Although the aliens apparently never created a long-range variant of their own plasma rifle design, that doesn't preclude us from experimenting with the concept. There are several issues we'll have to overcome, but the challenge is intriguing.
With the variety of hostile forces our soldiers are tasked with facing, it seems only logical to provide them with varying alternative means of engaging the enemy, in this case, from a much greater than previously thought possible. By focusing the standard plasma bolt through a series of modulating rings, a single powerful shot capable of devastating targets at extreme range can be produced. As is typically the case, the limitations of our environment precludes us from fully testing the bounds of these new plasma-based sniper rifles outside of a simulated environment. Regardless, I'm sure our troops will be eager to find these new limits on their own in the field, and I expect to hear of their exploits for some time to come. R.Tygan