Microwave gun to be used by US troops on Iraq rioters
By Tony Freinberg and Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent

(Filed: 19/09/2004)  http://www.telegraph.co.uk
Iraq's Guinea-Pig battleground:
Electromagnetic Radiation weapons will be tested in 2005

Microwave weapons that cause pain without lasting injury are to be issued to American troops in Iraq for the first time as concern mounts over the growing number of civilians killed in fighting.
The non-lethal weapons, which use high-powered electromagnetic beams, will be fitted to vehicles already in Iraq, which will allow the system to be introduced as early as next year.
Microwave Weapon
Using technology similar to that found in a conventional microwave oven, the
beam rapidly heats water molecules in the skin to cause intolerable pain and a
burning sensation. The invisible beam penetrates the skin to a depth of less
than a millimetre. As soon as the target moves out of the beam's path, the
pain disappears.
Because there are no after-effects, the United States Department of Defence
believes that the weapons will be particularly useful in urban conflict. The
beam could be used to scatter large crowds in which insurgents operate at close
quarters to both troops and civilians.
"The skin gets extremely hot, and people can't stand the pain, so they have
to move - and move in the way we want them to," said Col Wade Hall of the
Office of Force Transformation, a body formed in November 2001 to promote rapid
improvement across all of the American armed services.
Rich Garcia, a spokesman for the Air Force Research Laboratory in New Mexico,
where the systems were developed, took part in testing the weapon and was
subjected to the microwave beam which has a range of one kilometre. "It just
feels like your skin is on fire," he said. "[But] when you get out of the path of
the beam, or shut off the beam, everything goes back to normal. There's no
residual pain."
A heated battle on a crowded Baghdad street last week that left 16 Iraqis
dead, highlighted once again the pressing need to reduce the number of civilian
casualties, and at the same time prevent further damage to relations between
American troops and the Iraqi population. American commanders later admitted
using seven helicopter-launched rockets and 30 high-calibre machine gun rounds in
last Sunday's incident.
The armoured vehicles will be named Sheriffs once they have been modified to
carry the microwave weapons, known as the Active Denial System (ADS). Col Hall
said that US army and US marine corps units should receive four to six ADS
equipped Sheriffs by September 2005.
The project was initiated only three months ago but US military chiefs intend
to rush the Sheriffs into the front line, believing that they can be of
immediate assistance.
In another development, the Sheriffs will be fitted with Gunslinger, a
rapid-fire gun currently under development that will detect enemy snipers and
automatically fire back at them.
If the Sheriffs prove successful, their use will be expanded in combat zones.
They will also be deployed for security at ports and air force bases, and
could take part in border patrols.

Directed Energy Weapons
Directed energy weapons use “a beam of concentrated electromagnetic energy or
atomic or subatomic particles primarily as a direct means to damage or
destroy enemy equipment, facilities, and personnel” (Joint Pub 1-02, DoD Dictionary
of Military and Related Terms).  These weapons range in power from non-lethal
to highly lethal and destructive and range in size from man-portable to
platform based.  They are further differentiated by the energy created, the method
of energy generation and the power of that energy.  Prime examples are the
Airborne Laser (ABL) and the Active Denial System (ADS) High Power Microwave. 

Directed energy weapons possess unique characteristics such as speed-of-light
delivery, deep magazines, long range, accuracy, and precise lethality.  These
characteristics provide war fighters with transformational capabilities while
producing new hazards.  Our policy challenge is to mitigate those hazards
while enabling the capabilities.  These hazards require unique safety measures to
prevent directed energy weapon mishaps. 
Directed Energy (DE) applications for SOF will allow delivering variable
effects from lethal to non-lethal force for varying degrees of effects. This type
of weapon can be employed against hard targets such as C2 infrastructure (e.g.
high powered microwave effects on computers and communication equipment) or
soft targets like personnel
Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration

Prototype Active Denial Vehicle
The Active Denial System (ADS) is a non-lethal, counter-personnel directed
energy weapon. It uses breakthrough technologies to provide un-precedented,
standoff, non-lethal capabilities at ranges beyond effective small arms range.
ADS projects a focused, speed-of-light milli-meter-wave energy beam to induce
an intolerable heating sensation on an adversary’s skin and cause that
individual to be repelled without injury. The picture on the right depicts the
prototype currently in development. ADS will enable U.S. forces to stop, deter and
turn back an advancing adversary without applying lethal force. This
capability is expected to save countless lives by providing a means to stop individuals
without causing injury, before a deadly confrontation develops.
The technology was originally developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory
and matured under the sponsorship of the Department of Defense’s Joint
Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate. Approximately $51 million has been invested over the
past eleven years. The technology was developed in response to Department of
Defense needs for troops to have options short of deadly force. Non-lethal
technologies can be used for protection of defense resources, peacekeeping,
humanitarian missions and other situations in which the use of lethal force is
undesirable. ADS will provide these capabilities close in as well as at longer
standoff ranges.
How It Works
Active Denial Technology uses a transmitter producing energy at a frequency
of 95Ghz and an antenna to direct a focused, invisible beam towards a
designated subject. Traveling at the speed of light, the energy reaches the subject and
penetrates the skin to a depth of less than 1/64 of an inch. Almost
instantaneously it produces a heating sensation that within seconds becomes intolerable
and forces the subject to flee. The sensation immediately ceases when the
individual moves out of the beam or when the system operator turns it off.
Despite this sensation, the beam does not cause injury because of the shallow
penetration depth of energy at this wavelength and the low energy levels
used. It exploits the body’s natural defense mechanism that induces pain as a
warning to help protect it from injury.
Human Effects Testing
A large portion of the investment, about $9 million, has been devoted to
characterizing the effects of this technology on the human body. This is to ensure
the technology produces the desired response and is militarily effective,
while at the same time providing a large margin of safety against injury and
long-term effects. Animals and humans are being used in the test program, which is
being conducted in strict compliance with the procedures, laws and
regulations governing animal and human experimentation. The tests are reviewed and
approved by a formal Institutional Review Board with oversight from the Air Force
Surgeon General’s Office. An independent panel of medical experts from outside
the government also periodically reviews and advises on the planning aspects
and results of the research and test activities. Their 2002 review of the
program concluded there is low probability of serious injury from exposure to the
ADS beam. Additionally, the panel concludes that the probability of thermal eye
injury is low and the probability of long-term health effects such as cancer
is extremely low.

Active Denial Technology Hardware Demonstrator
The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Human Effectiveness Directorate at Brooks
City Base, Texas, conducted several years of successful and safe laboratory
testing with small spot sizes. In 2000, testing began at Kirtland Air Force
Base, south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, using the new, full-scale technology
hardware demonstration system shown at right. It enabled larger areas of a
volunteer test subject’s body to be exposed to the energy beam and pro-vided for more
realistic, military field conditions.
System Evolution
The Active Denial technology hardware demonstration system shown above
represents a rudimentary first integration of the key technology elements such as
the millimeter-wave source, cooling system, and planar array antenna, among
others. In 2001, it successfully demonstrated the hardware technology necessary to
achieve the desired effect at full weapon power and distance, and set the
stage for the next evolution of the system.
This next step is on-going and involves the integration and packaging of all
the system’s components into a mobile, nearly militarized system. The
configuration chosen is the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle, commonly
referred to as a Humvee. This activity is being conducted under an Advanced
Concept Technology Demonstration program, which is the process used by the
Department of Defense to rapidly move mature technologies into the hands of the
warfighter for military evaluation.
Under the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration, the Air Force Research
Laboratory will produce a Humvee-mounted prototype and provide it to
operational forces from all the services in late 2004. The services will first develop
concepts for employing the system and then evaluate its utility in
representative military environments and scenarios. Depending on the results of this
evaluation, which is projected to be completed at the end of 2005, a decision will
be made to produce and operationally deploy the system. Since this is the
first time this leading edge technology will be evaluated for military utility, it
is possible that some of the services will find they need considerably
different system configurations of the ADS which would be tailored for specific
missions and operating environments, such as on-board a ship or on an aircraft.
Planning for an airborne system prototype has already begun under a separate
The employment of Active Denial Technology has successfully undergone a
preliminary weapons legal review. A interim, comprehensive legal review, including
treaty compliance, is in process and is projected to be completed this year.
Organizations Involved
The ADS Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration program is being sponsored
by the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Advanced Systems
and Concepts, the Department of Defense Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate and
U.S. Joint Forces Command.
The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland
Air Force Base, New Mexico, is the technical manager and responsible for the
ADS prototype development. The Laboratory’s Human Effectiveness Directorate at
Brooks City Base manages the human effects characterization research and test
Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, is the operational
manager and is leading the military services in developing the concepts of
operation and managing the formal military utility assessment.
The Air Force’s Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base,
Massachusetts, is the transition manager, charged with leading the planning activities
necessary to transition the system into the formal Department of Defense
acquisition process, should the decision be made to equip U.S. forces with ADS.
The Raytheon Company is the lead integrator of the prototype.
- AFRL -

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