If this is a dupe please lock/ delete - was not found in Arfcom search
Marine Corps Times
August 1, 2005
Marines developing long-range stun gun
By Laura Bailey
Times staff writer
A new weapon in development would give leathernecks the Taser-like power to “reach out and stun someone,” but at much greater distance.
Marine non-lethal weapons experts are working with Taser International of Scottsdale, Ariz., and the Columbus, Ohio-based Battelle to develop the Joint Aeroballistic Non-lethal Incapacitation System, or JANIS, for urban combat and crowd control.
The standard Taser fires barbed sensors that deliver electricity to an individual, essentially “freezing” his muscles. But the Taser is typically limited to a maximum range of about 35 feet — the length of the wires connecting the stun-gun to the sensors.
JANIS would offer the same stopping power, but it would fire wireless projectiles, offering the user a range of up to 100 meters, said Ray Grundy, deputy director for Non-Lethal Programs at Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Va.
JANIS would allow Marines to spot troublemakers from afar and subdue them before they could run away or disappear into a crowd, he said. Marines would be able to capture people suspected of gathering intelligence on U.S. troops, for example, by incapacitating them just long enough for a team to get close.
“Maybe you don’t want to run off following him, or maybe an individual in a crowd is throwing a rock ... this is enough to get him to stop what he’s doing,” Grundy said.
The capability would be of great value to Marines “especially in this asymmetric battlefield where you can’t tell friend from foe,” he explained.
The system would create the same effect as a Taser, using electro-muscular disruption. But instead of a wire, the launcher would fire a wireless dart.
“We’re trying to keep Marines out of harm’s way,” Grundy said. The wireless system, he explained, offers the safety of greater distance.
“If there’s one guy and four Marines, you probably don’t need a Taser, but if there’s one Marine and a bunch of belligerents, we don’t want to send him in. Stand off is key.”
Project officers say the program is still in conceptual stages and requires further funding before the office can begin developing prototypes.
“The program is really just a concept, but if we can get going on this, we may see it out in the Fleet Marine Force after four or five years,” said Brian Fulks, concepts and requirements officer.
The Office of Naval Research has developed technology for the darts, but scientists need to work on perfecting the launcher, Grundy said. Although a gas paintball-style gun was under consideration, developers are now working on a design more like a shotgun.
Grundy said he hopes to have the first prototypes completed over the next two years. Once prototypes are developed, the system will be run through human effects testing.
Taser is developing the technology for the incapacitation dart and sees wireless projectiles as the next step in electro-muscular disruption technology, said Dave DuBay, the chief strategy officer for Taser. The wireless darts are possible because “we were able to miniaturize the components enough” to incorporate them into the projectiles, he explained.
That capability could prove especially useful in Iraq, he said, where “we’re in a temporary role as an occupying force and you’ve got language barriers and sometimes it’s difficult for soldiers to determine a person’s intentions.”
Beyond a long-distance incapacitation dart, developers also want to create a “tag and mark” capability that allows users to place a microchip on a person’s clothing to track his movements. “We want to surreptitiously tag and mark him so that maybe we can follow him ... then at the time of our choosing, we maybe go in and get him,” Grundy said.
As a secondary application, details of the tag-and-mark capability still need worked out, Fulks said.
“Incapacitation we know we can do, and we’re confident about that,” he said. “Tag and mark is ‘well, we’ll see.’ ”
Less lethal munitions have a place in police departments. But when it comes to Marines, I wish they stick to the 'most lethal' shit they can get their hands on. A policeman's job it to detain. A Marine's job is to kill.
While they could be useful in certain situations (urban riot, etc), I hope the military doesn't get too caught up in less lethals.