New Crowd-Dispersal Weapon

Discussion in 'General' started by roach, Mar 11, 2001.

  1. March 2, 2001
    Pentagon Unveils Plans for a New Crowd-Dispersal Weapon
    WASHINGTON, March 1 - The Pentagon today unveiled what some military officials hope will become the rubber bullet of the 21st century: a weapon that uses electromagnetic waves to disperse crowds without killing, maiming or, military officials say, even injuring anyone slightly.

    Known in Pentagon patois as an "active denial system," the weapon is the fruit of 10 years of research and is intended to help American soldiers in the quasi-military roles they have increasingly been asked to play as peacekeepers or police in places like Kosovo and Ethiopia.

    As envisioned by its Pentagon designers, the weapon would fire bursts of electromagnetic energy capable of causing burning sensations on the skin of people standing as far as 700 yards away - without actually burning them, officials said.

    "It's not designed to burn," Col. George P. Fenton of the Marine Corps, director of the Department of Defense's Joint Nonlethal Weapons Program in Quantico, Va., said at a news conference today. "It's a heat-induced sensation."

    Asked if the weapon was simply a militarized form of a microwave oven, Colonel Fenton said no. He said the new system fires waves that are shorter and at higher frequencies than microwaves. That means, he said, that while the waves could penetrate clothing, they would barely enter the skin, reaching a depth of only one sixty-fourth of an inch.

    "It's safe, absolutely safe," Colonel Fenton said. "You walk out of the beam and the pain goes away. There are no lasting effects."

    The weapon, which to date has cost taxpayers $40 million, already has its skeptics. William M. Arkin, the senior military adviser to Human Rights Watch, described it as a "high-powered microwave antipersonnel weapon" that should be more carefully studied before it is used on crowds containing elderly people, children or pregnant women.

    Mr. Arkin said past efforts by the Pentagon to develop "nonlethal weapons" had sometimes proved disastrous. For instance, he said, lasers were widely considered the peacekeeping tool of the future until it was determined that they could blind people.

    "If this is a more humane and effective military tool than existing nonlethal weapons, great," Mr. Arkin said. "But they are going to have to prove some things to us first."

    Pentagon officials said scientists had been testing the weapon on animals and humans for more than three years without finding any evidence that it caused internal injuries, burns, cancer or eye damage.

    In more than 6,500 tests on 72 people, only one exposure went awry, the Pentagon officials said, when one person received a "nickle-size" burn on his back after a tester programmed the weapon incorrectly.

    "It gave us information that helped us understand how it works," said Dr. Michael Murphy, one of the Pentagon scientists working on the weapon.

    To show how the system would work, Colonel Fenton brought a miniature version of an electromagnetic "gun" to the news conference, encouraging reporters and other Pentagon officials to stick a finger under the invisible ray and feel the heat.

    "I feel like a barker at a carnival," said Colonel Fenton, who put his own fingers under the ray repeatedly for television cameras, as he cajoled a balky reporter to try the weapon.

    Just one second under the tiny ray created a burning sensation equal to 120 degrees, Pentagon officials said. The officials said that the weapon could be adjusted to heat the skin to temperatures of 130 degrees or higher.

    The weapon is still in development and probably will not be ready for deployment by troops for at least five years, Colonel Fenton said.

    In its current experimental form, the weapon looks like the average backyard satellite dish. The Pentagon envisions a version being mounted on the back of a Humvee, but officials said hand-held or aircraft-mounted versions are under consideration as well.

    American troops now typically use tear gas, rubber bullets or beanbags fired from shotguns to disperse crowds. The electromagnetic weapon would be superior to those techniques, Colonel Fenton said, because it would have much longer range.

    He said the weapon would have helped protect soldiers in Ethiopia, where angry crowds frequently clashed with American troops during a United Nations mission there in 1993.

    Michael E. O'Hanlon, a military expert at the Brookings Institution, disagreed.

    "Everything I know about this weapon suggests this would not have made one iota of difference there," he said. "This may be worthwhile, but we shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking it is the answer."

    Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company

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    [ March 11, 2001: Message edited by: roach ]
  2. Yikes! It can heat the surface of the skin to 130 degrees, yet won't cause burns? IMPOSSIBLE! Water that hot will scald and kill. How can this weapon be harmless to eyes? Whether you're burning 1/64th of an inch or the entire epidermis, it's a burn.

    Oh well, probably isn't any more of a danger than tear gas or water cannon. I suppose I just won't partake in any rioting.
  3. This is sick shit, and who are the maniacs on which they tested the damn thing?????

    SJ :eek: :eek: :eek: :mad: :mad: :mad:

  4. they first used these in combat in during the Panama invasion. the citizens were talking to a couple news people from the US about them, they didnt believe them. they said the soldiers would just point the lasers at citizens and they would start to burn up. the Panama invasion was just a way for the US to test out the lasers in combat. all those innocent civilians and (albeit not innocent, but non-deserving) military dead, just to test a laser. :mad:

    [ March 11, 2001: Message edited by: mjgarden ]
  5. we should take over the us govt just to teach them a lesson in human rights. there bitching at china yet they do this to people.
  6. That is screwed up who has the job to sit and create ways to hurt people.. this is a joke.
  7. Handy for lighting bowls .... preserve the taste :D
  8. 120-130 degrees really isn't bad. Get used to working in grills and around friers and you get used to that shit fast. I used to get "burned" by 140-160 degree gravy and chili on a regular basis. Grease burns are much hotter too. Also, try accidentally scraping your knuckles against a 425 degree bun toaster. Now that's a burn. It will give you an insta-blister.

  9. the governments of course!! They also believe it to be their job to create new laws to control you. So they create laws to control what you can smoke or eat, or say, or have, then if you step out of line they can zap you. Cause you can't pay them any money if your dead, and they can't have that...
  10. deadhead I want to join your club.
  11. *bump*

    crazy....hey! its ready to be used. been 7 years.

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