A futuristic laser mounted on a speeding cruiser successfully blasted a bobbing, weaving boat from the waters of the Pacific Ocean -- the first test at sea of such a gun and a fresh milestone in the Navy's quest to reoutfit the fleet with a host of laser weapons, the Navy announced Friday.
"We were able to have a destructive effect on a high-speed cruising target," chief of Naval research Rear Adm. Nevin Carr told FoxNews.com.
The test occurred Wednesday near San Nicholas Island, off the coast of Central California in the Pacific Ocean test range, from a laser gun mounted onto the deck of the Navy's self-defense test ship, former USS Paul Foster.
In a video of the event, the small boat can be seen catching fire and ultimately bursting into flames, a conflagration caused by the navy's distant gun. Some details of the event were classified, including the exact range of the shot, but Carr could provide some information: "We're talking miles, not yards," Carr said.
The Navy, Army and other armed forces have been working to incorporate so called "directed energy" laser weapons in a range of new guns, from tank-mounted blasters to guns on planes or unmanned balloons. But this marks the first test of a laser weapon at sea -- and proof that laser rifles are no mere Buck Rogers daydream.