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China has a microwave pain weapon of its own

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 9, 2014
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The US may never have used its microwave pain gun in combat, but that isn't stopping China from exploring the concept of non-lethal force. Local manufacturer Poly has unveiled the WB-1, a millimeter-wave weapon that heats the water under your skin (much like the US' Active Denial System) to deliver intense agony without injury. It currently works at a relatively short range of about 262 feet, but extra power can bump that up to 0.6 miles -- if you know where to shoot, you could cause misery from afar. It's reportedly meant to be used on the high seas, where it could enforce China's territorial claims without the need to capture or destroy wayward vessels.

There are some unanswered questions. Besides the uncertainty of when (and if) WB-1 might enter service, there's also the matter of its technical feasibility. The Active Denial System took 16 hours to start, and it didn't work reliably in dust or rain. Unless Poly has licked those problems, its gun won't do much when there's a surprise encounter or stormy weather. With that said, you might want to be careful if you go boating around Chinese waters... you may get a lot more than a stern talking-to if you venture into disputed areas.

[Image credit: Top81]

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