Laser Gun! New Demo Turns Sci-Fi Into Reality

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Jeff Daly, Inc/Visuals Unlimited/Corbis

Raytheon is finally taking laser beam weaponry out of the movies and into reality. The Massachusetts based company unveiled its Laser Close-In System (CIWS), which can shoot objects ranging from rocks to small surface ships.

In a series of tests performed at the Farnborough Air Show in Hampshire, the laser beam shot down several unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). Raytheon anticipates use in naval ships as a “last line of defense.”

“It was a bad day for UAVs and a good one for laser technology,” Raytheon Vice President Mike Booen told the BBC.

Although laser beam weaponry has been in the works since the ’50s, lasers used to rely on chemical reactions from fuel input, which is often toxic. Raytheon’s solid state laser uses glass or ceramic materials to generate a beam, but still requires a substantial amount of energy input.

Maybe Dr. Evil will finally get his sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads after all. (via the BBC)