The US military is reportedly planning to fit its fighter jets with microwave "ray guns" that could melt enemy targets.
The Pentagon’s main research agency, Darpa, is looking at new ways of taking out rivals’ radars and sensors, classified papers supposedly show.
B-52 bombers have carried out tests in recent years in which microwave “warheads” were able to “fry” electronic targets, The Times reports.
Douglas Barrie, an aerospace expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told the newspaper: “A lot of research work is going on in the US, as well as in the UK, China and Russia, on airborne microwave weapons, but it’s all classified.”
A Darpa spokesman said: “There is an active study regarding electronic warfare for fighter planes, but that work concerns taking out enemy radars/sensors and is classified, not open for discussion.”
The Daily Star has approached Darpa for further comment.
Last week, an investigation was launched after officials were reportedly "cooked" at their desks in a series of bizarre microwave-attacks on foreign embassies.
US diplomats in Cuba and China and Russia are feared to have been targeted after reports of unexplained illnesses grew in the two embassies.
A report from the National Academies said that pulsed radio frequency energy is the “most plausible mechanism” to explain the illness.
However, it is unclear who targeted the embassies or why.
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David Relman, a professor of medicine at Stanford University and the chairman of the study, called the findings "concerning".
He said: "The committee found these cases quite concerning, in part because of the plausible role of directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy as a mechanism but also because of the significant suffering and debility that has occurred."
The investigation found that employees in Havana, Cuba, suffered dizziness, nausea and anxiety due to the attacks.
Last month, China’s military reportedly microwaved Indian troops during a standoff in strategic hilltops in the Himalayas.
The Asian powerhouses were locked in a border stand-off where they were not allowed to fire on each other.
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Beijing academic Jin Canrong said the People's Liberation Army "beautifully" seized the ground by turning the positions into a "microwave oven" instead.
The International relations professor at Renmin University reportedly told students: "We didn't publicise it because we solved the problem beautifully.
"They [India] didn't publicise it either because they lost so miserably."
He said that Chinese troops fired from the bottom of the hills and "turned the mountain tops into a microwave oven", the Times reported.
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