Laser guns and beams are no longer the fodder of science fiction and 'Star Wars' movies. China has made this fictional concept a reality-it has reportedly developed a gun that can fire at targets from half-mile away using an energy beam that can tear into human tissues.
The ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle can strike a target from half-mile away, causing 'instant carbonisation of human skin and tissue'. The weapon includes a silent, invisible 'energy beam', that cannot be seen with the naked eye, but can pass through windows and is able to burn clothes in a split second and set a person on fire.
Powered by a lithium battery that can be recharged, the gun can potentially fire 1000 times with each fire lasting two seconds. The gun can also be mounted on cars, boats and planes for varying operations.
It is learnt that the ZKZM-500 is all set for mass production and that the first batch of the guns would be given for anti-terrorism operations as its benefits in hostage situation could be enormous. At an estimated price of US$15,000 per unit, the gun could also be one of the most expensive when mass produced.
The construction of laser guns by China have already sent alarming waves in the United States. The US Navy recently announced its own $300 million research fund aimed at creating a family of laser weapons for its fleet.
Earlier in 2016, the US military said it would be deploying laser weapons as early as 2023.