Above is a new video of Raytheon's laser weapon shooting down an unmanned aerial vehicle. They fired the Laser Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) from a ship, linking the weapon to the US Navy's anti-missile system of a Gatling gun steered by radar guidance. The breakthrough here is that the CIWS uses solid-state laser technology that until recently didn't have the oomph required by the military. From the BBC News:
Although Raytheon would not give details of the height, speed and range of the UAVs, saying that data "sensitive", it did say that the Navy wanted tests to be as realistic as possible, suggesting that the aircraft were behaving in the way military planners would expect them to.
"This is the first time a UAV threat has been targeted and neutralised in a marine environment," said (Raytheon Missile Systems' vice president, Mike) Booen
"On a ship, the laser can be mounted inside a ship and the beam fed up through fibre cables.
"It was a bad day for UAVs and a good one for laser technology," he added.
The firm is also working on a sister land based system that can be used to target mortar and rocket rounds.
"On land, it could be mounted in trailers so it has applications across the globe," said Mr Booen.