US Navy ready to deploy laser for 1st time

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BATH, Maine (AP) — Some of the Navy's newest weapons sound like something out of "Star Wars," with lasers designed to shoot down drones and electric guns that fire projectiles at hypersonic speeds.

But the future is now.

The Navy plans to deploy a laser prototype on a ship this summer in the Persian Gulf. It intends to test an electromagnetic rail gun prototype aboard a vessel within two years.

Part of the appeal is the cost. They're far cheaper than missiles and smart bombs.

Capt. Mike Ziv, program manager for directed energy and electric weapon systems, says new technology can help the Navy "get ahead of the cost curve."

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