You guys! It's all happening. The US Navy has completed a series of successful tests where they hooked up a big laser gun to a ship and then shot the laser at various targets on land and on sea. They set a boat on fire! With LASERS.
The next step is "the engineering, manufacturing, and development phase," according to Northrop Grumman. The Navy plans to outfit up to eight classes of ships in the fleet with this next-generation weapon, but these beams aren't quite ready to replace traditional weapons systems, according to Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Nevin Carr. Nevertheless, these lasers sure could cause a bad day for smaller craft.