This Is the Future of War

Illustration for article titled This Is the Future of War

Watch the Navy shooting down an airplane over the Pacific ocean using the new LaWS (Laser Weapon System) guided by Raytheon's Phalanx Close-In Weapon sensors. Welcome to the future, where we all die in the hands of angry laser-firing bots.


The LaWS is a six-laser cannon guided by the Phalanx Block 1B—the white structure that you can see here, mounted next to LaWS. Phalanx identifies and tracks the targets using electro-optical systems, measuring the range using radio frequency sensors. With that information, LaWS follows the target, and focuses the energy of its six beams on one point until it takes the airplane down because of the heat:

The plan is to test these systems until they become part of every Navy battleship. [Raytheon]

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I don't know much about laser physics but what happens if this thing misses it's target? Couldn't the light beam theoretically damage something in space like our satellites, MIR, some alien home world?