US navy experts have revealed that they have come very close to developing laser weapons like those used aboard the Enterprise in TV's 'Star Trek'.
They believe that within two years warships will be armed with weapons capable of firing deadly rays, capable of shooting down fighter jets and destroying missiles.
Scientists at the Office of Naval Research have developed a laser weapon that can already down boats and drones at a fraction of the cost of conventional weapons.
"On directed energy, I'd say two years. We're well past physics," the Daily Express quoted Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, who heads the department, as saying.
Last year the US Navy staged a demonstration of a laser it had developed which was able to hit a dinghy from more than a mile away. A single beam fired at it caused the engine to burst into flames.
In 2009, a US Air Force laser weapon shot down five robotic planes. The following year, a Phalanx gun fitted with a laser beam "successfully tracked, engaged, and destroyed" a drone in flight over the sea.