Lasers, particularly those that set boats ablaze and incinerate incoming missiles, have long been on the Navy's mind. Today, the Office of Naval Research revealed its latest energy weapon craving: vehicle-mounted lasers that shoot down drones. Dubbed Ground-Based Air Defense Directed Energy On-The-Move, the project is offering private outfits up to $400,000 each to develop such a system that blasts at full power for 120 seconds and juices back up to 80 percent after a 20 minute charge. The beam is required to pack a punch of at least 25 kilowatts, while the ability to ratchet up to 50 kilowatts is optional. Given that kind of power, Wired points out that making such a solution fit in a Humvee is going to be a feat -- especially when the Navy says it can't weigh more than 2,000 pounds and must fit entirely within a vehicle's cargo area. Have blueprints for a jeep-mountable laser squirreled away in your basement hobby shop? You'll have to send your application in by 2 PM on April 26th to qualify for the federal cash.
[Image credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery, Flickr]