China now has a practical laser rifle with over a half a mile range
The ZKZM-500 consists on two important components- the laser (likely solid state, usually fiber optics doped with rare earth materials), and its lithium battery, which account for most of the weapon’s weight. Note the digital counter built into the stock, likely to display remaining battery power, or possibly to adjust the power level of each shot.
Chinese scientists have developed the world’s first destructive, man-portable laser weapon. However, there is more to the story of this cool looking, but “less than lethal” directed energy device.
The laser rifle is the ZKZM-500, developed by Xian Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics in Xian, Shaanxi. It’s manufactured by the Institute’s subsidiary, ZKZM Laser. Weighing at 6 pounds (about the weight of a typical assault rifle), the ZKZM-500 has a range of 2,600 feet. The ZKZM-500 uses a lithium battery with enough power for 1000 two second shots (keep in mind, those 1000 shots may not be at full power). According to Institute designers, its laser is powerful enough to instantly scar human skin and tissue. It can also ignite clothing, knock a small drone out of the sky, or even ignite a fuel tank. That would place its power output around 100-500 watts (most surgical lasers top out at 100 watts).