Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directed Energy Portfolio Overview

July 17, 2018 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.

Non-Lethal Directed Energy Applications. Non-lethal weapons, developed to have reversible effects on personnel and materiel, complement lethal force and maximize mission effectiveness while minimizing risk to U.S. forces, coalition partners, civilians, and critical infrastructure. Directed energy (DE) technology can deliver effective non-lethal effects over long distances almost instantaneously, addressing threats at safer standoff distances. The DoD NLW Program, a leader in DE technology development, increased its investment in DE enabling technology to target individuals, equipment, and facilities with safe, effective, and less expensive non-lethal capabilities.

NLW DE Portfolio. The DoD NLW Program’s DE portfolio showcased at DE2DC events prove that these capabilities exist today. As NLW DE systems undergo assessments in FY18/19, they demonstrate the ability to 1) stop vehicles, vessels, and other systems with Radio Frequency/High- Power Microwave (RF/HPM) energy, 2) deny/suppress/ move individuals using millimeter wave (mmW) electro‐magnetic energy commonly referred to as Active Denial Technology, and 3) hail and warn individuals at safer standoff ranges through low‐power lasers and long‐range audio devices.