Keep Your LaWS off My Body


Ships with frickin’ laser beams:

After seven years and $40 million of development, the US Navy has finally sent its prototype laser weapon, one capable of blowing holes clean through UAVs, on patrol throughout the disputed Persian Gulf.

The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) prototype has been affixed to the bow of the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport ship, since August. Its 30kW beam, generated by focusing the apertures of six solid-state commercial welding lasers onto a single point, is multi-functional—equally capable of dazzling approaching ships and burning UAVs clean out of the sky—and only costs about a dollar a shot, John Miller, the 5th Fleet commander, told Bloomberg News in an e-mail statement last Friday.

If you ask me, $40 million sounds cheap to develop a dollar-a-holler laser drone zapper.