Laser gun tested on US Navy ship in Pacific Ocean


A laser fired from a US warship off the California coast has ignited a nearby boat.

This is the first time that the high-energy laser (HEL) has been fired from a ship at another vessel.

It was developed by the US Office of Naval Research and weapons maker Northrop Grumman.

The test took place off the California coast with a laser gun mounted on board the Navy's self-defence test ship, formerly called the USS Paul Foster.

Lasers could offer an advantage over conventional weapons because they attack targets at the speed of light, which is many times faster than the speeds that missiles can travel.

Video courtesy of the US Office of Naval Research.

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.