New Weaponry: Virtual Flamethrower

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A new beam weapon could bring some changes to the battlefield

According to an article published on January 25, 2007 in the online version of The Guardian, the US military has unveiled its latest high-tech weapon, a "virtual" flamethrower mounted on a classic jeep Humvee that microwaves enemies to 500 steps away. This new futuristic weapon, which is supposedly harmless, is designed to make people feel like they are about to burn, in order to let them drop their weapons.

The new weapon, called the Active Denial System, was tested on January 24 with 10 volunteer journalists. Airmen fired from the Humvee at the volunteers, applying a heat of 54ºC, which is supposedly not harmful, but is intense enough to make them feel like they were about to ignite.
The test was conducted at a distance of 457 meters, about 17 times the range of currently existing non-lethal weapons, such as pistols that shoot rubber balls. The system uses tiny waves, which only penetrate 0.4mm into the skin, enough to cause discomfort.

According to army officials, this new weapon could help save lives in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, but its production is not expected until 2010.
Another document from the US agency Darpa, has revealed the existence of a program to develop a spray of "polymeric ice" that makes enemies and their vehicles slip and skid during chases.

It is hoped that the same program could develop a "reverse agent" capable of preventing military vehicles from skidding on ice.

Source: The Guardian

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