Have you ever wondered just how powerful Cyclops’ (of the X-Men fame) optic blasts can be when he unleashes them without his ruby quartz glasses? I guess depending on the writer, the power behind his optic blasts vary, but the idea of firing lasers from a vessel has more or less remained within the realm of science fiction for a long time, at least not until now. It seems that US Navy ships are now capable of being equipped with the relevant equipment that allows them to fire laser beams, making it handy in situations such as burning through an unmanned drone like a blow torch.
The laser weapon will be first deployed in the Persian Gulf, an area where Iranian speedboats as well as UAVs tend to harass US Navy ships from time to time. In fact, the power from the laser beam is variable, and when it is turned down, it can even blind a spy camera. I suppose the biggest advantage would be the cost, considering it costs a mere $40 million to develop, where a single pulse of directed laser energy costs less than $1, which could also neutralize enemy vessels from afar as a $475,000 Sidewinder missile would. There is one drawback though, poor weather would affect the accuracy and power of the laser beam, but I am quite sure they will work things out eventually. Enjoy the video of the laser beam in action after the jump.