Defense Tech looks at the state-of-the-art in laser weaponry, including Raytheon's Laser Area Defense System (LADS) and Northop Grunman's new "directed energy production facility." For example, last week Raytheon announced that their laser beam blew up 60-millimeer mortars at 550+ yards. From the Defense Tech post:
Raytheon's announcement is interesting, because solid-state, electric lasers haven't yet hit the 100 kilowatt threshold which many people consider to be the minimum strength for weapons-grade lasers. (They're not too far off, though.) But Raytheon says they zapped these mortars using "an a proven, existing, off-the-shelf solid-state laser, coupled with commercially available optics technology."
So how did the company pull it off? I got a non-answer from a company flack, something about "view[ing] the problem from the user point of view."