The Secret Soviet Laser Tank

I don't know how much firepower this secret Soviet laser tank has, but it sure looks like the kind of thing I'd like to have handy in case of alien invasion.

The Secret Soviet Laser Tank

It isn't nearly as deadly as the 33-megajoules Navy railgun, that's for sure. In fact, the 1K17 tank—which used 66-pound synthetic ruby rods at the heart of its laser system—wasn't designed to destroy enemy fighters. Its objective was to blind pilots and weapons systems, dazzling optical and electronic mechanisms even under the most severe weather conditions. Or that's what they claim, anyway.

The Secret Soviet Laser Tank

Recently uncovered in a military museum near Moscow, the laser tank was the culmination of Stiletto, another laser vehicle that was accepted for service but was never mass-produced. The 1K17 entered service in 1992. It had US intelligence a bit worried, but more because of the secrecy surrounding it than for any knowledge of its actual capabilities or destructive power. Shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the project was canceled because Boris Yeltsin preferred vodka missiles over ruby pew pew. [Otvaga via English Russia]