- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The U.S. Navy is set to install its first laser ever, with the technological capability of shooting down aerial craft — including drones — with science-fiction, movie-like drama.

The Navy will deploy its first laser sometime this year, The Daily Mail said. Meanwhile, naval officials also plan to introduce an electromagnetic rail gun prototype on a Navy ship within the next two years.

The new weaponry is cost-efficient in that the ammunition is near-endless.

“It fundamentally changes the way we fight,” said Capt. Mike Ziv, program manager for directed energy and electric weapon systems for the Naval Sea Systems Command, in The Daily Mail report. He said that the prototype laser — called the Laser Weapons System — aboard the USS Ponce only requires one sailor to operate it and that it’s fitted to target everything from speed boats to drones.

Rail guns, meanwhile, can fire six or seven times of the speed of sound, The Daily Mail reported.

The down side of the weaponry: Lasers can fail in rain, dust or otherwise turbulent atmospheres, while rail guns require massive amounts of electricity to launch.