Pew! Pew! Soldiers with handheld energy blasters are the stuff of G.I. Joe, not real life … until now. The U.S Army is currently testing electricity guns for possible use against electronics on the battlefield. They don’t look like props from the popular cartoon show but, rather like regular standard-issue M4 rifles with a pair of antennas that shoot out from the barrel and then spread, giving the front end of the gun a musket-like shape.
Soldiers “already carry rifles. Why not use something that every soldier already carries,” said James E. Burke, an electronics engineer with the U.S. Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC. Burke spoke with Defense One at a National Defense Industry Association event in Baltimore on Tuesday.
Burke’s apparatus, which he’s named the “Burke Pulser,” consists of two wide antennas, a piezoelectric generator and a few other small bits and pieces. It has a [back field] shield to protect the user from electricity levels that the inventor describes as “hazardous.”