Chinese scientists say they have developed a prototype of a portable laser weapon called the ZKZM-500, which can emit beams invisible to the naked eye.
The beams of the weapon can penetrate windows and can burn human skin and tissues. The weapon weighs 6.6 pounds and can be as big as an AK-47.
It can be assembled on top of cars, planes, and boats. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery packs like those powering smartphones.
The ZKZM-500 can fire 1,000 imperceptible laser beams that can last for two seconds. One of the scientists who developed the weapon said the lasers can burn through clothes in a split second.
Wang Zhimin, associate researcher at the Research Center for Laser Physics and Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and who is not involved in the development, noted that laser weapons similar to ZKZM-500 used to be far-fetched. High advanced technological revolution, however, made such weapons no longer a science fiction at present.
A Non-Lethal Weapon
The Chinese government categorized the ZKZM-500 as a "non-lethal" weapon. However, a researcher who was involved in the weapon's development but refused to be named said that if targets are wearing flammable clothing, the weapon can set them to fire, burning their entire bodies.
"The pain will be beyond endurance," the unnamed source said.
The ZKZM-500 can reportedly be used in covert military operations. The weapon has the capability to burn through a gas tank located inside a fuel storage facility in a military airport. Another unnamed researcher said the beam produces no sound, hence, nobody will know where the attack is coming from.
The prototype was developed at the Xian Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences by the technology company, ZKZM Laser. The weapon is reportedly ready for mass production and as of now, ZKZM has been looking for investors who can afford the $15,000 per unit production.
Suspected Chinese Lasers
An anonymous military source revealed that there have been 20 recorded incidents where U.S. military deployed in the Pacific were targeted by suspected Chinese lasers since September 2017. The same source also said that lasers were aimed at U.S. aircraft, an act that constitutes a federal offense in the United States.
Additionally, most recent laser attacks happened within the last two weeks. This attack was similar to reported incidents that took place in Djibouti in East Africa earlier this year. In this incident, U.S. military men were injured.
Meanwhile, Geng Shuang, a Chinese foreign ministry representative said these accusations were not true, describing them as "groundless" and "purely fabricated."