The Department of Defense is negotiating with Raytheon to purchase a more portable version of the contractor’s non-lethal “pain ray” weapons.
The devices, which are part of Raytheon’s Active Denial System, use high-frequency radio beams that make human targets feel like they are catching on fire.
Congress has already approved $25 million to purchase five Raytheon Silent Guardian pain ray devices for “non-lethal defense” against hostile crowds, Shawn Miller, the Raytheon manager overseeing the project, tells Newsmax. The devices weigh about 10,000 pounds and are mounted on ruggedized versions of civilian pickup trucks.
Contrary to published reports that claim the Army will deploy the new weapon, which branch of service to get it first and where it will be deployed has yet to be determined, Miller says.
“It is not necessarily a U.S. Army program. There is a $25 million contract, but it doesn’t specify the system is going to the Army,” Miller says.
In addition to the DOD, the Department of Homeland Security, various police agencies and unnamed “international customers” have displayed interest in acquiring the system, Miller says.
Raytheon has already delivered a much larger and more powerful pain-ray device to the U.S. Air Force called the “Active Denial System 2” and will deliver at least one more in the near future. The larger system — usually referred to as ADS 2 — is a large, truck-mounted unit the size of a small building and is designed for classified missions that Miller declined to elaborate on.
“Any place that you want to de-escalate violence, whether protecting a check point, a high-value military asset, or a civilian security asset, [the ADS] allows the de-escalation of violence,” Miller adds.
The futuristic weapon produces high-frequency millimeter waves directed toward the target by an antenna that looks like a radar dish to direct a focused, invisible beam of energy toward a designated target. It has a range of about 800 feet and targets one individual at a time, Miller says.
“If somebody was throwing a Molotov cocktail at your troops, it would cause that individual to drop it and seek cover,” Miller said. “It is a less lethal deterrent that allows users to deter people without immediately going to lethal force.”
Traveling at the speed of light, the energy strikes the subject and penetrates the skin to a depth of about 1/64th of an inch, or the equivalent of three sheets of paper. It produces a heat sensation that within seconds becomes intolerable and forces the targeted individual to instinctively retreat, Miller said.
According to the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, based at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., the Silent Guardian will help troops fill the gap “between shouting and shooting."
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