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Gone in 30 Seconds: Prototype Killer Laser Takes Out Boats a Mile Away

In tests off the California coast, the Lockheed Martin ADAM laser system burns through the hull of a military-grade boat.
In tests off the California coast, the Lockheed Martin ADAM laser system burns through the hull of a military-grade boat.Lockheed Martin

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A new laser weapon being developed by Lockheed Martin successfully disabled two boats a mile away in a recent test off the California coast, the company said.

Lockheed Martin is developing the ground-based high-energy laser weapon, known as the Area Defense Anti-Munitions (ADAM) system, as a potential military defense against short-range threats, including drones, small boats and homemade artillery rockets.

The defense contractor on Wednesday posted a video online showing the first tests of the laser weapon against targets at sea. In less than 30 seconds, the company said, the system’s high-energy laser zeroed in on and burned through multiple compartments of the rubber hull of the military-grade small boats operating in the Pacific.

“Our ADAM system tests have shown that high-energy lasers are ready to begin addressing critical defense needs,” Tory Bruno, president of Lockheed’s strategic and missile defense systems, said in a statement.

Lockheed Martin has previously demonstrated the prototype laser system’s ability to destroy free-flying Qassam-like rocket targets.

— NBC News staff

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