According to the Associated Press, tomorrow's weapons are ready today: the United States' Navy has announced that it "plans to deploy its first laser on a ship later this year, and it intends to test an electromagnetic rail gun prototype aboard a vessel within two years."
For the Navy, it's not so much about the whiz-bang technology as it is about the economics of such armaments. Both costs pennies on the dollar compared with missiles and smart bombs, and the weapons can be fired continuously, unlike missiles and bombs, which eventually run out.
"It fundamentally changes the way we fight," said Capt. Mike Ziv, program manager for directed energy and electric weapon systems for the Naval Sea Systems Command.
The Navy's laser technology has evolved to the point that a prototype to be deployed aboard the USS Ponce this summer can be operated by a single sailor, he said.
|Ninja Blocks: Open Hardware Philosophy to Control Every Aspect of Your House|
|Ships with Solar Panels for Sails|
|"No one has been able to create a laser that beams white light."|
|Mars Rovers celebrates five years|
|The Calculator Reference Page|
|Folding Laundry Without Arms or Legs|
|“[T]here has never been this kind of financial incentive to make shorter songs.”|
|“There’s now a very large dataset of carefully curated photos of people from roughly 10 years ago and now.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“A short cut through spacetime allowing for travel over cosmic scale distances in a short period.”|
|“If you fell asleep in 1945 and woke up in 2018 you would not recognize the world around you.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|“Huge privacy violations have become commonplace.”|