• The company's new Compact Laser Weapon System (LWS) breaks down into four parts, each transportable by one or two Marines. In total, the system weighs about 650 pounds and would probably be operated by a squad of eight to 12 soldiers or Marines.
  • Able to be assembled in just 15 minutes, LWS is capable of generating an energy beam of up to 10 kilowatts that can, depending on the power level, be used to acquire, track, and identify a target -- or even destroy it -- at ranges of at least 22 miles. The weapon is designed specifically to track and attack moving aerial targets such as incoming artillery rounds, and low-flying aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • According to Boeing, a laser gun such as LWS offers the military a "low cost per shot and an infinite magazine" -- both very attractive attributes. Indeed, in a press release, Boeing observed that "with a steady power supply, the Compact LWS can fire continuously." Such a weapon, once operational, might be used to sweep a battlefield, destroying everything it contacts.

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