By Duncan Hooper
US unveils 'heat gun'
Thu Jan 25, 2007 15:57

US unveils 'heat gun'

By Duncan Hooper
Last Updated: 2:46pm GMT 25/01/2007

The weapon is mounted on a humvee

The US military has unveiled a "heat gun" designed to inflict an intense burning sensation on its target without causing lasting harm.

The so-called Active Denial System, which should be ready for deployment in 2010, is designed to disperse crowds or force enemy soldiers to surrender. It can be fired from the back of a humvee and, at over 500 yards, its range is far greater than the rubber bullets used in riot control today.

Millimetre waves fired from the gun penetrate the outer layers of skin just far enough to cause pain, but the burning feeling disappears as soon as the target moves out of the line of fire. Even thick clothing is no protection against the device, though the rays can't travel through walls.

The weapon was yesterday demonstrated on a group of soldiers and reporters at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, where it has been undergoing operational tests.


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