The 5P-42 Filin – a futuristic dazzler-type device – can cause troops to miss their targets by blinding them, inducing delirious conditions and making them want to be sick.
Two advanced Russian Navy frigates – the Admiral Gorshkov and Admiral Kasatonov – have been fitted with the Filin – meaning Eagle Owl — the RIA Novosti media agency reported.
The device can fire a strobe-like beam that disrupts an opponent’s eyesight, hindering their ability to aim a weapon at night.
It is also capable of “effectively suppressing” night vision technology, laser distance sensors and range-finding systems for anti-tank missiles from as far as five kilometres, according to the manufacturer Ruselectornics.
The weapon’s development included testing on volunteers who shot assault rifles, sniper rifles and machine guns at targets that were protected by the Filin.
They all experienced trouble aiming because they were unable to see the target.
Exposure to the weapon also affected the volunteers’ physical condition.
Forty five per cent of them reported feeling dizzy, sick and disorientated. And 20 per cent of the volunteers are said to have experienced “a ball of light moving in front of the eyes”.
The Admiral Gorshkov and Admiral Kasatonov – part of Russia’s Northern Fleet that patrols the Arctic Ocean – both have two Filin devices fitted.
A further two warships – currently being built – are also expected to carry the weapon.