Although laser weapons may see some offensive applications, it appears their primary function will remain defensive: countering the growing threat posed by long-range missiles and drones, as well as reducing the mayhem caused by old-fashioned mortars and rocket artillery. On June 26 an Apache helicopter successfully tested a high-energy laser pod on targets at the White Sands testing range in New Mexico—the first laser weapon ever employed by a helicopter. As much as laser-armed helicopters might seem like they belong in a Command & Conquer video game, in reality they are joining a wide variety of ground-, air- and sea-based...
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