Sometime in 2014, the US Navy expects to have a laser weapon aboard a ship in the Persian Gulf.
It won't at all, however, tip the balance of power there. The Navy sees the deployment of the USS Ponce with its single solid-state laser weapon as an "at-sea demonstration" -- and directed-energy gear like laser weapons at this stage continue to be much more about demos than about actual firefights of any consequence. Still, it's a sign of things to come, even if what happens in 2014 is only a tiptoe toward the longer-term future.
And … Read more