Star Wars is no longer a science fiction, because the first laser guns have finally arrived. The laser-like weapon system that until now existed only in science fiction films, seems to have completed its development and is ready for business use.
So besides cinema screens we will soon see it on the battlefields, and they are going to change the war forever.
A latest article in Aviation Week & Space Technology describes today as the day of laser weapons, as after half a century of research and development, the American Pentagon tries the first laser weapons. The Army, Navy, and Air Force want these weapons in vehicles such as Humvees, rocket launchers and jets.
Lasers are not new to the battlefield. Low-voltage electric lasers have been used since the 1970 decade to signal targets, providing an invisible point to the human eye for weapons such as Paveway guided bombs and Hellfire anti-tank missiles. The laser is also used for target tracking, and can determine the exact distance between two positions, information that can be used to hit a target with another conventional weapon.
These weapons promise considerable flexibility - as long as there is electricity.
In the air, they could be used against enemy aircraft, missiles and drones. On the ground, they could be used against personnel, vehicles and IEDs.
At sea, they can be used against airborne threats, small ships and anti-missile systems. They could be used by satellites in space, against other satellites. Some of these things are more difficult than others, but all are theoretically possible.
Below you will see the first public demonstration of a ship-mounted laser. Watch the video: