The United States Navy
has been working on next-gen weaponry
ever since the last-gen was present-gen, and if the next
next-gen ever actually arrives, well... we don't stand a chance at lasting very long. According to Wired
, the Navy's Office of Naval Research is expecting laser technology (as it relates to weaponry) to mature in the next score, and if all goes well, a free-electron laser could be mounted on a ship during the 2020s. As of now, FELs produce a 14-kilowatt beam, but that figure needs to hit 100+ in order to seriously defend a ship; unfortunately for those who adore peace, it seems we're well on our way to having just that. When it's complete, these outrageous pieces of artillery will be capable of "burning incoming missiles out of the sky [and] zapping through an enemy vessel's hull." Something tells us that whole "You Sunk My Battleship" meme is just years from reappearing in grand fashion.