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"Star Wars" for the seas: Laser weapon zaps test vessel

The U.S. Navy moved closer toward its goal of deploying a laser weapon against enemy vessels, announcing a successful test in which a solid-state, high-energy laser beam fired from a surface ship disabled a small target vessel.

The two-and-a-half year Maritime Laser Demonstrator project, co-developed with Northrop Grumman, involved a laser mounted onto the deck of the Navy's self-defense test ship, former USS Paul Foster. The test was carried out on April 6 near San Nicholas Island, off the coast of Central California.

Navy officers said this was the first time that offensive lasers have worked successfully as weapons deployed on water.