Video: US Navy demos laser cannon

Watch as a US Navy battleship sets fire to a nearby boat with laser power.

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For the first time ever the US Navy has done a live firing test of its HEL high-energy laser cannon, setting fire to a nearby boat. The system utilises a Joint High Power Solid Sate Laser mounted on the deck of a warship and is designed to disable assault vessels. Originally, the system was focussed on shooting down enemy missiles from land-based stations, however recent developments have enabled the HELs to be mounted to mobile platforms. Commentators have noted that the system could be used as a deterrent for naval pirates, who have increased hijacking attacks in the Indian Ocean over the last few years. Speaking on the successful test, Peter Morrison from the Office of Naval Research said that, ‘this test provides an important data point as we move toward putting directed energy on warships.’

Video: US Navy demos laser cannon

The US Navy’s HEL system.

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  • Meet

    I didnt knew that.
    Its a good article

  • Jonny O’Callaghan


    Jonny O’Callaghan
    How It Works

  • Steve


  • Nigel Watson

    Sounds a messy way of dealing with crowd control. If several people are foamed they’d stick together like a bag of toffee. It would be easier to lay a trial of mobile phones into the back of a police van (disguised as an outlet of Comet or Currys).

  • Nigel Watson

    I meant trail of mobiles not trial – Freud slip.

  • Jonny O’Callaghan

    Haha! Interesting solution Nigel…

  • Jay

    they should have declared it’s use in the london riots,
    it probably would have helped stop the riots after the 2nd week of august, maybe.

  • Bradley

    Haha..they should use this at occupy wall street..Those jerks deserve it…

  • FK Goff

    If it were more like sticky silly string, it could be used to tie arms together in a way like hand cuffs. But, the person ‘shooting’ the stuff would have to be a super sharp shooter.

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  • Esil

    Wait until it is used on you. How can anyone WISH that such a thing can used on others ? We are not living in the same world. Humanity really is a strange thing.