They cause an unendurable feeling of high temperature on the skin which must be immediately relieved (by vacating the area) but leaves no permanent damage.
Yet to be used on the battlefield or indeed in cases of public disorder either in Afghanistan or elsewhere, the Active Denial System has undergone thorough tests on home soil in the US. It seems the system actively denies pretty well, with those exposed to it saying that the need to get away from its heat ray was quickly of paramount importance.
According to the US military there is so little chance of injury from the system (a tenth of a percent) that it will not cause long lasting harm to those against whom it is used.
It has been tested on people – hundreds of volunteers – and the beam can reach more than five hundred meters. The army sees it is an important new way to limit deaths in a war zone. It could also be used domestically in the future, of course. Which is a worry.
The great question is, of course, is how easily can the weapon be changed to go from non-lethal to deadly?
Boy oh boy. This in the same week that a US Navy laser successfully shot down four UAVs off the California coastline. Perhaps Thunderbird are 'Go', after all.
Additional Image Credits
Technicians with ADS
Humvee Mounted Active Denial System
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