Leave it to the Senate to crush the military's fragile dreams. All the Navy ever really wanted was a giant ship-based laser that could be used to shoot down missiles. Despite some record breaking stats
, however, the latest defense authorization bill handed down from the Senate Armed Services Committee throws a giant congressional wet blanket on the free-electron laser
. The project, it seems, has simply proven too expensive -- among other things, the laser's researchers haven't found the ideal method for powering the weapon from a ship. According to the current timeline, the project was not likely to have been completed before 2020, and as such the Navy's request for further funding was, somewhat ironically, ultimately shot down.