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Navy Tests Laser Weapon in Channel


Real-life laser beams set a boat ablaze in the Santa Barbara Channel earlier this month. The Office of Naval Research successfully tested a boat-mounted solid-state laser gun on 4/6 in the waters off San Nicolas Island.

The beam, which researchers say was about the width of a baseball and blasted from a distance measured in miles versus yards, caused the idling outboard engines of a target boat to burst into flames. The successful testing, captured on a YouTube video that has gone viral recently, marked the culmination of nearly two and a half years of research by the Navy and was the first of its kind, according to a press release from the Office of Naval Research.

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