The Russian Navy is now armed with a weapon called Filin 5P-42, which is capable of temporarily blinding enemies with a high-intensity beam.
Other effects include hallucinations, vomiting, nausea, and disorientation.
Russia Reveals The Filin 5P-42
According to Sputnik International, the Filin 5P-42 is a "non-lethal light-based optical interference system" for Russia's military and law enforcement.
It's designed to suppress optical systems during low-light conditions by flashing a blinding light beam that temporarily impairs the enemy equipment operators' vision.
Twenty percent of volunteer testers report hallucinogenic effects and seeing floating strobes of light upon exposure to the weapon, state-run RIA Novosti reports. Meanwhile, 45 percent experienced dizziness, nausea, and disorientation.
The Filin can reportedly affect systems as far as 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) away.
Deployment of the Filin system to Russian Navy vessels began last month with two frigates Admiral Gorshkov and Admiral Kasatonov currently equipped with two systems each. Two others are expected to be fitted with the powerful system.
Filin Dazzles, But Doesn't Blind
Blinding weapons have been around for a long time, but devices causing permanent blindness are banned under the Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons, according to Business Insider. Since Russia's Filin only causes temporary blindness, there are no restrictions to its use.
Col. (Ret.) Mikhail Timoshenko, a military analyst, tells Sputnik that the new technology of Filin is an innovation that can give Russia a great advantage.
"The system interferes with the enemy rifleman or gunner's ability to aim correctly, to the extent that it may cause some hallucinatory symptoms," Timoshenko explains, adding that their adversaries' weapons need lasers to accomplish what the Filin can do. "The laser emits a rather powerful beam of light, and can damage both optics and a gunner's sight. Filin, meanwhile, does not blind the adversary."
Filin Upgrades In the Works
One of the advantages of this particular system is its easily convertible design that can suit a variety of user requirements.
A representative from Russia's Roselectronics reveals to Sputnik that the number of emitters can be adjusted and the additional components can feature more or less power, depending on the purpose of the user. By designing the system's architecture this way, stations can be created for the military as well as the civilian market.
Engineers from the Integral Experimental Plant are also in the process of developing upgrades for the Filin 5P-42 that would improve its range and power.