Lasers blast drones out of the sky

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Laser tech can be used in land-based warfare as well.

The time for ancient machine guns and bulky bombs is over. Now, the Navy is developing advanced laser beams and electric “rail guns” that fire at hypersonic speeds.

Though the tech is ultra-futuristic and powerful, the Navy is most interested in how much money they’ll save by abandoning old-school weapons. The problem with traditional guns and bombs is that they are really expensive. Even worse, is that they don’t last forever, because bombs and bullets need to constantly be refilled and replaced.

The Navy’s Laser Weapon System, on the other hand, can fire continuously as long as it has power. Though it would be cool to see bright green laser beams zapping down targets, the weapon actually uses invisible blasts of heat to take out machines like drones and small boats.

Meanwhile, special rail guns can shoot objects at supersonic speeds, or six to seven times faster than the speed of sound! They need quite a bit of energy to work, but when fully functional, the guns can cause quite a lot of damage.

There are still a some problems to overcome with the new weaponry, but test trials have been promising.

Images courtesy of Northrop Grumman.