LASER weapons will be tested by the Royal Navy by 2020.
The announcement was made by the navy’s top sailor, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas.
He outlined a range of state-of-the-art innovations the Royal Navy was currently researching, which included energy-based weapons systems.
Speaking at the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition – one of the world’s biggest arms fairs in London – Admiral Zambellas said the goal was to demonstrate such advances before the end of the decade.
He said: ‘Energy weapons don’t require conventional ammunition. With a cost-per-shot potentially measured in pence rather than pounds, they offer a route to address the spiralling costs of missile development and production, as well as reducing supply chain demands.’