The Marine Corps is on the hunt for a vehicle-mounted laser system that can produce "sustainable and controllable plasma at range" for the purposes of crowd control, according to A U.S. government solicitation.

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Courtesy of South China Morning Post

China's ZKZM-500 "non-lethal" laser assault rifle, a handheld directed energy weapon billed as a "laser AK-47" that can purportedly ignite the clothing of targets nearly a half-mile away, is ready to be mass produced for state security forces, according to a highly dubious report in the South China Morning Post.

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Air Force Special Operations Command has been itching to add a frickin’ laser beam to the already-brimming arsenal of its AC-130J Ghostrider gunships. But plans for a high-powered add-on to the Air Force’s “ultimate battle plane” may have hit a significant obstacle.

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The Navy will continue to fund research and development efforts related to the service’s much-hyped electromagnetic railgun but will likely not pursue a shipboard tactical demonstrator, according to sources briefed on the matter, a development that will likely condemn  the more than $500 million project to a R&D; limbo as the Department of Defense focuses on other directed energy programs.

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Photo via DoD

With the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by ISIS militants on the rise in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon has been aggressively exploring new strategies for dealing with weaponized drones, from hand-held jamming systems to vehicle-borne laser countermeasures. Now, troops downrange are about to add another weapon to their arsenal.

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