A firearm manufacturer in China has reportedly developed a new portable weapon that can shoot lasers similar to “blasters” found in many sci-fi films.
Dubbed as the “ZKZM-500,” the laser assault rifle reportedly has similar dimensions to an AK-47, according to the South China Morning Post.
Researchers claimed that from up to 800 meters (about half a mile), the gun’s lasers can burn through targets’ skin and even set them on fire if their clothes are flammable.
According to the scientist who spoke to the Post, the 15mm caliber weapon weighs about 3 kilograms (6.6lbs) and is powered by rechargeable lithium batteries similar to those found on most smartphones. The current prototype can allegedly fire up to 1,000 zaps with each shot lasting no more than two seconds.
Despite its supposed capabilities, the weapon has been described as “non-lethal,” according to a document released last month on the Public Service Platform for National Civil-Military Integration.
While manufacturer ZKZM Laser has yet to secure a licensed partner, it has deemed the prototype ready for mass production for China’s military and police only.
Chengdu Hengan Police Equipment Manufacturing company, a major hardware supplier for Chinese law enforcement agencies, has earlier released a laser “machine gun” last month.
The weapon, which can fire several hundred shots per charge, has a reported range of 500 meters.
Featured image via Xuehua