The Birth of Laser Weapons

The Birth of Laser Weapons
AP Photo/U.S. Navy, John F. Williams

Research and development of laser weapons began in the mid-20th century. Countless failed attempts ensued, and for quite some time the only suitable military tasks for lasers were for range-finders and target acquisition. As technology breakthroughs brought forth the anticipation that lethal lasers could soon be commissioned, Protocol IV of the Geneva Convention, adopted on October 13, 1995, in Vienna, established a pre-emptive ban on blinding laser weapons. Development of energy-directed weapons, however, continued with the purpose of dazzling enemy craft and destroying boats, vehicles, drones and missiles.

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