Directed-energy weapons are set for key tests this year, including the attempted shoot-down of a boosting ballistic missile, but they may not dispel lingering doubts over the military utility of high-power lasers. Instead, the real future of high-energy laser weapons could be taking shape in laboratories, where later this year competing solid-state lasers are expected to run at power levels exceeding 100 kw. Different designs for 150-kw. electric lasers will also be tested in the lab ...

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