Navy's just the baby brother to the two other US Armed Forces, but its weapon development record definitely shows otherwise. Just over two years after building an 8-Megajoule railgun, the branch has penned two $7 million checks to defense contractors Boeing and Raytheon for the design and development of a free-electron laser (FEL). For what it's worth, such a device has been yearned for since a day after the dawn of time, as unlike chemical-based lasers, the FEL would be 100 percent electric and easier to move. For those unaware,this stormy petrel of a weapon would be used to blast down missiles in mid-flight, all while putting on a pretty impressive light show. 'Course, the Navy must also figure out how to build a massive energy generating ship in order to use it, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves here, okay?
[Image courtesy of AIP]