We all knew that it was only a matter of time before Star Wars came to earth. Who doesn’t remember the lasers and the lightsabers? And who could forget the Death Star – especially when its green laser blew Princess Leia’s home planet of Alderaan to dust! If you’re anything like me, you wondered if you’d ever see anything like that kind of technology in your own lifetime.
While I was holding my hopes out that someone would figure out a way to create a real working lightsaber, it turns out the the U.S. Navy has been hard at work creating another weapon that looks like it came straight out of a Star Wars movie: the laser cannon.
The Navy decided to research laser weapons systems because they found them to be much cheaper than alternative weapons on their ships and just as (if not more) effective than normal weapons. These lasers will be used to attack drones in the air and other types of boats in the water. They will produce more than enough heat to overheat their targets and render them useless.
The lasers have a targeting mechanism that allows them to lock on to their targets and burn through them with relative ease. As far as manpower goes, each laser system can be operated by one sailor, thereby freeing up sailors for other duties. As to when the Navy plans to begin routinely using these lasers, sources say that it will be around the summer of this year.
Contrary to what you see in Star Wars, you won’t be able to see the laser beam – you’ll only be able to see the damage done. While lasers seem like they’d be effective in just about any situation, the Navy admits that they’re not very reliable in the rain, in the dust, or if there’s a lot of turbulence in the air.
What do you think? Do you think the weapons of today will eventually give way to lasers and such?