The first airborne drone to be shot out of the sky with a (chemical) laser was back in 1979 or 1980 - there was a picture in Aviation Week. Interestingly, this was several years before the DoD admitted even doing research in the area.
There is lots of information on the web about all aspects of military lasers, what they work on, pictures and videos of tests, evaluation of every issue mentioned in every comment here. I've been following this topic casually for some time, and the data is out there. Google is your friend. But I know, nobody on /. reads TFA much less research the topic - not picking on you, this is just a general statement of fact. :)
I will note that the major 'win' for laser systems and to a lesser extent rail guns is logistics. A military organization is basically like UPS - it's all about getting parts, ammunition, fuel, and people delivered where it's needed. Ammunition in particular is a huge PITA - dangerous in transit, bulky, and dangerous when stored on a ship. The classic 'torpedo hit' in the movies is when the torpedo penetrates one of the magazines on a ship, which then explodes en masse, and the ship splits in two - or in dozens! The cost of delivering the ammunition to the ship exceeds the cost of the actual ammunition, and delivery of fuel is several times as expensive as the fuel.
For perspective, the guns on the old battleships like USS Missouri took several 100 lb. bags of cordite to fire off one shell. That's a lot of explosive. Eliminating that explosive makes more room for actual delivered shells, and eliminates a ship's greatest existential threat - an exploding magazine.
Using rail guns the only explosives would be whatever the shell being shot contains (which, if it is hypersonic, may be none - kinetic impact may be enough). Using lasers, a nuclear ship could essentially shoot continuously (at some rate) indefinitely - they would 'never' run out of ammo. So yes, this is still experimental. They are still working on increasing operational (as opposed to research) power output to the 100 KW range where things really get 'interesting'. But General Atomic already has a 150 KW laser running in research.