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US Navy destroys a ship with a laser


Who needs shells?
The US Navy, which first saw action turning its canons on British civilians, has successfully experimented fired a laser ray gun mounted on a warship.

According to YouTube footage, the laser was used to set fire to an empty motorboat. The demonstration took place near San Nicholas Island, could mark a new era in Naval weaponry.

According to Rear Admiral Nevin Carr, chief of the Office of Naval Research, by turning energy into a weapon, the Navy becomes more efficient and more effective. Built by Northrop Grumman the laser system can blast apart incoming cruise missiles, take out aircraft and possibly down ballistic missiles.

The laser power can be also “scaled down” so that it can be used against pirates, terrorists and smugglers without killing them. The laser gun was mounted to the deck of the retired Naval destroyer Paul Foster and fired on the small boat's engines.

The YouTube video shows one of the engines spark and within seconds, is engulfed in flames. While lasers have been used successfully on land, this is the first time that one has been used on a moving target some miles distant. However, it is still years away from being used.

Last modified on 12 April 2011
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