We’ve had stealth bombers and drones for a while, it was always just a matter of time until we had lasers, too.
US defence company Lockheed Martin has developed a prototype laser weapon that can scorch holes through metal from over a mile away, as this photo shows. Some have termed the device a death-ray, and that doesn’t seem all that inappropriate. According to Lockheed it disabled the engine of a small truck from over a mile away.
The weapon has also been tested on sea and air targets.
Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin chief technology officer said:
Fiber-optic lasers are revolutionizing directed energy systems. We are investing in every component of the system – from the optics and beam control to the laser itself – to drive size, weight and power efficiencies. This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks.
Lockheed Martin is one of the US’s biggest defence companies, reporting net sales of $46.5bn in 2014.