The image you saw on the cover of this story is an actual laser gun tested successfully by the US armed forces. Don’t worry, the US will be using it for ‘peaceful purposes’ because they use all their weapons for world
India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) might be working on a similar technology that’ll in the future make the weapons in the hands of Indian soldiers shoot like this:
As of now, the DRDO is working on a 10-kilowatt directed energy weapon (DEW), which is basically a gun that emits high-energy lasers and high-powered microwaves. (For a gun of the Stormtrooper kind, the kW energy will of course be way more.)
Such a weapon would be able to shoot down anything – flying or crawling – by the transfer of the energy to the target.
A TOI report says that DRDO has already tested such a “system” at Centre for High Energy Systems and Sciences (CHESS) in Hyderabad. It has also been demonstrated the ‘weapon’ to the armed forces. DRDO’s ‘system’ is far from the ones with Russia, United States and China. Their tests on such a weapon have been on since the 1980s.
The US has developed radars that can be mounted on fighter aircrafts to destroy incoming missiles, though they have a very limited range.
They have DEW weapons that can shoot down drones and small boats.
For DRDO, the development of such a weapon is a top priority given the fact that China is itself working on laser technology that can jam US satellites.
It is China’s galloping speed in arming itself with kinetic, electronic and cyber weapons
that is an immediate threat to India’s security preparedness.
The DRDO has been criticized for the tediously slow pace at which it pursues its projects but if the special attention it has been receiving under the Modi government continues, it might as well make significant strides in this area as well. In February 2014, the DRDO got Rs.115 crore for development of DEWs by July 2017.
Though cannons will come before this, just imagine a soldier armed with a laser gun. What can he do? Everything. He can be stealthy, accurate and deadly all at the same time.
A DEW gun can do away with the need for missiles as well besides the low cost that would be needed to build such a weapon.