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.


Sales stagnate in March

Overall boat sales in March were slightly lower compared to last year and year-over-year growth was down by just over 1 percent, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., data that was gathered for 30 states.