U.S. soldiers in Iraq have new gear for dispersing hostile crowds and warding off potential enemy combatants. It blasts earsplitting noise in a directed beam.
The equipment, called a Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, is a so-called "non-lethal weapon" developed after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching U.S. warships...
Though not officially part of the military's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, the 45-pound, dish-shaped device belongs to a developing arsenal of technologies intended not to kill but to deter.
Another such weapon, expected to be tested in the field soon, is the Active Denial System. It seeks to repel enemies with a painful energy beam...
Dubbed "The Sound of Force Protection" in a company brochure, the devices can broadcast sound files containing warning messages. Or they can be used with electronic translating devices for what amounts to "narrowcasting."
If crowds or potential foes don't respond to the verbal messages, the sonic weapon, which measures 33 inches in diameter, can direct a high-pitched, piercing tone with a tight beam. Neither the LRAD's operators or others in the immediate area are affected...
Gruenler compares the LRAD's shrill tone to that of smoke detectors, only much louder. It can be as loud as about 150 decibels; smoke detectors are in the 80 to 90 decibel range.
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
BUCK ROGERS GOES TO BAGHDAD
Posted by Right Brainworks, LLC at Wednesday, March 03, 2004