VIDEO: Laser locks in on small-boat targets

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From recreational boats to military craft, marine technology continues to advance at a rapid pace.

For example, a laser beam taking out a boat from a mile away seems like something from a 1950s sci-fi movie — or at least it used to seem that way.

In recent tests off the California coast, a Lockheed Martin prototype laser system successfully disabled two boats at a range of about a mile in the first tests of the manufacturer’s Area Defense Anti-Munitions system against maritime targets.

Lockheed Martin is developing the transportable, ground-based ADAM laser system to demonstrate a practical, affordable defense against short-range threats, including Qassam-like rockets, unmanned aerial systems and small boats.

During the testing in early May, the ground-based system’s invisible high-energy laser burned through multiple compartments of the unmanned rubber hull of military-grade small boats operating in the ocean in less than 30 seconds.

The system can precisely track moving targets at a range of more than 3 miles and its 10-kilowatt fiber laser can engage targets as far as 1.2 miles away, Lockheed Martin said in a press release announcing its latest development in long-range destruction.

To us, it seems that drug running and terrorism just became more dangerous vocations.