Being hit by the beam would cause pain “beyond endurance”, an expert claimed.

It is thought the weapon will be given to anti-terror Chinese police, but British and US scientists are said to be desperate to get their hands on one.

The Chinese developers said the futuristic weapon was powered by a rechargeable lithium battery pack similar to those found in smartphones.

It could fire more than 1,000 “shots”, each lasting no more than two seconds, reports the South China Morning Post .

A video was released earlier this year showing the gun in action

 

However doubts were soon raised about the facts with scientists saying statements about it being able to “burn through clothes in a split second” from a distance “remained in the realm of science fiction”.

“Such a laser may prove incapable of even popping a balloon,” one report on industry news website TechCrunch said.

“There’s just no way that a laser powered by a lithium-ion battery that a person could carry would be capable of producing the kind of heat described at point-blank range, let alone at 800 metres,” it said.

The writer said: “Hopefully they give a real-world demonstration of the device soon and put me to shame.”

It can reportedly destroy targets from half a mile away

Earlier this year the company developing the laser gun have released footage they claim shows the gun being tested on a rooftop in Xian, Shaanxi province, in May this year.

The company said the location was chosen for safety reasons, to avoid anyone accidentally walking into the invisible beam.

One of the clips shows the weapon being used to zap a board propped against a wall some distance away.

Other clips show the weapon being tested on a car tyre and a t-shirt.

Chilling video shows the laser gun being tested

When it is used to zap a piece of pork, it instantly begins smoking and someone is heard coughing in the background. The footage cannot be independently verified.

The team said none of the tests were carried out at its maximum range. The 15mm calibre weapon weighs 3kg (6.6lb) – about the same as an AK-47.

a company representative said: “Our device is the world’s most advanced laser gun.”

He added that unlike most other laser weapons “there is no need to measure the distance, no need to adjust the focus – just aim and shoot.

“And after an upgrade it will be the world’s most advanced laser cannon – it will be able to take down a drone several kilometres away.”

The company said the laser rifle will not be sold to individuals or organisations because it did not have a licence to produce weapons.