China is likely to deploy its newly designed WB-1 microwave directed energy weapon against Philippine and Vietnamese vessels in the contested South China Sea, according to the state run Reference News on July 27.
The WB-1 was originally developed as millimeter-wave beam-projecting non-lethal anti-riot system by the China Poly Group Corporation based in Beijing. With an effective range of 80 meters, it can project the millimeter-wave beam to heat water molecules below the skin causing intense pain, the UK-based IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reported in November 2014. The weapon’s attack range can be increased to one kilometer when its transmitting power is increased.
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