David Axe for the Daily Beast reports The U.S. Marine Corps is around six years away from putting a laser cannon on its trucks, according to one top general. The goal: to outfit ground forces with a weapon that can shoot down enemy aircraft faster and more precisely--and at lower cost--than today's guns and surface-to-air missiles.
Because of military drawdowns and the need for additional transportation lift requirements, the United States Marine Corps developed a concept that enabled it to modify a commercial container ship to support deployed aviation units. However, a problem soon emerged in that there were too few people who were expert enough to do the unique type of planning required for this ship. Additionally, once someone did develop some expertise, it was time for him/her to move on, retire, or leave active duty. TALPS is now a fielded, certified application for Marine Corps aviation.