Since seeing Grand Slam next to the HAL in the early 1980s, many of us have dreamed of the day when a real, functional laser cannon would become a reality. That day has just been pushed back …
Late last month, officials from the Army and from Boeing presented to the press what appeared to be a working version of a mobile laser cannon. Parked in front of an American flag was an eight-wheel, 19-ton heavy truck. Affixed to the top of that truck was a laser-beam controller, used to aim and fire lethal rays of coherent light.
There was only one thing missing from this $38 million High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator: the laser itself.
The actual ray gun is being built under an entirely separate Army program -— one that won’t be complete for another five years. Integrating the truck and the laser could take another year or two on top of that. In other words, don’t expect a working laser cannon until at least 2017.
Blah blah budget blah blah separate budgets blah blah power requirements blah blah it ain’t here. Grrr.