Navy's Anti-Missile Laser Cannon Successfully Tested at Sea
The primary advancement of the LaWS is that it has overcome an issue that has plagued other ship-based laser weapons: the light beams' tendency to lose power as the result of breaking up more quickly in the damp ocean air. The LaWS would greatly extend the range of the Phalanx gun by using a beam director, and thus improve the defenses of American war ships.
The LaWS has successfully shot a drone out of the air over open water, making it the most realistic test of laser weapon yet. It can't be much longer till battlefields the world over are filled with "pews" instead of "bangs." [From: Wired/CNN, via: BoingBoing]