The US Navy has tested its high-energy laser (HEL) for the first time, successfully dismantling the engines of a test vessel.
It's the first time the gun has been fired from on-board a ship at another vessel on open water. You can see the test below, as the gun sets fire to the engines of a small craft.
The gun, mounted on the Navy's self-defense test ship, was developed by the US Office of Naval Research and Northrop Grumman. While similar tests have been done on land in the past, this is the first test the Navy has done between two vessels, as moist sea air apparently presents a challenge for the beam, reducing power according to BBC.
However, it looks powerful enough in the video, lighting the boat aflame in a matter of seconds.
This new defense system could eventually provide for strategic naval defense with the ability to defend ships at the speed of light, many times faster than conventional weapons. While the system shows promise, there's still much testing to do before a commercial launch.