China’s New Laser Powered Weapon Looks Like Something Out of Star Wars
With the new Star Wars blockbuster out last week, the whole world over is again obsessed with space-age technology and weapons. Unfortunately for those of us who reside in this real world, the threat of futuristic technology being used against our military is very real and very dangerous.
China has recently released pictures and promotional material outlining the capabilities of one of its new laser powered weapons. Yes, you read that correctly. China has developed laser powered weapons to use in combat.
The lasers, contrary to your visions of Star Wars battles, aren't used to actually destroy enemy equipment, vehicles, or personnel, but they are specifically designed to target a soldier's primary assets: their eyes.
A Chinese newspaper, PLA Daily, reported that "China has been updating its home-made blinding laser weapons in recent years to meet the needs of different combat operations." The article went on to describe how these blinding laser weapons are used to disable night vision equipment and to harm enemy soldiers' eyes.
That purpose, however, is explicitly against a provision of a United Nations 1980 convention that banned the use of blinding laser weapons in combat situations. China, however, obviously believes that such conventions mean nothing.
One of the most dire effects of these blinding laser weapons could be their effect on pilots. Already, non-commercial lasers have been known to temporarily blind and hamper commercial and military pilots. If military-grade lasers were used against aircraft it's conceivable that pilots could be permanently blinded and forced to eject from their aircraft to avoid crashing.
Even more worrisome is the fact that some experts suggest that China could be mass producing these laser weapons in order to sell them to other countries or entities abroad.
China is obviously trying to play hardball and let the world know that it's no slouch when it comes to military might. It's up to the United Nations and the United States to bring pressure against the Chinese government for violating international conventions banning these laser weapons. China can't be allowed to bring these to the rest of the world.