Skip to comments.Report: Raytheon 'heat beam' weapon ready for Iraq
Posted on 12/05/2004 1:23:24 PM PST by blink182prj
Government defense giant Raytheon Co. has developed the first nonlethal weapon that fires a heat beam to repel enemies and reduces the chance of innocent civilians being shot, a Pentagon official said.
Raytheon, the world's largest missile maker, delivered a prototype to the U.S. military last month. The product is expected to be evaluated from February through June to determine whether to equip U.S. forces with it, Colonel David Karcher, director of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, told Bloomberg Business News.
With U.S. casualties in Iraq rising, expectations are growing that Raytheon's weapon, called the Active Denial System, could be sent to Iraq in the next year, according to Charles "Sid'' Heal, commander of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. A former Marine, Heal headed nonlethal-weapons training for the U.S. military in Somalia in 1995 and advised Raytheon on the beam's development.
"It's there, it's ready,'' said Heal, who has felt the weapon's beam and compares it to having a hot iron placed on the skin. "It will likely be in Iraq in the next 12 months. They are very, very close.''
The weapon, mounted on a Humvee vehicle, projects a "focused, speed-of-light millimeter wave energy beam to induce an intolerable heating sensation,'' according to a U.S. Air Force fact sheet. The energy penetrates less than 1/64 of an inch into the skin and the sensation ceases when the target moves out of the beam.
The weapon could be used for crowd control and is effective beyond the range of bullets fired by small arms, Karcher said. The effective range of an AK-47 assault rifle is as far as 273 yards, while an M16A2 rifle has a range of 400 meters.
The primary benefit would be protecting U.S. troops, Heal said. The weapon would also limit deaths of noncombatants, he said.
"This forces your adversary to declare intentions,'' Heal said. "U.S. forces get killed because they are reluctant to shoot. It happens in Iraq every day."
"This is where the future is going,'' Raytheon Chief Executive William Swanson, 55, said at a conference in Tucson, Ariz., where he introduced the weapon to investors Wednesday. "This is the ability to protect our troops, and we're talking about the speed of light.''
Raytheon is two years into a four-year, $40 million development contract, Karcher said. How soon the weapon is deployed will depend on the military's interest, and while the technology may be ready, troops must also be trained on it and engagement rules must be decided by a four-star general, he said.
Heal said the military version would cost about $1 million, and the U.S. military could require many.
Karcher said the first prototype cost about $10 million.
Heal told Bloomberg Business News that Raytheon could expand the market by selling a smaller version to law-enforcement agencies. The company is working on a smaller, tripod-mounted version for police forces, and the price would have to come down to a few hundred thousand dollars each to be affordable, he said.
Will this melt the gold off the dome of a mosque?
Will it melt minerets like a candle?
Will it make the inside of a house like a convection oven?
"...Habib, What's that 'Popping Sound' and why, do you smell like butter...and not goat/sheep dung?"
Ah, a MOAB proponent! : )
Ah, how many M16s can you get for $1 million?
No, these are beebers and they are set on stune
"Come out. Come out, wherever you are..." ZZZzzzaaaaaaaap!
My guess would be between 1,000 and 3,000 M16s. The low number assumes M16 goes for 1K a pop; the high number assumes $333 a weapon. The latter number is probably what the civilian market would bear; the former assumes the usual price gouging for Govt contracts.
A microwave oven can do that.
"The basic rules of engagement are always engage lethal force with lethal force of a greater degree. I don't see anything in this argument to counter that principal. What I see is a better way to control a non lethal force encounter."
Understand what your reply means. Perhaps I jumped the gun a bit on this one. But in my mind I don't equate crowd control in the states the same way I do in the Sunni Triagle where anyone male or female can be carrying a conceled weapon. That is the point I guess I should have stressed.
In Sadr city sector of Baghdad for instance, you have perhaps a 100,000 youth carrying guns etc..
I have no problem with the gun being used in non lethal crowd control. I have a problem on it being used on crowds that are dangerous. And in my mind I immediately think, OK,
once it is an established practice by the coalition forces to primarily use the "heat gun", as a primariy tool to disperse crowds, I immediately think, OK, American, aim the gun in the crowd, make us jump as we open up on you with small arms fire, knowing you cannot shoot back with anything lethal, we will take out a few dozen of you real quick, and since your other personel that acccompany you cannot fire into crowds with real bullets, we will win this little battle against you. We win, because we had the sense to carry loaded firearms and use them against you when you cannot fire back. That is my fear for our guys.
"hope the Brass isn't foolish enough to rely on this thing to the detriment of our troops. It should complement current procedures, not replace them.
How about having a "volume" knob...turn it up, and up, and up...Then, open fire. It should be mounted on a fighting vehicle, so bumping up the deterrent to .50 cal should be easy....."
My sentiments. I just don't think this "heat gun" is going to protect our troops. Ok, perhaps if you have a few dispersed in a infantry platoon. But who is going to want to carry the damn thing instead of their M4?
Guess we shall see how this splendid new crowd control gun will work in the future. I know I wouldn't want to be the one carrying the heat gun in an angry crowed of potential killers, all armed with guns.
That's the beauty of it, although not for use in Iraq. It doesn't penetrate deeply enough to actually cause burns, but does heat up the nerve endings, which then tell the brain that you are frying. I guess such a thing might be useful in the Shia regions, but in the Sunni Triangle, it's still bullet and bomb time.
Wonder what a leather jacket would do for the enemy?
Run. You sure aren't going to be capable of aiming a weapon. You probably could still set off your Islamakazi belt or car bomb though.
The speed of heat.
The beam is much broader than your musings imply. They can't just step out of the beam. They have get far away from the source. Still they could probalby manage to run towards you and set off their bomb belt. Although the closer they got, the hotter they would feel. They could not even manage spray and pray with an AK.
They already have something similar - there was a thread on it a couple days ago. It is basically a "jammer" that blocks the detonation signal (from a cell-phone, I think).