Boeing has spent the last 10 years working on a giant laser cannon for the U.S. Army. Well now the company has confirmed that its latest and final version has successfully completed land and sea trials.
Wired reports that the latest trials took place in Florida where a low-powered version of the weapon was able to successfully shoot down missiles, drones and even mortars in dense fog and high-winds.
These adverse weather conditions were essential to proving that the weapon was able to function at full-capacity even in the toughest of conditions, making it perfect for deployment at sea.
For the purposes of the trial Boeing only used a 'low power' 10kW weapon. When the weapon becomes fully operational that power will be upped to a massive 60kW.
The High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator is essentially a massive truck with an even bigger laser mounted on the back.
Boeing's final design will be powered by a diesel generator which -- supplies permitting -- should allow the weapon to remain active indefinitely.
It's scarily easy to operate as well: Boeing has designed the system to be operated using nothing more than a laptop and, wait for it, an Xbox 360 controller.
With the trials now over Boeing is hoping to bring the weapon into field use within the next several years