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Non Lethal Weapons Programs in the US

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Among the programs currently under development at the USMC Non Lethal Weapons Program are multi-sensory devices aimed to disable individuals within structures, a taser to incapacitate a single individual and mobility denial system that deploys slippery foam to impede the movement of foot and vehicular traffic. The US Navy is also developing non-lethal capabilities. One of the systems is designed to protect a ship perimeter and deny small crafts from closing in to a dangerous distance from the protected ship. The US Air Force is developing UAV non lethal weapon deployment applications, exploring with a mini flyaway weapon kit designed for the Raven mini UAV. These UAVs are commonly used for base security and force protection applications.

Another system developed by the Air Force is the high power microwave Active denial System. Special Forces are also potential users of non lethal systems. These weapons are developed as part of the standard Special Forces arsenal as they should not limit the capabilities of the combatants and not impair their ability to fight a modern and lethal force. Current lethal weapons are operated under restrictive rules of engagement which significantly inhibit the ability of Special Operations forces to respond to threatening situations during low intensity conflicts and operations other than war. Furthermore, standard (lethal) weapons currently used by combatants and Special Forces are easy to detect when fired. In contrast, some non lethal and disabling weapons are stealthy and ultra-fast. They also provide the ability to repel crowds without permanent, disabling injuries or fatalities, significantly reducing the threat of further violence and potential casualties among friendly and innocent bystanders.

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  Updated: 01/28/2005

 

 

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