US Navy invests in laser machine guns

Causes confusion over what sound effect to use

The US Navy is counting down the days until it receives a new integrated weapons system that combines the traditional rat-tat-tat of the machine gun with the pew-pew-pew of the laser.

As part of a $2.8 million contract from the US Navy, BAE systems is working with Boeing to develop the new firearm, combining a solid state laser with the Mk 38 Mod 2 machine gun.

This will produce a multi-functional killing machine, which should be able to use the laser alone as well as providing a guide for aiming the machine gun function.

A deadly game of Laser Quest

However, there may be trouble ahead – and not just for the US Navy's enemies; the prototype that's currently in development features a top-end laser blast of 10 kilowatts which is substantially below what is "considered militarily effective".

There are question marks over whether the ships can carry generators that will provide enough power for a "militarily effective" laser gun.

It's also not clear how much the salty sea air could mess with the super-focused laser's effectiveness – suffice it to say the US Navy is still a way off installing these death rays on their ships.

Still, might be worth stepping up work on those anti-lasers, eh?

From Wired via Forbes


News Editor (UK)

It's a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she's constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. And having been immersed in the world of tech and tech rumours for more than six years, she can spot a photoshopped iPhone 8 image from 20 paces.