The problem with laser weapons is this -- they need a lot, a lot of power. Seriously. Some of those big, plane-mounted prototypes choke down enough juice to power a whole city. Not so with the Laser-Induced Plasma Channel weapon being developed by researchers at Picatinny Arsenal. While still using plenty of electricity, this more moderately specced laser is just powerful enough to strip electrons off the air molecules around it generating a thin filament of plasma. Its not the high-intensity laser pulse that does the damage, though. Instead, the channel of plasma is used as a conduit for a high-voltage blast of electricity. That laser-assisted bolt of lightning could disable vehicles, people and even IEDs. There are plenty of obstacles, including making the weapon rugged enough for battlefield use and reliable enough to keep the plasma channel from leading the blast of electricity back into the laser and damaging it. Now, if only we could find the video that still above was taken from.