Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directed Energy Portfolio Overview

April 7, 2020 PRINT | E-MAIL

The Nation’s Joint Forces’ missions span the full range of military operations across the globe, from peacekeeping, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance to major combat campaigns. The current toolkit of non‐lethal weapons, supported by the Dept. of Defense Non‐Lethal Weapons (DoD NLW) Program and Armed Services, provides commanders with additional decision time and space before resorting to lethal force, helping to mitigate the negative consequences of unintended injuries and fatalities.

High power microwave systems, "active denial" millimeter wave (mmW) systems, dazzling lasers, and other directed energy (DE) capabilities developed through the DoD Non-Lethal Weapons Program provide Intermediate Force Capabilities (IFCs) to support Warfighters in bridging the gap between presence and lethal intent across the competition continuum.

Lethality is absolutely necessary, but not sufficient to effectively engage across the competition continuum. Precise, reversible, and effective DE IFCs enhance lethality by boosting warfighters' versatility and adaptability across many phases of warfare without causing unnecessary destruction of critical infrastructure (ex: civilian power station/place of worship) or loss of life. These force multipliers facilitate the discriminate use of limited lethal resources, completing the deterrence equation across the entire competition continuum and yielding enduring strategic victories for our warfighters and the Nation.