Aircraft-mounted laser weapon may be ready in two years


If the gull-winged drones we checked out a little earlier ever catch on, we've got just the accessory for them: The High Energy Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), currently under development by military scientists, is a laser weapon that can fit in a fighter jet. The laser is designed to fire in pulses, which allows it to run without a heavy cooling system, and which also, no doubt, allows laser-jockeys to get that rat-a-tat-tat machine-gun feel while using a weapon straight out of sci-fi. Prototype models can fire 1kW pulses, which may not be able to do much damage, but researchers are hoping for a missile-zapping 150 kW version by 2007.

[Via Slashdot]