Big Toys for Big Boys


Verified Military
Nov 8, 2007
Minneapolis, MN
The U.S. Navy has a raygun -- and it's a big one.
In a red-letter week for the military, the Naval Sea [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]Systems[/COLOR][/COLOR] command "successfully tracked, engaged, and destroyed” several unmanned aircraft with its Laser Weapon System, otherwise known as LaWS. and on the ground, iRobot unveiled its gift to the Pentagon -- the 710 Warrior designed to clear an entire 45 square meter minefield in one blow.
But first, the raygun.
According to The Register, "it represents the first Detect-Thru-Engage laser shoot-down of a threat representative target in an over-the-water, combat representative scenario." LaWS is fitted to the Navy's "R2-D2" robotic gun turret and looks every bit like what you'd expect a raygun to look like.

Not exactly a shark, but...

Video of test at the end of the article. Dr. Evil would be proud.

During the test, the Navy's Laser Weapon System (LaWS), guided by Raytheon's Phalanx Close-In Weapon System sensors, engaged and destroyed four UAV targets flying over water near the Navy's weapons and training facility on San Nicolas Island in California's Santa Barbara Channel, about 120 kilometers west of Los Angeles. The Phalanx—a rapid-fire, computer-controlled, radar-guided gun system—used electro-optical tracking and radio frequency sensors to provide range data to the LaWS, which is made up of six solid-state lasers with an output of 32 kilowatts that simultaneously focus on a target.