The first ray guns to be used in combat may well be aerial weapons, and not phaserlike side arms in the hands of foot soldiers.
Certainly Boeing is working in that direction. For several years it's been providing regular updates on the (notably slow) progress of its marquee directed-energy effort, the Airborne Laser, to be carried aloft by a heavily modified 747 that's intended to stop ballistic missiles during their launch phase. Now the defense contractor is touting the steps it's taking with a smaller counterpart designed to strike ground targets, the Advanced Tactical Laser.
As of … Read more