A Russian warship carrying a “hallucination” weapon that “makes enemies vomit” successfully navigated the English channel over the weekend after conducting “air defense and countersabotage exercises” near Scotland’s only air force base, according to the UK’s Sunday Times.
Royal Navy warship HMS Defender was deployed to shadow the Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov and three auxiliary vessels, which performed “provocative drills” in territorial waters, according to SNP defense spokesman Stewart McDonald.
The Gorshkov – the first of a new class of Russian frigates – embarked from the Barents Sea port town of Murmansk, home to Russia’s northern fleet.
According to the Times, the Gorshkov is equipped with a “5P-42 Filin” or “Owl” optical device which can “provoke hallucinations and sickness in enemies using fast pulses of high-intensity light beams.”
The non-lethal Filin can be used at night or during twilight and is said to be effective from up to two kilometres away. In tests, volunteers who had the weapon turned on them found it was impossible to aim a firearm at a target protected by it. A fifth experienced something like a hallucination and about half noticed “signs of spatial disorientation, as well as nausea and dizziness”. The device is said to agitate the optic nerves of the enemy by modulating the brightness of the light. –The Times
A Royal Navy spokesman said that the Defender was “monitoring the Russian task group and keeping track of their activity in areas of national interest.”
Scottish politicians, meanwhile, weren’t reassured by the Royal Navy’s response to the Russian ships.
“The UK’s Ministry of Defence is failing Scotland, allowing Russian navy vessels sailing through our territorial waters at will to conduct provocative drills like this,” said SNP Defense spokesman Stewart McDonald.
That said, a Royal Navy insider tells the Times that the Russian group was forced to take shelter in the Scottish islands due to bad weather, and continued their journey when conditions improved.
“They were waiting out the weather. Anyone who says they were trying to agitate is pushing fake news,” said the insider.
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