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The U.S. Army is testing a real-life ray gun

James E. Burke, an electronics engineer for the U.S. Army's Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC), has revealed to Defense One that the U.S. Army is testing handheld ray guns that could be used against other electronics on the battlefield.

The so-called "Burke Pulser" includes two antennae, a piezoelectric generator, and a blast shield to save the user from "hazardous" levels of electricity. Unlike traditional energy weapons, such as lasers, the Burke Pulser is small and fits on top of an M4 rifle. It works by converting the energy released from the gun's firing into electrical energy.

Burke hopes the gun will provide soldiers with "an edge against the ever-wider range electronic and cyber threats" they face, from Bluetooth-enabled explosive devices to consumer drones, Defense One reports. He believes the ray guns would cost less than $1,000 each, though they're still in the test phase. The army is now testing the guns against common electronic devices, and Burke told Defense One the results are "very promising."