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btown02
01-24-2007, 09:25 PM
Military shows off new ray gun

By ELLIOTT MINOR, Associated Press WriterWed Jan 24, 5:18 PM ET



The military calls its new weapon an "active denial system," but that's an understatement. It's a ray gun that shoots a beam that makes people feel as if they are about to catch fire.

Apart from causing that terrifying sensation, the technology is supposed to be harmless a non-lethal way to get enemies to drop their weapons.

Military officials say it could save the lives of innocent civilians and service members in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The weapon is not expected to go into production until at least 2010, but all branches of the military have expressed interest in it, officials said.

During the first media demonstration of the weapon Wednesday, airmen fired beams from a large dish antenna mounted atop a Humvee at people pretending to be rioters and acting out other scenarios that U.S. troops might encounter in war zones.

The device's two-man crew located their targets through powerful lenses and fired beams from more than 500 yards away. That is nearly 17 times the range of existing non-lethal weapons, such as rubber bullets.

Anyone hit by the beam immediately jumped out of its path because of the sudden blast of heat throughout the body. While the 130-degree heat was not painful, it was intense enough to make the participants think their clothes were about to ignite.

"This is one of the key technologies for the future," said Marine Col. Kirk Hymes, director of the non-lethal weapons program at Quantico, Va., which helped develop the new weapon. "Non-lethal weapons are important for the escalation of force, especially in the environments our forces are operating in."

The system uses electromagnetic millimeter waves, which can penetrate only 1/64th of an inch of skin, just enough to cause discomfort. By comparison, microwaves used in the common kitchen appliance penetrate several inches of flesh.

The millimeter waves cannot go through walls, but they can penetrate most clothing, officials said. They refused to comment on whether the waves can go through glass.

The weapon could be mounted aboard ships, airplanes and helicopters, and routinely used for security or anti-terrorism operations.

"There should be no collateral damage to this," said Senior Airman Adam Navin, 22, of Green Bay, Wis., who has served several tours in Iraq.

Navin and two other airmen were role players in Wednesday's demonstration. They and 10 reporters who volunteered were shot with the beams. The beams easily penetrated various layers of winter clothing.

The system was developed by the military, but the two devices currently being evaluated were built by defense contractor Raytheon.

Airman Blaine Pernell, 22, of suburban New Orleans, said he could have used the system during his four tours in Iraq, where he manned watchtowers around a base near Kirkuk. He said Iraqis constantly pulled up and faked car problems so they could scout out U.S. forces.

"All we could do is watch them," he said. But if they had the ray gun, troops "could have dispersed them."

Poseidon5
01-25-2007, 07:03 AM
cool, i want one

m1p90
01-25-2007, 07:12 AM
Thats a very nice idea. We can use that in our own cities! Now.... if they can just narrow the beam so it could kill one person at a time and have a range out to 2000 yards. What a great Sniper weapon. This could be adaptable to almost any use. We're getting closer and closer to real laser weapons that can kill or stun. :)

zeros
01-25-2007, 08:51 AM
Battalion, set phasers to stun?

Medula Oblongata
01-25-2007, 11:45 AM
Thats a very nice idea. We can use that in our own cities! Now.... if they can just narrow the beam so it could kill one person at a time and have a range out to 2000 yards. What a great Sniper weapon. This could be adaptable to almost any use. We're getting closer and closer to real laser weapons that can kill or stun. :)
The government experimented with directed energy weapons as far back as the "60's" at Dougway Proving Grounds in Utah. They developed radio wave weapons that were capable of killing hundreds of miles away. They also developed a weapon in a program called "02-02" which was a radio transmitter tuned to the resonant frequency of parts of the human brain. The target was left "alive" but without the ability to control any bodily function, including the eyes, bowels, limbs, etc. A truly ghastly and horrific weapon. I'm very glad it was never fielded. I'd rather be dead than trapped in my own mind..

BTW, laser weapons are more than advanced enough to kill, and power supplies small enough to fit into a rucksack. However, the implication of fielding such a weapon has not been adequately debated. I'm curious to see what happens in the future.

However, this heat gun is old news. It was introduced by DARPA more than 15 years ago. There simply hasn't been enough of a call to develop and field it until now.

Personally I like the "liquid ball bearings" spray (which makes any surface too slick to drive on, door knobs can't be opened, etc), and bacteria that quickly digest cloting and body armor (leaving the enemy naked and defenseless).

p99guy
01-25-2007, 12:11 PM
hmmm more fun than runing the microwave with the door removed and strapped to the top of a ford falcon (hey watch this lightbulb in my hand as I stand in front of it ):)

black campbell
01-25-2007, 12:46 PM
Millimeter wave radiation's got a lot of sexy apps: every creature exudes it. It's the radiation used in that airport sensor that looks for weapons -- the "they'll see under your cloths" scanner the news was flipping out about. (What it does is see the obstructions between you and the scanner; a gun blocks it, they see it.

rips31
01-25-2007, 05:59 PM
they showed this on the news last nite. it was kinda cool. big unit, tho.