The “microwave gun” has long been a staple of the science fiction world, popping up in everything from superhero movies to first-person shooter games — but now, according to new reports, the fabled weapon may no longer be relegated to the land of fiction, science or otherwise.
The Russia-owned United Instrument Manufacturing Corp. has reportedly developed a real microwave-based weapon, and has plans to display it in private at the Russian Defense Ministry’s Army-2015 expo this week.
“The new system is equipped with a high-power relativistic generator and reflector antenna, management and control system, and a transmission system, which is fixed on the chassis of BUK surface-to-air missile systems,” a UIMC spokesman told Sputnik News. “When mounted on a special platform, the ‘microwave gun’ is capable of ensuring perimeter defense at 360 degrees.”
Exact details on the weapon’s technical specifications are being kept under wraps, but representatives from the company behind it have suggested that the impact range of the equipment is over ten kilometers. If this is true, the weapon is theoretically capable of disabling UAVs, missiles, and planes from a distance of about 6.2 miles. On top of that, it can also supposedly be used to disrupt radio electronic equipment of low-altitude aircraft, and bamboozle the guidance systems of precision weapons.
So should you run down to your bomb shelter and start stocking up on canned food? Probably not. The microwave gun is clearly more of a defense-oriented weapon than an offense-oriented one, and it’s very likely designed to fend off incoming attacks — not vaporize an enemy’s water supply, or release some sort of chemical pathogen into the air, or anything else that we’ve seen microwave weapons used for in action movies. The actaul applications of this tech are far more harmless than the weapon’s name leads you to believe.