Monday, January 17, 2011

Chinese Laser weapons

The PLA (People's Liberation Army) has been feverishly modernizing its forces in the last few years, trying to bring a huge military force based in many ways on the Soviet forces of WWII into the modern era. They have done well on most areas, although to be fair, this has been greatly helped by espionage activities in the West. The PLA still faces an uphill battle against any country with a "21st century" force.

Here is one weapon they have developed to help even the odds. I don't have any real information from the Chinese on it, but it is of a class of weapons we could call dazzlers. The intended effect is to limit the enemies' sight and temporarily blind and disorient them. This could be very effective against landing planes, which is why the FAA and other bodies that ensure airline safety have been very worried even about relatively low powered green laser pointers.

It is similar to a US weapon I discussed earlier, the GLARE LA-9P. The Chinese weapons industry has also been paying attention to the design philosophies of the West and has designed the weapon to look and feel like their main assault rifle, the QBZ-95. This makes the soldiers immediately feel more familiar with it and can cut down on training time. It also would make it difficult for observers to tell that the soldier has a specialist weapon instead of a standard one.

As you can see, the beam looks very powerful and I would not doubt that it could have a blinding effect, especially in low light conditions. I do wonder how it would fare against soldiers wearing NV goggles. Keep in mind these types of weapons are not intended to cause permanent loss of vision, although I think it is very possible that they may have long term effects that are well, unintended. If a laser pointer from 1992 has a risk of giving you eye tumors, I for one wouldn't want to be anywhere near this thing. In fact, I am about as close as I wish to be right now.

Here is a smaller pistol sized variant. It is probably powered from a large battery worn on the belt or back like in the above pic. These weapons also can be used by law enforcement to gain compliance and prevent people from attacking the police. If you can't eve look in their direction, it would be pretty hard to fight them. And while I have my doubts on whether or not laser weapons are "safe" I know for sure they are safer than the methods that the Chinese authorities have used against protesters in the past.

1 comment:

  1. Technology based. A form of security which can give that reliable feeling of safety.