Weekend Round Up – American None Lethal Defence

A paper recently released by, or should that be leaked to, the lovely people at publicintelligence.net called  the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) Non-Lethal Weapons (NLW) Reference Book (click to read).

What this nice little book is is a reference book into some of the rather weird ideas the US Military are developing, hope to develop or are at the testing stage. All of these are non lethal mind you! It helps stop (and I quote from the book itself) Fratricide. Or accidentally blowing the hell out of your allies rather than your enemies as I prefer to call it.

I’m going to take you through a few choice parts of it along with my thoughts. If you read last weeks article you might be spotting a pattern here…

First up for a US Government issued and produced document this looks strictly amateur hour. I’ve seen kids who have produced more official and neat looking pieces of work who aren’t even yet into double figures! It looks like a kinda of my first clip art project. But I digress. The meat of this, thankfully, is in the content. Not the abysmal presentation.

For the sake of this article I’m going to ignore the things that have already been deployed and focus more on those things either at a conceptual or prototype stage. So if you’re reading along let’s all jump to page 77, CP Conceptual NLW.

First up we have three Active Denial Technologies, or ADTs, you’ve got to love a good acronym! Each of these, the Compact, Solid State and Airbourne ADTs have the same hoped for capability: Heat sensation causing involuntary movement away from the beam. Which to me is a heat ray. The scurge of early Sci-Fi and comics is being made a reality. We shall zap you with our magic heat weapons! Pow! You’re hot! Mwhahahaha! It is a big Bond villain you have to admit.

Next up we have the Nano-second Electrical Pulses. This ones aims to have the capability for Electro-muscular incapacitation (i.e., the loss of voluntary muscular control by electrical stimulation). So basically it’s set phasers to stun! Or it will be some kind of super Tazer! Again it’s all a bit Sci-Fi. Oh no! Our Heat Ray didn’t work! Don’t worry Captain! Set Phasers to Stun!

Page 92 has a very interesting one for all you UFO nuts. And yes it’s in the prototype phase too. The Pre-emplaced Electric Vehicle Stopper (PEVS) claims to be able to disrupt and cut out all electrical systems on a car. Something a lot of UFO witnesses claim to have happened to their vehicles when in close proximity to these unknown craft of unknown origins. Perhaps their little green men are more likely secret systems testings of an all together more terrestrial nature?

A few pages later we have the Non-Lethal Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) High Power Microwave (HPM) Payload which is a flying object that aims to disrupt cars electrical systems… Hmm… You know what I was saying before? I think I was bang on the money myself. Plus being unmanned these things would be capable of flight maneuvers that a human pilot wouldn’t be able to survive. And they have some rather wacky designs too!

The last one is Laser Based Flow Modification which is a way that the US Airforce hopes to be able to force aircraft to divert from path by modifying airflow across control surfaces. How on earth do you modify the control surfaces of an aircraft midflight?! The answer to that is simple! You blast it with lasers. I’ll leave it to the reports author to sum up how this approach will work:

A laser-based approach to modify the flow across control surfaces of an airplane. This effect is achieved by directing a pulsed laser at the leading edge of the airfoil in order to adjust the drag and lift on a plane, externally controlling the steering forces through modifying aerodynamic flow.

Now… I could be wrong here but blasting lasers at aircraft seems something of a bad idea. Would this be one of their heat rays? Shooting at a metal object full of explosive aviation fuel? Or one of the green lasers that are discussed earlier in the report which could inadvertently blind the pilot? This whole concept just seems to have more flaws in it that a very flawed thing that has fallen down some stairs, then some more stairs, then out of an airplane.

Looking at these though, along with the knowledge of how the Military often operates (for example the original F117 Stealth aircraft. Operational long before it was ever revealed to the public), that perhaps this one time the Spaceman we’re all so afraid of might be a damn sight closer to home than what we ever imagined.