Remember those Saturday morning cartoons from when you were a kid, where futuristic soldiers battled with laser guns? Well if you were wondering what ever happened to that future we were promised, it's here. Boeing's Direct Energy Systems project recently concluded a test in the New Mexico desert where the Humvee-mounted Laser Avenger system successfully shot down three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in a demonstration for U.S. Army officers.
Boeing wants more government contracts, and it thinks lasers are the way to get them. The company's Laser Avenger system is something it whipped together in eight short months, and it's pretty impressive. Mounted on a retrofitted anti-aircraft Humvee, the setup is being demonstrated as a way to zap IEDs from a distance, neutralizing them before the convoys and patrols they target ever rumble by. Its 1kw laser beam causes near-instantaneous detonation of the munitions its been used on so far, and