As should be clear by now, the legacy of Soviet laser-weapons research remains with us today. While laser pistols are unlikely to be whipped out in a brawl on the International Space Station, many of the other Soviet prototypes continue to evolve into technologies designed to disable the guidance systems and optics on vehicles, drones and satellites. In particular, the potential for an arms race targeting orbital spacecraft should provoke careful consideration amongst international leaders—hopefully towards averting the acceleration of that trend.
Sébastien Roblin holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring.
Image: Modernized T-72B3 with additional armor.