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Author Topic: China invents silent laser rifle with invisible 1km range  (Read 786 times)
Tale
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on: July 02, 2018, 02:50:55 AM

China brings Star Wars to life with ‘laser AK-47’ that can set fire to targets a kilometre away

Quote
China has developed a new portable laser weapon that can zap a target from nearly a kilometre away, according to researchers involved in the project.

The ZKZM-500 laser assault rifle is classified as being “non-lethal” but produces an energy beam that cannot be seen by the naked eye but can pass through windows and cause the “instant carbonisation” of human skin and tissues.

Ten years ago its capabilities would have been the preserve of sci-fi films, but one laser weapons scientist said the new device is able to “burn through clothes in a split second … If the fabric is flammable, the whole person will be set on fire”.

“The pain will be beyond endurance,” according to the researcher who had 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 in Shaanxi province.

The 15mm calibre weapon weighs three kilos (6.6lb), about the same as an AK-47, and has a range of 800 metres, or half a mile, and could be mounted on cars, boats and planes.

It is now ready for mass production and the first units are likely to be given to anti-terrorism squads in the Chinese Armed Police.

In the event of a hostage situation it could be used to fire through windows at targets and temporarily disable the kidnappers while other units move in to rescue their captives.

It could also be used in covert military operations. The beam is powerful enough to burn through a gas tank and ignite the fuel storage facility in a military airport.

Because the laser has been tuned to an invisible frequency, and it produces absolutely no sound, “nobody will know where the attack came from. It will look like an accident,” another researcher said. The scientists requested not to be named due to the sensitivity of the project.

The rifles will be powered by a rechargeable lithium battery pack similar to those found in smartphones. It can fire more than 1,000 “shots”, each lasting no more than two seconds.

The prototype was built by ZKZM Laser, a technology company owned by the institute in Xian. A company representative confirmed that the firm is now seeking a partner that has a weapons production licence or a partner in the security or defence industry to start large-scale production at a cost of 100,000 yuan (US$15,000) a unit.

Given their potential for misuse, the design and production of the devices will be tightly monitored and the only customers will be China’s military and police.

A technical document containing basic information about the weapon was released last month on the Public Service Platform for National Civil-Military Integration, a website run by the central government to facilitate collaboration between the military and commercial sectors.

Chengdu Hengan Police Equipment Manufacturing company, a major hardware supplier for Chinese law enforcement agencies, also released a laser “machine gun” last month.

The weapon has a range of 500 metres and it can fire several hundred shots per charge, according to the company’s product brochure.

Only a matter of time before it's on an AI.



(real-world story via sci-fi writer Bruce Sterling on Twitter)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 03:13:04 AM by Tale »
Ironwood
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Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 03:21:29 AM

Well, sure, but they'll need Elerium before they can get Plasma weaponry.

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slog
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Reply #2 on: July 02, 2018, 07:52:50 AM

Well, sure, but they'll need Elerium before they can get Plasma weaponry.


That shit is way unbalanced.

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Goumindong
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Reply #3 on: July 02, 2018, 12:22:21 PM

So it’s a silent non-lethal man portable weapon that lights people on fire and can shoot through windows and you get 1000 shots per battery to 1km.

Yea no. It probably tickles you at 1km and refracts worse than bullets through glass.
Nebu
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Reply #4 on: July 02, 2018, 12:28:46 PM

So it’s a silent non-lethal man portable weapon that lights people on fire and can shoot through windows and you get 1000 shots per battery to 1km.

Yea no. It probably tickles you at 1km and refracts worse than bullets through glass.


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Goumindong
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Reply #5 on: July 02, 2018, 01:09:53 PM

Fuck; were doomed.
Strazos
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Reply #6 on: July 02, 2018, 11:20:57 PM

I find this...doubtful.

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Tale
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Reply #7 on: July 03, 2018, 12:02:55 AM

I'm prepared to believe it. The decades of stealing US ideas are over. China is on its own technology path now.
Pezzle
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Reply #8 on: July 03, 2018, 08:38:28 AM

Not buying it.  That is a large amount of energy for a portable battery to store.  There are lasers out there  that can do this, and they are mounted on vehicles and ships. 
schild
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Reply #9 on: July 03, 2018, 09:05:57 AM

Quote
The prototype was built by ZKZM Laser, a technology company owned by the institute in Xian. A company representative confirmed that the firm is now seeking a partner that has a weapons production licence or a partner in the security or defence industry to start large-scale production at a cost of 100,000 yuan (US$15,000) a unit.

literally a pen laser in a shell
jgsugden
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Reply #10 on: July 03, 2018, 09:33:55 AM

So what does this do that a sniper rifle won't?  Fire through bullet proof glass?  Carry additional shots?

If as advertised, it is a few generations away from being significant.

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Sir T
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Reply #11 on: July 03, 2018, 09:50:26 AM

I think storing that kind of energy in its own unit is very hard to believe. A man portable version connected to a battery pack carried on another soldier however could be more feasible an idea.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 03:37:14 PM by Sir T »

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Hawkbit
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Reply #12 on: July 03, 2018, 10:21:58 AM

In five years these will be sold in every truck stop and flea market in the midwest, right next to the Xtendz.
schild
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Reply #13 on: July 03, 2018, 10:45:38 AM

they'll work just as well as xtenz also

because they're both bullshit
Yegolev
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Reply #14 on: July 03, 2018, 01:42:42 PM

So what does this do that a sniper rifle won't?

Assuming the thing is real: ignite fuel tanks or other combustibles.

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Reply #15 on: July 03, 2018, 03:54:51 PM

but since it's not real:

cat riots

Selby
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Reply #16 on: July 03, 2018, 07:51:41 PM

Do the math on such an item. It's... not impossible... but not exactly plausible... We did problems like this in graduate school and the numbers are interesting.

And what kind of idiot makes a laser with that much power that you can't see? That's a recipe for disaster.
schild
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Reply #17 on: July 04, 2018, 01:19:24 PM

chinese idiots would certainly try

just wait for the mutants that come out of their crispr trials (which are almost certainly for super soldiers and not to like, help the countryside - oh and to make Xi Jinping immortal, ENDLESS POOH)
Chimpy
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Reply #18 on: July 04, 2018, 02:29:41 PM

Engineers in general have a tendency to suffer from Holyfeld syndrome.

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Yegolev
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Reply #19 on: July 05, 2018, 12:48:14 PM

Seems like a powerful visible laser is asking for excess trouble.

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Samwise
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Reply #20 on: July 05, 2018, 03:21:19 PM

Seems like a powerful visible laser is asking for excess trouble.

Yeah, if I'm a laser sniper, I don't really want a big spotlight announcing where I'm shooting from kthx.

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Goumindong
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Reply #21 on: July 05, 2018, 10:12:46 PM

Also its impossible to make a "visible laser". A laser is focused light and so to see a laser you have to be within its refraction angle... which means you're either looking directly at the thing getting hit, you're looking directly at the laser beam*, or the laser operator has made great pains to fire through a lot of smoke**. The spectrum that the laser operates at is irrelevant to this.

*in which case you also cannot see it

*which would effectively negate the value of a laser anyway.
MahrinSkel
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Reply #22 on: July 05, 2018, 10:44:18 PM

A bright visible wavelength laser leaves a noticeable line, how noticeable depends on how bright, and how much there is in the air to reflect it. 5 milliwatts takes a significant amount of smoke or vapor. 2 watts, not so much. These would have to be at least 10-50 times that much.

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Surlyboi
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Reply #23 on: July 05, 2018, 11:10:08 PM

Nah, this is going to be used on unarmed protestors. It sure as fuck won't see use on a battlefield any time soon. 

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Samwise
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Reply #24 on: July 06, 2018, 01:27:36 PM

A bright visible wavelength laser leaves a noticeable line, how noticeable depends on how bright, and how much there is in the air to reflect it. 5 milliwatts takes a significant amount of smoke or vapor. 2 watts, not so much. These would have to be at least 10-50 times that much.

Yeah, this.  Even with a modestly powerful laser pointer (i.e. not the bottom of the barrel, but still in the milliwatt range), you can absolutely see the beam under ordinary nighttime conditions.  Maybe not in the cold vacuum of space, but there's a lot of dust and water vapor swirling around in Earth's atmosphere.

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Count Nerfedalot
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Reply #25 on: July 06, 2018, 09:12:01 PM

Yeah, not to pile on, but visible wavelength lasers of even moderate power are visible in air, though not in vacuum. How visible varies based on power, humidity and particulates of course. But Adaptive Optics telescopes wouldn't work without it. (from http://www.miguelclaro.com/wp/?portfolio=the-powerful-green-laser-of-william-herschel-telescope)

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hal1
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Reply #26 on: July 06, 2018, 09:36:18 PM

I am an engineer with a background in lasers. Lasers are an effective way to transfer power from one point to another. But they don't make power they transfer power . Where is the power coming from? If you are not connected to the grid this is a nonstarter. What you want is a modern rifle with smokeless power. you need no external power its in the power in the round. This is just physics.
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