lengthy test phase, the U.S. Army has decided that it will not use one of its
most tested non-lethal weapons: the ADS.
The story of the ADS begins with the U.S.
Military's interest in creating non-lethal solutions to disperse angry crowds
and other hostile parties. From sonic
weapons to strobe
lights, many exotic solutions have been tried, though none have been
broadly embraced by the U.S. armed forces.
Among the most intriguing non-lethal weapons was
the Humvee-mounted "pain ray" cannon, a 95 GHz microwave heat ray formally
known as the Active Denial System (ADS). The device, which has a range of
500 meters, was manufactured by Communications and Power Industries (CPI), a
Palo Alto, California-based defense contractor.
The ray was supposedly safe, creating a sensation
of intense burning and pain. As the waves were of higher frequency than
those of a typical food microwave oven (2.45 GHz) they only penetrated 1/64 of
an inch into the skin, lowering the risk of tissue damage or cancer.
While there were concerns about long term effects of exposures, the ray was
CPI was awarded a $6.4M USD contract in 2004 to
produce two of the weapons, and by 2007 had a working product. After
reportedly being considered
in 2006 for an Iraq deployment, the device was finally shipped to
Afghanistan in 2010 for field testing.
The ray was tested 11,000 times on over 700
people, including a Reuters journalist, who commented, "Similar to a blast from
a very hot oven – too painful to bear without diving for cover."
Despite relative success, the BBC
News is reporting that the
U.S. armed forces leadership has confirmed that the device has been shipped out
of Afghanistan and will not see its first official action in the field.
Colonel Shanks, Chief of Public Affairs for ISAF
comments, "The ADS was not used and was shipped from Afghanistan. The
operational need for the device was not approved by commanders."
No specific reason was given for the decision to
pull the device.
Even if that spells the end for the cannon
prototype, the device may live on in a smaller version of the ADS, the
Silent Guardian. Defense contractor Raytheon is working on the device
which it looks to market to law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and
abroad. The joystick-aimed cannon has a range of 550 meters.
Raytheon also looks to market the device to the military.
quote: Large crowds of people do not get angry and amass in a vacuum. In some form or another there is a *reason* people will form angry mobs.
quote: Believe me if the government wants to stop an angry mob they will - whether it be by means of sheer force or converting you to a 7-11 burrito. The means don't impact the intentions.
quote: Large crowds of people do not get angry and amass in a vacuum.
quote: If your violence is justified so be it. If not, you pay.
quote: To remove the possibility is to remove choice.
quote: Geez, what fantasy universe do you live in? How about the last G20 summit? Or every time a controversial trial decision comes out in Oakland, California??