US to field first laser weapon, could shoot down a drone

WASHINGTON - The US Navy said on Monday it will deploy for the first time a laser weapon on one of its ships that could be capable of shooting down drones and disabling vessels.
"The future is here," said Peter Morrison at the Office of Naval Research's Solid-StateLaser Technology Maturation Program.
The weapon is being billed as a step toward transforming warfare. Since it runs on electricity, it can fire as long as there is power at a cost of less than $1 dollar per shot.
"Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of dollars it costs to fire a missile, and you can begin to see the merits of this capability,"
Chief of Naval Research Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, said in a statement.