Bombs and ballistics? So last millenium. The discerning superpower-around-town needs to be out in front with the top grade sexy weaponry. That means futuristic stuff like lasers, but they’re still a bit on the bulky side for the boots on the ground to tote around, so mounting them on aircraft is the way to go. Luckily, Boeing are doing preliminary testing on just such a set-up, which will feature ‘scalable’ levels of destruction – in other words, the operator can select from ‘burn’, ‘vaporise’ and all settings in between. Versatility never goes out of fashion, after all.