©The Associated Press
Pentagon unveils non-lethal weapon
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon on Thursday unveiled a new non-lethal
weapon designed to drive off an adversary with an energy beam that inflicts
pain without causing lasting harm.
The weapon could be used for riot control and peacekeeping missions when
deadly force is not necessary, officials said.
The weapon, called active denial technology, was developed
by Air Force research laboratories in New Mexico and Texas as part of
a multi-service program run by the Marine Corps.
This revolutionary force-protection technology gives U.S. service
members an alternative to using deadly force, said Marine corps
Col. George P. Fenton, director of the program at Quantico, Va.
The weapon is designed to stop people by firing millimeter-wave electromagnetic
energy in a beam that quickly heats up the surface of the victims
skin. Within seconds the person feels pain that officials said is similar
to touching a hot light bulb.
Its the kind of pain you would feel if you were being burned,
said Rich Garcia, a spokesman for the Air Force Research Laboratory at
Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. Its just not intense enough
to cause any damage.
The Pentagon has made a strong push to develop non-lethal
weapons in the aftermath of a humanitarian mission in Somalia in 1992-93
that put soldiers in the line of fire in urban areas where civilians were
When it penetrates in, it activates the pain sensors, and you feel
a lot of pain, Garcia said. But theres no damage. It
truly is a non-lethal device.
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