Pain Ray

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Non-Lethal Defense

Non-Lethal crowd suppression gets a lot of news, but the sad reality is that most of the time enemies are denied a foothold with conventional tactics.

How effective is the Pentagon's Pain Ray Active Denial System?

Demonstration shows promise, obstacles remain

The Pentagon's "Pain Ray" Active Denial System, manufactured by Raytheon, uses millimeter length microwaves to create a burning sensation in individuals who are exposed to its rays. The sudden sensation of heat, which can be delivered from up to 700 yards away, effectively creates a zone of control and prevents violent crowds from getting too close to sensitive areas. Some downsides of the weapon, which has been in development for up to 15 years, is that it does not work as well in rainy or dusty conditions, so we would have to pick a fair-weather enemy in order to get the best results. The system is also said to use a lot of fuel, but this may be less of an issue in areas where there is sufficient power or if it was installed permanently near certain buildings. It should also be noted that today's model of heat ray gun probably would get smaller and more portable in upcoming versions that are easier to deploy, and perhaps one day the pain ray would be easy enough to be handled by individuals.

Notes and Special Information

Special note: Note that today's non-lethal use could have implications for future crowd dispersal. Imagine flipping a switch and clearing out the Occupy Wall Street protestors in the space of a few minutes, and imagine such a device's use in previous non-violent protests that brought about change in our country.