Word is out that China has developed a Laser Assault Rifle. According to researchers at the Xian Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shaanxi province, the ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle is actually a “non-lethal” weapon that discharges an energy beam that cannot be seen by the naked eye but can pass through windows. According to the scientists, the laser can burn through clothes in a split second, even catching them on fire, and the pain would be “beyond endurance.”
The weapon weighs less than three kilos, or roughly the same as an AK-47. With a range of 800 meters, or roughly half a mile, it can be used for a number of purposes from hostage situations to covert military operations. Reportedly, the beam is strong enough to burn through a gas tank and ignite the fuel. Because it’s invisible and silent, no one would be able to detect where the attack came from.
Questions abound about the rifle, one of the biggest being the doubts of whether a rifle powered by a rechargeable lithium battery pack could provide enough energy to produce as strong as a laser as this rifle is said to have. That battery is said to be able to power upwards of 1,000 shots.
You may not be turned into a pile of smoking ash by this laser weapon, but if it really is ready for mass production as has been reported, science fiction might soon be science fact.