Armed Forces International News - March 2012
Active Denial Non-Lethal Beam System Showcased
Posted by Armed Forces International's Defence Correspondent on 12/03/2012 - 16:45:00
The USMC has showcased upgraded and improved non-lethal weapons technology intended mainly for riot control purposes and other scenarios where crowd management is needed.
The ADS (Active Denial System) emits a 95GHz electromagnetic ray beam that's effective enough to burn a small way into human skin and produce a highly unpleasant effect, without causing permanent damage.
Invisible to the naked eye, silent and odourless, the Active Denial System's beam was demonstrated in full to press representatives at Virginia's USMC Quantico base between 10-11 March 2012.
Active Denial System
Here Colonel Tracy Tafolla - the director of the US Defense Department's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate - stressed that the Active Denial System had been in development for the past decade-and-a-half.
The effect it produces has been engineered to be intolerable enough to cause rioters to escape the beam but, even so, according to Tafolla, it's "the safest non-lethal capability" in the US military's arsenal.
The ADS is truck-mountable and has a one kilometre range, giving it much more reach than other types of non-lethal weapon.
While only presently compatible with armoured vehicles, other variants of this non-lethal beam system are in the pipeline including portable and air-launched versions.
Trials carried out involving the Active Denial System established that, of the 1,000 people involved, only two needed medical attention afterwards and both subsequently made a complete recovery. One of these ADS trial participants said, of the sensation produced: "For the first millisecond, it just felt like the skin was warming up. Then it got warmer and warmer and you felt like it was on fire. As soon as you're away from that beam, your skin returns to normal and there is no pain."
The Active Denial System is now set to be pressed into USMC service and, besides crowd control, could also find its way into perimeter and entrance control operations.
The original Active Denial System was deployed initially in 2010, but swiftly withdrawn.
Image copyright USAF
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