Electronic Weapons: April 20, 2001


The Pentagon is ready to begin testing the Vehicle-Mounted Active Denial System, and is trying to decide whether to proceed. The weapon has been developed in secret for over ten years. The beam (mounted in a Humvee) can be directed at individuals or small groups. It works by heating up their skin, causing pain and making them want to be somewhere else. The beam effects are not permanent and rapidly go away when the beam is turned off or the target moves out of range. The beam is eye safe and can penetrate clothing. The range of the weapon is classified, but the Pentagon has reportedly said it wants a weapon able to reach beyond 750m. The announcement of the new system brought forth expected protests, for even a non-lethal weapon stirs up a lot of opposition if it uses a new technology. --Stephen V Cole


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