London, July 15 : Laser beam technology is being rushed into service to combat the threat of insurgent missiles and mortars raining down on British and American military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to The Telegraph, this Star Wars-style technology will be used in the battlefield for the first time.
The LADS system will utilise the phalanx system and literally shoot incoming missiles and mortars out of the sky using a laser beam
After decades of delay and billions of pounds spent, it will be simple commercial lasers rather than the hugely expensive US Department of Defence technology that could be used to save hundreds of troops' lives, the paper reports.
A laser has already been used in a test to destroy a 60mm mortar round and in September the company plans its first "shoot down" of a shell in flight in a test to be conducted with the US military.
If successful it could be used on battlefields as early as next year.
The Ministry of Defence is also already in discussions with the company for the new weapon that will be mounted alongside the current Phalanx Gatling gun system that uses thousands of 20mm bullets to shoot down missiles physically.
With the new laser technology it is hoped that all bombs fired at the base will be shot down before they get a chance to inflict damage.
It will cost an estimated 30 billion dollars to install effective defensive devices on board all America passenger jets if one was shot down.