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LASER WEAPONS

In a January 9, 1994 article in The London Sunday Times, Lois Rogers states: "The International Committee of The Red Cross is demanding a ban on futuristic laser guns which it says are being developed to blind enemy troops by burning out their eyes.

"The move follows a four-year inquiry by medical, military and legal experts, and will be put to United Nations delegates in Geneva next month. It is hoped that a ban on blinding weapons, including an existing Royal Navy system, will be part of a new UN weapons convention next year.

"Concern centers on a range of laser systems being developed in America which, experts say, could be used as anti-personnel weapons. The report also highlights a British laser system which has been used on Royal Navy ships for more than 10 years, designed to dazzle pilots in attacking fighter aircraft. Three Argentine planes are thought to have been brought down by an early version of this weapon.

"It has been reported that one U.S. weapon has been demonstrated to the Royal Marines. That system, code-named Stingray or Outrider, targets the optics and range-finding equipment of enemy tanks, blinding them with laser beams to render them useless without destroying them. American officials deny that anti-personnel laser weapons are being developed.

Ministry of Defense laser research has concluded that there is a threat to British troops and John Marshall, professor of opthalmology at St. Thomas' Hospital in London, was commissioned to research anti-laser goggles. He concluded that there is no total defense against laser beams.

"His alarm is shared by Major General Bengt Anderberg, Chief of Planning and Budget in the Swedish Defense Staff, and co-author of a book on blinding weapons. He says, "It is difficult to care for a lot of people blinded at the same time."

 

                                


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