Set phasers to “awesome”, or “potentially disturbing future”. A South China Morning Post article stated that China has developed a new portable laser weapon that can zap and set fire to a target from a kilometer away.

lasergunchina02
Image credit: South China Morning Post

I’ll break down the key details for you all:

  • The laser assault rifle in question, dubbed the ZKZM-500, is classified as a non-lethal weapon
  • The rifle can fire an “invisible” energy beam that can pass through windows, which results in the “instant carbonisation” of human skin and tissues. That’s PR speak for “disintegration”, I guess.
  • The 15mm calibre rifle weighs 3 kilos, which is roughly the same weight as an AK-47 rifle, has a range of 800 metres, and can be mounted on cars, boats, and planes.
  • The rifle is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery pack similar to those in smartphones. On a full charge, it can fire more than 1,000 shots.
  • The rifle was designed for hostage liberation and covert military operations, given its nature of being able to fire through walls and the fact that it produces no sound due to its invisible frequency.
  • The rifle is ready for mass production. The first units might be given to the anti-terrorism squads in the Chinese Armed Police.
  • A scientist in the laser gun project said that it is able to “burn through clothes in a split second […]. If the fabric is flammable, the whole person will be set on fire. The pain will be beyond endurance.” No kidding.
lasergunchina
Image credit: South China Morning Post

An easily-chargeable laser rifle shaped like a regular gun? Guess we’re only a few decades away from hyperdrive engines and fast space travel. Me? I’m still waiting for my flying cars.

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