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The U.S. Navy Laser Cannon

Updated on May 17, 2014
The electromagnetic gun
The electromagnetic gun
Through 3" of steel
Through 3" of steel
The Laser cannon
The Laser cannon
The cannon knocking out a drone
The cannon knocking out a drone

Imagine a laser, a beam of light, that instantly destroys its object. We all have seen it so many times in the movies like Star Wars and Star Trek, but that was just the CGI effects from Hollywood.

Now, there is the real thing. A real weapon laser cannon in the U.S. Navy testing stages begins this summer(2014). Then, in 2016, the Navy plans to test its electromagnetic rail gun. The laser gun shoots an invisible beam of light with pinpoint accuracy that is able to take down aircraft or sink a ship at unbelievable long ranges at a cost of only $1 a shot. Think of the cost effectiveness, sink a billion dollar aircraft for a buck! The Navy's electromagnetic railgun uses electricity rather than gun powder. It is a defensive type weapon that can project a sort of "shield" (as in Start Trek) at very far ranges to protect incoming missiles against sea or land based targets. It low cost projectiles travel at hyperspeed well above Mach 7. In tests aboard the destroyer USS Dewey last summer off the California coast, the Laser Weapon System successfully shot down surveillance drones and fast boats in its first round of sea trials. The laser did cost $40 million and six years to develop, but the results are very promising. Its beam is less than 100 megawatts, but still able to burn a hole in a ships armor in 20 seconds.

The railgun fires projectiles over 100 miles at seven times the speed of sound.

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