The Royal Navy hopes to develop a ship-mounted “death ray” laser cannon by 2020, the first sea lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, has announced at one of the world’s biggest arms fairs.
The US navy has been experimenting with a laser to take out drones and damage enemy ships. The UK, hoping to build on the American experience, is looking to build something less cumbersome, more efficient, requiring less manpower and much more destructive.
This year the Ministry of Defence said it had instructed its development arm, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), to look at building a prototype. But Zambellas went much further when he addressed a group of senior navy personnel from around the world as well as arms company representatives in London. He said technological advances had the power to change how the navy operated.