China’s Hand-Held Laser Rifle Can Set You on Fire

   07.06.18

China’s Hand-Held Laser Rifle Can Set You on Fire

According to the South China Morning Post, China now has a handheld ‘laser rifle’ that can burn people and objects from a half-mile away.

The ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle is classified as being “non-lethal” but produces an energy beam that cannot be seen by the naked eye but can pass through windows and cause the ‘instant carbonisation’ of human skin and tissues.

Ten years ago its capabilities would have been the preserve of sci-fi films, but one laser weapons scientist said the new device 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,’ according to the researcher who had took part in the development and field testing of a prototype at the Xian Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shaanxi province.

The new weapon, which is “now ready for mass production,” weighs 6.6 pounds and seems to be more or less rifle-shaped. Aside from burning holes in people or setting their clothing afire, they say the laser beam “is powerful enough to burn through a gas tank and ignite the fuel.”

Seems hard to believe, but seeing is believing. And to quell any doubts, released video showing the beam burning holes in cardboard, a rubber tire, a t-shirt, and a piece of pork.

Chinese handheld laser burning a hole in a tire.

As for how it will be deployed, there’s no way to really know, but there are some theories.

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.

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.

Victims will likely feel much like an ant under a magnifying glass.

Because the laser has been tuned to an invisible frequency, and it produces absolutely no sound, ‘nobody will know where the attack came from. It will look like an accident,’ another researcher said. The scientists requested not to be named due to the sensitivity of the project.

It was really just a matter of time before someone conjured up something like this, and it seems just like the sort of thing you’d expect a government to employ to quell uprisings. In fact, protesters are even mentioned in the article:

[L]aw enforcement could counter ‘illegal protests’ by setting fire to banners from a long distance.

It also says protest leaders could be targeted by setting fire to their clothing or hair which, the document says, would mean they lose ‘the rhythms of their speech and powers of persuasion.’

But one Beijing police officer said he would prefer to stick to more traditional crowd-control methods such as tear gas, rubber bullets or electrical stun guns, such as tasers.

‘The laser burn will leave a permanent scar,’ he said. He said it would be a ‘horrid sight’ that risked causing panic or transforming a peaceful protest into a riot.

Color me less-than-happy, but utterly unsurprised that this exists, and that it’s in the hands of the Chinese. All that money we spend at Harbor Freight is apparently providing them with a lot of great R&D.

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