April 11, 2011
The US Navy has fired a laser gun from one of its ships for the first time.
Researchers used the high-energy laser (HEL) to disable a boat by setting fire to its engines off the coast of California.
Similar systems had previously been tested on land, however moist sea air presented an extra challenge as it reduces a beam’s power.
The navy said that ship-borne lasers could eventually be used to protect vessels from small attack boats.