It seems that, soon enough, the laser will move from the blockbusters' galactic battles to the real life conflicts, the researchers making significant progress to implement the laser technology into an increasing number of weapons.
After the High Energy Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), Pentagon's laser system which can be mounted on aircrafts, capable to take down an enemy rocket, the US Air Force researchers have devised the first prototype of a hand-held rifle based on the laser technology.
The American officials, quoted by Jane's Defence Weekly, said that the new non-lethal weapon allows security forces to control crowds and secure perimeters.
Having a futuristic design, Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response (PHaSR), has the same weight as a fully-loaded M60 machine gun, but instead of bullets, it uses laser beams which affect the aggressors' eyes, impairing his ability to view the light source. The effect is comparable to that of a powerful glare.
"The future is here with PHaSR", said Capt. Thomas Wegner, Program Manager.