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back to article US admiral wants pain-rayguns for Gulf fleet

A US admiral has called for American warships operating in the Middle East to be equipped with microwave "pain ray" cannons to avoid using overwhelming lethal force. The Navy Times reports that Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, in command of the US 5th Fleet, has put out an “urgent need statement” seeking extra nonlethal weapons for …

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Nonlethal?

Surely the rationale for the microwave weapons is that people run away if they get hit by it. But if you're on a speedboat, you can't get away unless you're the driver. And even then, it'd be pretty trivial to put a metal mesh in front of your windscreen and so shield yourself! Just like in a microwave oven, it's pretty easy to see through.

Altogether, that sounds to me like a recipe for cooking any folk on the deck of the speedboat, as well as any innocent sailors encroaching on the ship who simply don't understand what's happening to them.

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Anonymous Coward

Ground may nag as much as it likes, it has no power to drive this weaponry

Well... Ground should wait until these weapons evolve to work with powersources _SMALLER_ than ones that can be carried by a Ticonderoga class cruiser (or its British, French or Russian equivalents). None of these weapons has really reached the portability requirements for ground use.

In fact, the fleet can use weapons which are not suitable for ground use as well. A smallish laser way under what is required to be used as a weapon in ground warfare can happily turn anyone driving a speedboat into a blind bat. The cruisers already carry enough ECM gear to ensure that the blinded bat cannot navigate using radar or other means (this is something ground pounders do not have yet). From there on, rest is a matter of technicalities (lock laser on boat, turn ECM on and 10 degrees to starboard).

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Degrees of Lethal?

"non- or less-lethal weapons"

What degree of lethal is proposed?

There needs to be some kind of El-Reg standard units.

I propose:

Palinite - Defined as brain Dead, but otherwise funtional.

Full Paris - Able to perform basic oral functions, but limited cognative ability.

Partial Paris - Full oral skills, some self promotion.

Jobsian - Not able to tell the difference between hype and reality.

OU - Mostly functional, but with the odd ugly boil.

Vista - Still born.

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Silver badge

Ummm...

So a good helmet defeats the noise guns, and I suspect a nice metal shield on your arm would defeat the microwave... Sounds like the Yanks should be worried about Vikings.

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Bronze badge
Happy

never a happy pill

Why not develop a ray that sends the targets into a blissful sleep? Or makes them groggy and peaceable? It's always the pain option. I rather fancy a speedboat full of babbling, bubble-blowing grown-up babies coming back from a hararssment attack, to the amusement of their colleagues. It can be macho to bear pain, but no warrior looks good cooing and counting his toes.

You can call me a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...

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Months at sea...

...the loneliness of service, the tension of a warzone, and the intense camaraderie of shared duty. With all these factors at play on a young man's spirit, and the close, almost intimate contact of his fellow sailors, who could blame a young man, in the deepest depths of the long lonely night, from turning to his bunkmates and suggesting that which in the light of day would be unthinkable but here and now, with these men who are so much more than just friends, seems almost inevitable....

"Lads, lets go topside and poach some dolphins!"

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heat ray

Well, lets just declare a no go area around the ship, and assuming the beam is directional ! leave it on all the time, get to close to the ship you get fried, end of story.

Be great on the big carriers as they have plenty of free electricity due to the reactors,

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Won't someone..

..think of the Octupii?

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Black Helicopters

Idea in progress

If the navy can microwave an enemy to shoo away, why not just microwave the explosives!

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Pirate

Why use a screwdriver when a computerized six-axis industrial robot will do

I suppose a warning shot across the bow is just too 19th century.

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Stop

enough..

.. of this raygun rubbish where are my type X phasers and photon torpedos!

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Anonymous Coward

Non-lethal weapons

I have no problem with the army having these things. They're allowed to kill people; if they can achieve their aims without killing people, great! However, when you start arming the police with these things, it becomes an issue. They might not be as lethal as a bullet to the head but they're definitely more lethal than being grabbed and 'cuffed.

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Boffin

@AC

A smallish laser way under what is required to be used as a weapon in ground warfare can happily turn anyone driving a speedboat into a blind bat.

Except that blinding weapons are against the Geneva convention. Mind you, that doesn't apply to Americans does it?

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I _WAS_ going to suggest ...

a fire-hose arrangement that fired alcohol, which would be anathema to certain religions thus repelling them, and possibly affect their boat driving skills.

_THEN_ I remembered that we were talking about the navy, so there would be no stock of alcohol left by the time the ship left port.

carry on sailor...

ttfn

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Anonymous Coward

errmm....

what about better foreign policy and not needing to send the navy over to the holiday hotspot, maybe allowing the next generation of cannon fodder to get an education or send droids to do the killing!

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Meg
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Am I the only one....

... who thinks that when a speed boat of possible suicide bombers is racing towards your military vessel you should just send out a helicopter; have the helicopter give them one audible warning / shot across the bow and if they don't stop you kill them.... it'll make their friends think twice if they never get close to the boat.

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@john

>Surely the rationale for the microwave weapons is that people run away if they get hit by it. But if you're on a speedboat, you can't get away unless you're the driver. And even then, it'd be pretty trivial to put a metal mesh in front of your windscreen and so shield yourself! Just like in a microwave oven, it's pretty easy to see through.

>Altogether, that sounds to me like a recipe for cooking any folk on the deck of the speedboat, as well as any innocent sailors encroaching on the ship who simply don't understand what's happening to them.

But if the speedboat just keeps coming despite the ray then you could make a good case for it to have displayed hostile intent and _then_ you could switch those CIWS (Close-In Weapon Stations) from standby to auto...

Useful to filter out the false positive idiot sightseers. And belive me, there are those stupid enough to make a high-speed approach on a warship in a narrow strait 'just for lulz'. Seen it myself. Although the escorting patrolboat with a very visible .50 cal. on the bow tried to intercept, the small speedboat evaded with ease and kept playing.. Good candidate for this 'piss off-ray'.

As the article states it's nice to have some more steps on the ladder of escalation than a loud-hailer and a .50 cal, so I'm all for it on naval vessels.

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Stop

Of course...

If the navy did just shred anything that came within a mile of it I suspect that people would catch on and stop coming within a mile of it.

Oh no... more 'in the box' thinking.

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Flame

@Anonymous Coward - errmm....

Nice cream world you live in, but the pirates in the middle east don't give a rats about the fact you may not be military. they're willing to steal, kill, whatever because it's easy for them to do if there's nobody really to stop them.

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Joke

I _WAS_ going to suggest ...

Paul,

How about a bacon gun?

Imagine being taken out by a few rounds of Danish!

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Silver badge

Make smoke

A standard naval tactic of old but now the answer would be to fire cannabis based smoke grenades at the incoming U.S.C. (unidentified surface craft). That would probably result in most of the joyriders baiting the navy in going surfing. `Wow dude look at those waves!´

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Anonymous Coward

There's always the possibility

that the Admiral's new boss is going to tell him to stop being a terrorist and to get himself and his ship home ASAP, if not sooner - this will have a number of benefits, including being cheaper for the poor sods who have to pay for all of this - it might even turn out to be a cost effective way of reducing the 'merkin's risk from the other terrorists as well.

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Joke

@Pad

Can't be done I'm afraid. The Navy's thought of this one and had secured a ready supply of bacon.

But it was a cunning plan by the enemy. The bacon tree turned out to be a hambush.

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T J

WHAT raygun exactly?

Um, you know it doesn't actually work, right? Anymore than the water powered car we saw recently.

You can't heat something remotely by microwaves to a 'nice' degree, if you are pumping that wavelength with enough power to heat anything you are already in dangerous territory.

What IS going on however, is that yet another starting is leaching VC off the military and lying their way into the money. Well, can't blame them really can we.

But its all BOLLLLLLLLOX.

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bacon gun

That would just be more pork for the military budget, no ?

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