The weapons will determine the military's "combat potential" for decades, the president claims.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is singing the praises of the country's experimental laser weapons.
The armaments "until just recently only figured in science fiction," Putin said during a meeting with top officials, according to the Associated Press. He added that the high-tech weapons "will determine the combat potential of the Russian army and navy for decades ahead."
Putin's claims likely aren't just braggadocio. World militaries, including the United States, United Kingdom, and China, have made substantial investments in energy weapons in recent years — and even deployed functional laser cannons on naval ships and tanks.
In other words, it's a nascent global arms race, and even though most countries say the weapons are primarily meant to defend against drones, it might only be a matter of time before they're used against soldiers in genuine international conflict.
READ MORE: Putin hails new Russian laser weapons [The Associated Press]
More on laser weapons: The US Military Is Buying a $130 Million Laser Weapon