Laser weapons have long been a fixture in science fiction but recent developments suggest that the technology is actively being developed for military use. According to a new report, China has developed a “laser AK-47” which is capable of setting human skin on fire from a kilometer (0.6 miles) away.


Researchers involved in the project say that the new portable laser weapon that China has developed, dubbed the ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle, has been classified as “non-lethal” but it’s capable of producing an energy beam which can’t be seen by the naked eye. The beam can pass through windows and cause “instant carbonisation” of human skin and tissues.

One laser weapons scientist said that the weapon can “burn through clothes in a split second … If the fabric is flammable, the whole person will be set on fire”. A researcher who 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 says that the pain caused by this weapon will be “beyond endurance.”

It’s a 15mm calibre weapon that weighs 6.6lbs and can be mounted on planes, boats, and cars. The report mentions that this weapon is now ready for mass production and the first units will likely be given to anti-terrorism squads in the Chinese Armed Police.

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