The U.S. Army is set to begin new testing on its microwave weapons defense system in the mountains of New Mexico. Following a release from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, the MaxPower system is now ready for additional research and development.
Image Source: Task & Purpose
Designed To Destroy IEDs
The MaxPower is an impressive electromagnetic power system incorporated into an armored vehicle. Through the use of concentrated microwaves, the system is capable of instantly destroying improvised explosive devices (IEDs) while traveling through combat zones.
The MaxPower’s gigawatt of electromagnetic power—roughly a billion times the strength of a household microwave—is used to upset IED trigger systems and cause them to explode prematurely.
Effective Nonlethal Force
The AFRL’s Directed Energy Directorate originally built the MaxPower system in 2007 and completed it in 2012. It was then tested in Afghanistan over a nine month period but was returned to Kirtland for additional development. Scientists and engineers have been exploring ways to use microwaves that will destroy enemy targets without also destroying surrounding infrastructure or harming people in the area. The system will now undergo additional research testing in a 40-square-mile field laboratory in New Mexico.
Image Source: Wikimedia
The Unused “Pain Ray”
Another nonlethal vehicle-mounted defense system was also brought to Afghanistan but was never use in the battlefield. The Active Denial System (ADS) or “Pain Ray” was developed to create a burning sensation on the skin in order to cause enemies to drop their weapons or cause crowds to disperse.
If the MaxPower continues to be an effective nonlethal weapon, will we start to see more electromagnetic technology used in our defensive systems? What do you think of this development from the AFRL?
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