Military-Grade Awesome

Pew! Pew!


No discussion of lasers could ever be complete without at least one space laser, and courtesy of Soviet Russia, here is one such weapon. While this little ray gun doesn’t seem to have ever gone to space, it does appear (judging by some semi-literately translated scientific papers) to have been a functional low output prototype that might have actually worked as intended in the cold vacuum of space.


An excerpt from a scientific sounding paper explains:

Research group led by Head of the Department, Honored Scientist of the RSFSR, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, Major-General Viktor Samsonovich Sulakvelidze (1919 – 1984). Theoretical and experimental studies of the harmful effect of the laser gun doing Ph.D., Professor Boris Duvanov. Working out the design of future weapons researcher AV Simonov, participated in trials researcher LI Avakyants and associate VV Gorev. Designers’ goal was to develop a laser gun that weight and size would not differ from an army of fire-analogue.

At the first stage of the future authors discovered that the decommissioning of the sensitive elements of optical systems of the enemy need not too high energy radiation – in the range of 1 – 10 J. This is because the eye and optics focus the beams, increasing density of radiation in hundreds and thousands of times. Elements are any laser active medium, the pump source and the resonator. To solve this problem required a compact pumping light source is located in the cavity of ammunition clips.

The authors decided to use disposable development pyrotechnic flashlamps filled with oxygen and a metal foil or powder. Ignited by an electric spark, it burns for 5-10 ms at a temperature of about 5 thousand degrees Kelvin (involuntarily recall pyramid hyperboloid of Engineer Garin). Moreover, all components must be non-toxic and not prone spontaneously detonate. To increase the pump energy, it was decided to use a zirconium foil instead of the conventional magnesium which is 3 times increased specific light energy. Additive metal salts allowed to “adjust” radiation from the lamp to the absorption spectrum of the active element.

All experimental work was done directly sponsored development. First homemade lamps were in the form of cones 1 cm in diameter, was inside the tungsten-rhenium filament covered combustible paste for igniting the pyrotechnic mixture (zirconium oxygen). Eight flash lamps placed in the cage. After each “shot” consumed lamp thrown as liner, and next served in the light box. Ability to dazzle and burn beam retains up to 20 m Various modifications to the device you can use it not only for self-defense, but also as a medical tool. (


One prototype of this weapon can be seen at the Museum of the Strategic Missile Forces of the Military Academy named after Peter the Great, in Moscow, if you should ever happen to make it out that way! Read more about the museum here at


Discovered via, images from there and englishrussia.