets done pretty damn quickly - there is nothing left of the aircraft, it disappears completely.
According to the US Navy, this is the 'the first system-level implementation of a high-energy class solid-state laser'.
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It represents a great leap forward for the industry of blowing people to smithereens, and should have all the other militarised nations sitting up and taking notice.
So why on earth - given the plethora of military equipment that is already in existence - do they need yet another method of destruction?
Well, according to the US military boffins, they're reacting to 'an increasing number of threats' that include UAVs - unmanned aerial vehicles, to us civilians - small armed boats, as well as reconnaissance and surveillance systems.
All things that - apparently - you might need to completely obliterate without trace in a matter of seconds.
This test launch, which took place at Pearl Harbour near Hawaii on 16 May, proves that the US - despite having used laser weapons before - has moved into a different world when it comes to this kind of technology.
In fact, Navy officials will be hoping that they can use it to take down things such as long-range missiles.
For now, though, they're happy shooting drones out of the sky.
A Navy official said: "With this new advanced capability, we are redefining war at sea for the Navy."
US Navy Captain Karrey Sanders, who is the commanding officer aboard the USS Portland, said: "By conducting advanced at sea tests against UAVs and small crafts, we will gain valuable information on the capabilities of the Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator against potential threats.
"The Solid State Laser Weapons System Demonstrator is a unique capability the Portland gets to test and operate for the Navy, while paving the way for future weapons systems."
Featured Image Credit: US Navy