Every day now it seems that we take another step closer to making science fiction truth in fact. Within weeks, possibly days, a human-built aerial vehicle will take flight over the surface of another planet for the first time in human history. When it does, Ingenuity (the Perseverance rover’s helicopter drone) will usher in a whole new era of space exploration. But humankind’s leaps forward aren’t just occurring on Mars. The United States Army is developing a new laser weapon right here on Earth that could make Star Wars much closer to reality than ever before.

US Army Laser; Star Wars
Source: US Army

The US military already employs the use of lasers, but they pale in comparison to the blaster and cannon lasers we see in Star Wars. Up until now they’ve taken the form of pulse weapons, essentially bombarding a target until it melts. With the advent of the Tactical Ultrashort Pulsed Laser (UPSL), however, real-life weapons of this nature begin to have a much more science fiction feel.

US Army moves closer to Star Wars laser weapon

Star Wars Laser; The Mandalorian
Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

When we see someone shoot in Star Wars, whether from a hand-held blaster or cannon, the blast leaves the weapon and reaches its target in milliseconds. The same holds true for the new Army laser. Thanks to syfy.com, we can present you the technical specifics of the weapon HERE. If the descriptions are accurate, this could very well be the closest thing to a Star Wars laser weapon we’ve ever seen. If you’re still hoping for a blaster pistol, however, don’t hold your breath quite yet.

The UPSL is a cannon weapon. Putting that much power in a hand-held device is still a ways away. Right now we’re talking about something (possibly) more like the e-web heavy repeating blaster we’ve seen in The Empire Strikes Back or The Mandalorian (seen above).

Star Wars; stormtrooper
Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Now image the Army wielding such a laser weapon. The advent of this technology could forever change warfare as we know it. Let’s just hope the Army shoots straighter than Stormtroopers.

Source: syfy.com; US Army