Facing a cash shortage and ammunition prices that have tripled, Hamas is training its security forces indoors using what amounts to high-tech laser tag gear. The system, reports the Associated Press, uses augmented AK-47s that shoot green lasers while mimicking the sound and recoil of a real gun when targets are hit. Accuracy is tracked on computers tethered nearby, something Hamas officials told the AP was developed with in-house software and modified rifles.

Designed out of need

The laser gun program was developed out of necessity. Costs of armaments have risen due to blockades from Egypt and Israel, and open air facilities have been targeted in airstrikes, says the AP. By comparison, this setup offers costs that are a fraction of the price of typical training facilities, and with fewer risks.

Weapons programs that make use of lasers instead of live fire ammunition for training are not exactly a new thing, and should not be confused with actual government weapons programs that use weaponized lasers. One of those is a tubular, ship-mounted solid-state laser cannon in use by the US Navy that's able to take down small drones and other flying objects. The technology, which was demoed last year by the Office of Naval Research, costs less than $1 a shot and designed to take out missiles.