Science & Technology

Navy Laser Cannon Able to Take Down Drones

When do the rest of us get them?


Long in testing and even older in ambition, the chief of naval operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, triumphantly heralded the dawn age of the shipboard laser gun during the Navy's annual conference outside Washington. In tests aboard the destroyer USS Dewey last summer off the California coast, the Laser Weapon System successfully shot down surveillance drones and fast boats in its first round of sea trials aboard a surface combatant, according to Rear Adm. Thomas Eccles, one of the Navy's top engineers. (Three of the shoot-downs were aboard the Dewey, while nine others happened on shore, Eccles clarifies.)