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The US Army's testing clip-on ray gun attachments for its rifles

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The energy-blasting G.I. Joe future that we've all been waiting for is steadily getting closer. Not only is the US Army outfitting trucks with increasingly powerful laser systems, it is also looking to provide similar capabilities to its dismounted troops as well. Dubbed "Burke Pulser" attachments after their creator Army Armament Research electronics engineer James E. Burke, these devices utilize a piezoelectric generator and two protruding antennas to generate powerful bursts of electrical. The entire unit fits onto the end of the Army's M4 carbine just as a standard-issue flash suppressor does.

And while the truck-mounted HEL-MD lasers are being built to fry incoming aerial threats like drones and missiles, the Pulser is meant to instead obliterate the electrical circuitry of roadside bombs and IEDs. The system is still in its early development but, should the program reach full production, Burke estimates that each device could be built for under $1000. That's a heck of a lot cheaper (in both money and manpower) than sending in an EOD (bomb disposal) squad.

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