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Set Your Phasers to Pain: The Military’s Pain Ray

Written by on Monday, June 25th, 2012

The US military may have initially come to the Middle East to combat terrorism, but it stayed for the democracy. Now, one of the main missions of the military is to help create a stable government that will survive after the US withdraws all of its troops. Of course, once the focus shifts away from combating terrorism and towards government stability, bullets become less and less useful. This has created an interesting dilemma for troops: how do you keep the peace in the Middle East without using lethal force?

The answer may lie in invisible pain rays. Of course, “pain ray” doesn’t have a very diplomatic ring to it, so the DoD has come up with the euphemism, “Active Denial System.” That doesn’t sound nearly as bad, does it?

Well, regardless of what you call it, the effect is still the same. Anybody hit by the ADS will experience extreme discomfort, even pain. One person hit by the beam described the sensation: “For the first millisecond, it just felt like the skin was warming up. Then it got warmer and warmer and you felt like it was on fire…. As soon as you’re away from that beam your skin returns to normal and there is no pain.”

The ADS may cause people to recoil in pain, but it doesn’t actually cause any real damage. Well, it’s not supposed to, anyway. According to military reports of an ADS weapon test, a USAF Airman who got hit by the beam had to be airlifted to a burn center because the operator accidentally cranked the device up to full power.

So, how does this futuristic pain beam work? Basically, it’s a microwave beam. The exact same process that transforms your popcorn kernels into fluffy white morsels also turns the most battle-hardened warriors into yellow-bellied wussies. The gun fires cialis online without rx electromagnetic radiation, which reacts with the water molecultes in the surface layer of skin. The moisture becomes excited and heats up, which causes your skin to literally cook from the inside out.

The Active Denial System might seem like the end-all, beat-all of non-lethal weapons, but its hasn’t had a great start. A few ADS weapons were sent to Afganistan, but they never actually saw combat. Technical issues and the fact that the weapon didn’t perform well in the rain hindered the device from the beginning. More importantly, the very idea that the US military is hitting people with an invisible deep fryer kinda throws the whole idea of a diplomatic peace out the window. It might seem a bit ironic, but somehow the idea of having bullets fired at you is easier to digest than the idea of having heat rays fired at you.

We’ve all heard about how the Middle East locals despite drones for their proclivity to accidentally fire at civilians. Well, ADS technology could seriously cut down on civilian causalities. Some military officials want to modify ADS technology to create a high-power microwave payload that sends down a heat ray from the sky. Attach one of these weapons to a helicopter and you’ve got the best non-lethal crowd dispersing vehicle imaginable, unless maybe you filled a B-52 with angry skunks and dropped the payload over protesters.

Despite this weapon’s unimpressive track record in the Middle East, that probably isn’t the last we’ve ever heard of heat rays. Several US police departments have toyed with the idea of using these against rioters and prisoners, and the potential usefulness of such a device is undeniable. Some people even think that these guns could be converted into handheld heat guns that could be used by police and troops to keep the peace.


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