A U.S. Pentagon invention could make air combat resemble a battle scene from the movie 'Star Wars' with a laser so small it can fit on a fighter jet, yet powerful enough to knock down an enemy missile in flight.
The High Energy Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), being designed by the Pentagon's central research and development agency, will weigh just 750 kg (1,650 lb) and measures the size of a large fridge.
To date, such lasers have been so bulky because of the need for huge cooling systems to stop them overheating, that they had to be fitted to large aircraft such as jumbo jets, New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday.
But the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency reckons it has solved the problem by merging liquid and solid state lasers to cut the size and weight by 'an order of magnitude', according to its Web site.
Ok, they arn't quite ready to be fitted to Selachimorpha yet, however this is pretty cool anyway.