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PizDoff
1/25/2007 12:18am,
U.S. military tests ray gun that makes people think they're catching fire

Wed Jan 24, 6:17 PM

By Elliott Minor

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AP) - The U.S. military calls a new weapon it's testing an "active denial system" but that's an understatement.

It's a ray gun that shoots a beam that makes people feel as if they are about to catch fire.

Apart from causing that terrifying sensation, the technology is supposed to be harmless - a non-lethal way to force enemies to drop their weapons.

Military officials said it could save the lives of innocent civilians and service members in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The weapon is not expected to go into production until at least 2010 but all branches of the military have expressed interest in it, officials said.

During the first public demonstration of the weapon Wednesday, airmen fired beams from a large dish antenna mounted atop a Humvee at people pretending to be rioters and acting out other scenarios U.S. troops might encounter in war zones.

The device's two-man crew located their targets through powerful lenses and fired beams from more than 500 metres away. That is nearly 17 times the range of existing non-lethal weapons, such as rubber bullets.

Anyone hit by the beam immediately jumped out of its path because of the sudden blast of heat throughout the body. While the 54-degree C heat was not painful, it was intense enough to make the participants think their clothes were about to ignite.

"This is one of the key technologies for the future," said marine Col. Kirk Hymes, director of the non-lethal weapons program at Quantico, Va., which helped develop the new weapon.

"Non-lethal weapons are important for the escalation of force, especially in the environments our forces are operating in."

The system uses electromagnetic millimetre waves, which can penetrate only .04 centimetres of skin, just enough to cause discomfort. By comparison, microwaves used in the common kitchen appliance penetrate several centimetres of flesh.

The millimetre waves cannot go through walls but they can penetrate most clothing, officials said. They refused to comment on whether the waves can go through glass.

The weapon could be mounted aboard ships, airplanes and helicopters and be routinely used for security or anti-terrorism operations.

"There should be no collateral damage to this," said Senior Airman Adam Navin, 22, of Green Bay, Wis., who has served several tours in Iraq.

Navin and two other airmen were role players in Wednesday's demonstration. They and 10 reporters who volunteered were shot with the beams. The beams easily penetrated various layers of winter clothing.

The system was developed by the military but the two devices currently being evaluated were built by defence contractor Raytheon.

Airman Blaine Pernell, 22, of suburban New Orleans, said he could have used the system during his four tours in Iraq, where he manned watchtowers around a base near Kirkuk. He said Iraqis constantly pulled up and faked car problems so they could scout out U.S. forces.

"All we could do is watch them," he said.

But if they had the ray gun, troops "could have dispersed them."
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/us_ray_gun

Hah, zapping the locals.

Permalost
1/25/2007 2:38am,
Would it inspire terror if you knew it wouldn't ignite your clothes? It said the beam isn't painful, so the fear seems all it has going for it.

Camus
1/25/2007 2:47am,
Would it inspire terror if you knew it wouldn't ignite your clothes? It said the beam isn't painful, so the fear seems all it has going for it.

Kinda what I was thinking

We should zap their brains with electricity, MK-ULTRA style

Japanese are doing it already, for recreation anyway

Question!
1/25/2007 4:19am,
They should crank it up so that it becomes an almost-lethal weapon; also the weapon's name needs to have the word 'Hell' or 'Fire' in it.

Sounds cool, though.

alex
1/25/2007 5:29am,
still gonna make it a bitch to aim when you are in the middle of your own personal heatwave.

bricco
1/25/2007 5:55am,
It could still damage corneas, though.

Cormoran
1/25/2007 6:35am,
54 degrees c, aye? theres some places here in australia where you get hit with that thing and your reaction would be "****, it cooled down real quick."

I kinda get the feeling that Iraqis would end up thanking you for the high tech air conditioning.

I wanna see one that makes blood boil damnit!

bricco
1/25/2007 7:05am,
Meh. If the penetration is only 0.4 mms the eyelids will prevent substantial damage anyway. Still, subsonic weapons seem more effective to me.

pauli
1/25/2007 10:54am,
i just recieved (misdated) spam with "military shows off new ray gun" as the subject.

NunOnBreak
1/25/2007 11:28am,
More effective than Chi blasts? Or about the same?

auschip
1/25/2007 11:29am,
Would it inspire terror if you knew it wouldn't ignite your clothes? It said the beam isn't painful, so the fear seems all it has going for it.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear... And when it is gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear is gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Tom Kagan
1/25/2007 12:03pm,
It could still damage corneas, though.


So could a bullet.



I don't see your point.

Neildo
1/25/2007 12:08pm,
They should crank it up so that it becomes an almost-lethal weapon; also the weapon's name needs to have the word 'Hell' or 'Fire' in it.

Variable setting. From 'Mildly annoying' to 'shake-n-bake' to 'deep-fat fry'.

Teh El Macho
1/25/2007 12:31pm,
54 degrees c, aye? theres some places here in australia where you get hit with that thing and your reaction would be "****, it cooled down real quick."

I kinda get the feeling that Iraqis would end up thanking you for the high tech air conditioning.

I wanna see one that makes blood boil damnit!Blood boiling? BAH!!! I want to see one that makes the enemy's testicles heat up, swell and go alka-seltzer POOOOOOOOOOOF, like a fucking geiser or something. We'll call it... The Nut Buster!!! :viking:

saturnjunkie
1/25/2007 1:31pm,
I remember reading about tests on this several years ago and one of the listed side effects of prolonged exposure (like over a few seconds) was that it caused your muscles to short out (too much input or something) and you would literally loose your bowels. THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call the whole shooting match.

IMO if you can get an enemy to **** their pants you can effectively box it up and go home, you've done your job.

Permalost
1/25/2007 2:48pm,
I remember reading about tests on this several years ago and one of the listed side effects of prolonged exposure (like over a few seconds) was that it caused your muscles to short out (too much input or something) and you would literally loose your bowels. THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call the whole shooting match.

IMO if you can get an enemy to **** their pants you can effectively box it up and go home, you've done your job.

Then it needs a built in camera.