and air defense that includes 'pop the shell as it approaches':
In recent test-blasts, Pentagon-researchers at Northrop Grumman managed to get its 105 kilowatts of power out of their laser -- past the "100kW threshold [that] has been viewed traditionally as a proof of principle for 'weapons grade' power levels for high-energy lasers," Northrop's vice president of directed energy systems, Dan Wildt, said in a statement.
That much power won't get you a Star Wars-style blaster. But it should be more than enough to zap the mortars and rockets that insurgents have used to pound American bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Son has informed me that artillery now has
rocket-assisted rounds for extended range,
laser-guided rounds and
GPS-guided rounds that, depending on conditions, can be fired up to 90 degrees out-of-line with the target, and still course-correct and hit.
Now if somebody'll finally lick the problem so we have tanks and self-propelled guns powered by a fusion bottle, and individual guns for air defense on each... Who wants to bet the first unit calls itself the Slammers or Alpha Company?