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Watch Lockheed Martin's laser weapon take down boats from a mile away

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
May 7, 2014
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It's good that Lockheed Martin's ADAM laser can shoot down drones and rockets, but there are threats much closer to Earth -- say, small boat crews bent on destroying large warships. Never fear, though, as we now know that ADAM can take care of those targets as well. Lockheed has successfully wielded the weapon against small boats, burning holes through their rubber hulls from a full mile away. The laser's automatic infrared tracking makes targeting a piece of cake. Even with the pitching of the waves, it's easy to aim at a specific point on a vessel.

While the weapon takes close to 30 seconds to deal its full damage, Lockheed hints that speed isn't really the focus here. ADAM is relatively cheap to use, since the biggest cost is powering its 10-kilowatt laser; you're not firing missiles or legions of cannon rounds. As such, it's not hard to see the technology finding its way to cash-strapped navies fighting pirates and other small-time seaborne enemies.

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