The US military have been testing laser weapons since the 1970’s, but early versions were large, heavy and were chemical based, which were prone to giving off toxic gases.
But now researchers are working with high energy lasers (HEL) this is state of the art technology that uses solid state lasers, which group together compact beam generators to produce a powerful light source.
In this test, the US Navy used this technology to disable the engines on a small craft, but it was more like somebody using a giant magnifying glass, than Star Wars technology!
According to Peter Morrison from the Office of Naval Research, “This test provides an important data point as we move toward putting directed energy on warships.” he added, “There is still much work to do to make sure it’s done safely and efficiently,”
This may be the future of weaponry, but it is not necessarily something that is going to be fitted to ships any time soon.