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The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) may be close to deploying a powerful new laser rifle. The weapon called the ZKZM-500 has attracted a lot of attention through YouTube videos and news articles.
The ZKZM-500 can supposedly “burn through clothes in a split second … If the fabric is flammable, the whole person will be set on fire.” Despite that The South China Morning Post described the weapon as nonlethal.
The ZKZM-500 is reportedly a 15mm caliber weapon that weighs about 6.6 pounds and has a range of about half a mile. The ZKM-500’s lithium-ion battery reputedly contains enough electricity to power 1,000 shots. Each “shot” is a two-second burst of superhot light that capable of burning flesh and clothing.
Nonlethal Laser Weapon burns Human Flesh
Disturbingly, the ZKZM-500 might be ready for mass production and distribution to the Chinese Armed Police. News stories did not say whether the weapon would be distributed to the PLA, China’s regular military.
Video posted online shows the ZKZM-500 setting t-shirts and other articles of clothing on fire. Its laser beam can reportedly pass through windows and set skin and tissue on fire. Pictures of the weapon apparently setting cardboard on fire are also available.
News reports claim the ZKZM-500 achieves “instant carbonization” of human flesh and tissue. Therefore it can set a person on fire by burning his or her skin or clothing.
Science fiction and gun fans will be disappointed by the restrictions on the ZKZM-500; it can only be sold to the Chinese military or police. News stories claimed the weapon is tightly controlled. Therefore it will presumably not be sold in the United States.
Despite the fact that the ZKZM-500 carries a price tag of $15,000, there’s always a market for new, hi-tech killing machines. The ZKZM-500 was reportedly developed by scientists at the Xian Institute of Optics and Precision and Mechanics and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shaanxi province.
Is China’s Laser Rifle for Real?
Since it has not been tested outside China, it is impossible to verify the claims about the ZKZM-500.
Not surprisingly, the claims about the weapon are attracting a lot of skepticism. Physics makes the ZKZM-500 impossible, Big Think writer Ned Dymore charges. Since Dymore has not actually examined the weapon, his claims should be viewed with skepticism.
The ZKZM-500 would not work because the heat from the laser beam would dissipate as it passes through the air. That means the beam would not be hot enough to burn flesh.
To make matters more confusing, the lithium-ion battery described in The South China Morning Post might not even be big enough to power a laser weapon. News articles describe the battery as similar to those in a smartphone. It would probably take a battery similar to those in electric cars such as a Tesla to power a laser.
“There’s just no way that a laser powered by a lithium-ion battery that a person could carry would be capable of producing the kind of heat described at point-blank range, let alone at 800 meters,” Tech Crunch charges.
Will Liberals In The U.S. Attempt Ban Laser Weapons Here?
Dymore thinks the ZKZM-500 stories are a hoax the Chinese government is spreading to scare its opponents.
Another possibility is that the news articles are a cover story to hide a different weapons system. Only time will tell if the ZKZM-500 is for real.
News stories did not say whether Michael Bloomberg will try to ban the ZKZM-500 and other laser weapons. In light of recent anti-gun hysteria, it is only a matter of time before liberals try to ban laser rifles, whether they are real or not.