Handheld weapons that could set fire to targets from long distances are no longer confined to science fiction but a fact of life, according to researchers.
According to Wikipedia....
The ZKZM-500 is a laser gun developed in China since 2018 by the Xian Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shaanxi.
It can reportedly destroy a target 800 meters away by charring skin and human tissue. The frequency of the laser makes it invisible to the human eye and it does not produce noise. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and can shoot more than 1,000 shots per charge.
It is now ready for mass production and the first units are likely to be given to anti-terrorism squads in the People's Armed Police.
Photo above is of a conceptual production model. - Photo Below is actually what the prototype looks like.
What China Claims...
China wants to arm the country’s police forces with a whole new kind of weapon for the battlefield: an assault rifle that fires lasers and can burn your clothes and skin from up to 800m away. Oh, and those lasers are silent, invisible, and can pass through glass windows too. In the event of a hostage situation it could be used to fire through windows at targets and temporarily disable the kidnappers while other units move in to rescue their captives. It could also be used in covert military operations. The beam is powerful enough to burn through a gas tank and ignite the fuel storage facility in a military airport.
The rifle has been developed by ZKZM Laser, which is part of the Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The idea is to support police in hostage situations, allowing them to take kidnappers down a notch. It could also find use in covert military operations, reports the South China Morning Post.
“The pain will be beyond endurance,” said a researcher who worked on the ZKZM-500 rifle. At the same time, the weapon is said to be “non-lethal,” likely because it doesn’t kill on impact.
At three kilos (6.6lb), it’s roughly the same weight as an AK-47; the rifle is said to use a lithium battery to fire more than 1,000 “shots” that last for two seconds each.
It is now ready for mass production and the first units are likely to be given to anti-terrorism squads in the Chinese Armed Police. ZKZM is believed to be in search of a manufacturing partner, so it can begin producing these weapons for $15,000 a piece...
What We Think...
We Call bullshit on China's 'AK-47 laser gun'!
Reason 1. Attenuation
There’s just no way that a laser powered by a handheld lithium-ion battery that a person could carry would be capable of producing the kind of heat described at point blank range, let alone at 800 meters....
This is because of a fussy little thing called attenuation. Lasers, unlike bullets, scatter as they progress, making them weaker and weaker. Attenuation is non-trivial at anything beyond, say, a few dozen meters. By the time you get out to 800, the air and water the beam has traveled through is more than enough to reduce it to a fraction of its original power...
Reason 2. Propaganda
It's probably a press release designed to instill fear in opponents of the Chinese government, The breaking article from alibaba owned newspaper "South China Morning Post " directly mentions use against 'illegal protests'. The very idea of an invisible laser that can set you on fire is much more effective than the actual supply of the weapon itself, because the only thing scarier than this gun is the idea of getting shot by it.
As Xi Jinping clings on to power by any means necessary, it should surprise nobody that scary claims about futuristic weapons are being thrown around like frisbees on a west coast college campus. Consider the timing of this new Laser Gun, just a week or two after President Trump's press release about his proposed 'Space Force'.
Reason 3. Lack of Specifics
Range and weight are described, but the actual power system is not. Sure, anyone can claim OPSEC here, but it is hard to believe that the Chinese engineered a powerful-enough directed energy beam that can torch enemies from a half-mile away without being refracted by environmental factors like dust or fog — all with “a rechargeable lithium battery pack similar to those found in smartphone chargers.”
The prototype looks almost exactly like the laser gun from Akira:
We’ll need to see a actual demonstration to be sure about the weapon’s capabilities. Call us when you’re ready, ZKZM.
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