It can reportedly destroy a target 800 meters away by charring skin and human tissue. The frequency of the laser makes it invisible to the human eye and it does not produce noise. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and can shoot more than 1,000 shots per charge.
It is now ready for mass production and the first units are likely to be given to anti-terrorism squads in the People’s Armed Police.
There is no specific international regulation for the development or use of this type of laser weapon. The Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons, signed by more than 100 nations, focuses on previous generations of weapons and prohibits the use of weapons that can cause blindness. It is classified as a non-lethal weapon on a Chinese government website.
After skeptics suggested it would require an enormous battery, the manufacturer of the ZKZM-500 released a video demonstration of the weapon’s effects against cardboard, pork, and a rubber tire.