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.
A crowd control weapon? Are we going to be controlling crowds in Iraq? Or using non lethal weapons against terrorist?
Well, I suppose a weapon like this will keep an angry mob from turning into an angry mob of terrorists.
So you are implying this will be used in Iraq against Iraqi citiens in an effort to keep them from becoming terrorist?
Er, citizens too.....
I can't help thinking that a .50 cal M2HB would be a more effective source of "heat".
They should develop something like this to aim at the ground in front of their Humvees to detonate these damned roadside bombs before they get there.
Hey! (see my post 15) you thought of it first! But it is a great idea.
Maybe if you tape bags of popcorn on your chest, it'll be like reactive armor.
Can they evaluate it by using it on the left side of Congress, or would that be inappropriate?
Mylar space blanket? A use for tinfoil underware? Anything that would reflect or deflect a significant portion of the radiant energy oughta do it. Been wondering about using a "space blanket" to sheild from being seen on thermal imagers.
Sure this is non-lethal, but what are you going to do with this kind of heat on you? I think this is pretty cool.
This guy swears it was field tested in Nam and since humans were exploding like cats in a microwave the brass didn't think the American public would got for it so the program was shutdown. Also, I believe making it mobile with that power consumption, at that time, would have been impossible. Could of been great for fixed installations though.
LOL! Join the litter.
if you havent noticed, when we actually kill terrorists the whole world is up in arms, including many people on this forum.
" A crowd control weapon? Are we going to be controlling crowds in Iraq? Or using non lethal weapons against terrorist?"
Same question. Personally I think this is a joke. Where does one aim the weapon at? An exposed hand, face, head, perhaps a foot that is in an open sandal. How does one focus on an exposed part within a crowd of "hopped up wildmen". Are they going to stand still, so that you can warm their big toe? If so, what do you do when they quickly step aside from the beams mommentary heating action, pull an AK47 from their overdress and nail you?
This is a joke at best. And on the serious side, good Lord be with our guys as they have to use the weapon instead of having their standard combat rifle in hand.
If the DOD buys into this one, then I am really going to start wondering. Perhaps Raytheon's CEO should be amoung the first group to stand in Sadr city and quality test his companies heat gun on an angry crowd of hop heads. Then lets see if he feels his company spent R&D monies wisely on this product. OK for police control in America perhaps. But the police in downtown LA are not going to typically be carrying military weapons as is required in Iraq.
What the hell is going on with the DOD?
Then this article quote: "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."
What is wrong with people are they that frigen STUPID!
I can't take this shit much longer! Really.
THINK what is being said.
A heat beam which must be well aimed at an explosed part and held for a given duration shoots out a beam of energy. The beam must be held at the point of exposer or the pain goes away almost immediately. So in effect unless a soldier will be able to continue to hold the beam on target, the person will of course just stand still and let their toe stay hot,
this weapon will nothing to break up a wild group of rag heads. It will take them perhaps two or three minutes to realize it is a joke, it stings a bit, so I move my foot then charge the soldier with a knife or pull out a nine millimeter pistol and shoot him in the face. What is the American soldier going to do......duck as I shoot at him with my pistol...........hee hee he only has this useless
heat gun to fire back at me.
I don't know folks......................things are getting very very weird.
As for the future yea..........just like when in the sixties we stopped equiping our main line jets fighters with gun plateforms............remember folks........the defense contractors and idiots like McNamara said the future is in AA missile plateforms the days of dogfigting is over, you stand back and fire a radar guided missile at your enemy. Then NAM came along. MiGs 17,19,21 keep shooting down our F4's, A4's, F105 etc.. Then the Navy almost to late woke up and started Top Gun. The next generation fleet air superiority fleet aircraft contained once again a gun plateform.
It is a never ending battle between idiots gaining control of commen sense issues that so dearly effect how safe and well equiped military personel are. Glad I don't have to be one of those poor soldiers or Marines that will have to replace their M4 with this stupid heat gun! Well maybe it will replace the need for a Zipo lighter to light their cigars and cigs with.
Phrases such as ""focused, speed-of-light millimeter wave energy beam to induce an intolerable heating sensation,'' according to a U.S. Air Force fact sheet." kinda scare me.
I mean honestly, thats from a "fact sheet".
I think its safe to say that the beam is "focused", "speed of light (in a vacuum), and "energy beam". Its pretty damn redundant to say it that way.
The proper phrase is . . . its a "*microwave* beam that burns people" (or whatever type of electromagnetic radiation it consists of.
Aim these suckers all along our borders - immediate ilegal alien control.
Wonder if this will be used in the next Bond film...
sort of like the laser beam in "Goldfinger"...
So much for the taser -- this will replace it.
Shorten the wavelength even more and you may get a little less damage.
"It was originally designed to be deployed on low-flying aircraft, eg AC130."
Thanks for the technical oriented comments. So it was originally designed for military use as apposed to civilian crowd control. OK. So based on your description of how it works, that is, some narrow band of microwave, most probably, is aimed at a surface. Fine. If, the beam can penetrate "dry clothing", not lose sufficient amounts of joles, due to energy absorption by the clothing, and still have adequate "beam power", to sufficiently heat up water molecules within the beams cone as it projects unto the person's skin, and make them say ouch! Fine. I have no problem with that. But are they going to just stand still? And what if they are armed with fire arms?
Are, lets say fifty angry people going to just stand still as a few soldiers scan the beam back and forth across their mass of bodies? What happens when they start to disperse?
How many have guns? What about controlling a few thousand, and perhaps twenty in the middle of the pack suddenly run forward and open up on our guys with fire arms.
It would appear that our guys will have to have teams of standard infantry men with M4's etc., and other teams that carry the heat guns.
Perhaps I am being to negative about the heat guns potential in such scenarios. Guess we will find out how well it works in due time. I hope I don't read about our soldiers and Marines getting KIAed for lack of proper protection during crowd control.
Note the name, "Raytheon's weapon, called the Active Denial System". I believe the demrats already have one in place. If the name is changed to 'anti-active denial system', it might be effective in the instance you mention.
Great idea! Test it out at the Palace in Auburn Hills...
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.