With a little help from its friends at Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) and Raytheon (NYSE:RTN), the U.S. Navy has just developed a workable laser cannon that costs less than $1 to shoot. Is this the weapon that helps turn the tide on rising U.S. defense spending? Is it the weapon that helps turn the table on bad guys using their "asymmetric warfare" tactics of IEDs and carrier-killing missiles?

Perhaps. Motley Fool contributor Rich Smith explains...