Then there is the ultimate prize, the ray gun we have all wanted since we were children. DARPA is working on making this seemingly impossible goal a reality by slowly shrinking available laser technology in their totally awesomely named Excalibur program.
But these weapons are all going to be available sometime in the future. You want to know what kind of ass lasers are kicking right now, right? Well, the Navy has come up with a laser cannon for taking down drones, small boats, and other threats. And it's not theoretical; it's on a ship as we speak. The chief of naval research is most excited about its cost: less than a dollar per "round," compared to thousands of dollars to fire a missile. Thanks to the recession, in the future war could be just a constant barrage of lasers firing from every available surface.