MILITARY

US admiral says lasers and electromagnetic cannons cheaper to shoot than convention weapons

In this photo released by the Australian National University, U.S. Navy Adm. Jonathan Greenert speaks during a lecture at the ANU in Canberra, Australia Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. Greenert, who as chief of Naval Operations sets the navy's future strategy, said Tuesday lasers that shoot down drones with precision and electromagnetic cannons that fire more than 100 miles are part of the future of naval warfare, promising to be cheaper to use than conventional weapons. (AP Photo/The Australian National University, Kate Hulm)

In this photo released by the Australian National University, U.S. Navy Adm. Jonathan Greenert speaks during a lecture at the ANU in Canberra, Australia Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. Greenert, who as chief of Naval Operations sets the navy's future strategy, said Tuesday lasers that shoot down drones with precision and electromagnetic cannons that fire more than 100 miles are part of the future of naval warfare, promising to be cheaper to use than conventional weapons. (AP Photo/The Australian National University, Kate Hulm)  (The Associated Press)

A U.S admiral says lasers that shoot down drones with precision and electromagnetic cannons that fire more than 100 miles are part of the future of naval warfare, promising to be cheaper to use.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert is chief of naval operations. He said during a lecture at an Australian university on Tuesday that the experimental guns were an important departure from gunpowder and inexpensive to fire.

He says the laser gun, known as a Laser Weapon System, is being tested aboard a warship in the Persian Gulf.

The Office of Naval Research says the Electromagnetic Railgun uses magnetic fields created by electrical currents to launch projectiles at distances over 115 miles.

The Railgun is scheduled for sea testing next year.