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Direct Energy Weapon Mounted On A Machine Gun?

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November 25, 2012 in Guns

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Raytheon’s Solid-State Non-Lethal Directed Energy Weapon Can Be Mounted On A Machine Gun

A solid-state non-lethal directed energy weapon earned U.S. Patent 7,784,390 for the Raytheon Company (Waltham, MA)
The non-lethal weapon may include a solid-state source to generate a high-power millimeter-wave initial wavefront, a main reflector, and a sub-reflector to reflect the initial wavefront to the main reflector. The main reflector may direct the reflected wavefront in a bore-sighted direction toward a target. The wavefront directed by the main reflector may have a power density selected to deliver a non-lethal deterring effect on the target, according to inventors Reid F. Lowell, Kenneth W. Brown, A-Lan V. Reynolds and Alan A. Rattray.
There are many difficult quickly changing situations in modern urban conflicts that security personnel must deal with. In modern urban conflicts, security personnel must execute dynamically changing missions that could shift rapidly between direct action, security patrols and civil stability. Among the mix of unarmed civilians, non-lethal combatants (e.g., rock throwing) and lethal combatants, it is often not immediately clear who is an innocent bystander and who poses an immediate threat to security personnel.
Options for security personnel many times progress quickly from shouting to shooting. Modern urban conflicts many times require a delicate balance between the use of non-lethal force and the use of lethal force. Non-lethal weapons, when available, are generally carried separate from lethal weapons resulting in a potentially life-threatening delay for security personnel when switching between the types of weapons. Urban riot situations, for example, can easily escalate in a moment’s notice and require security personnel to switch between a non-lethal response and a lethal response.
One problem with many non-lethal weapons is that they are largely ineffective over the range that lethal weapons are effective. For example, a non-lethal kinetic weapon that sends projectiles (e.g., rubber bullets) must have a reasonable range to maintain its nonlethality, however, the weapon becomes potentially lethal at close range when powerful enough to be used for longer ranges due to the initial velocity required to project the projectile over these longer ranges.
Thus, there are general needs for a non-lethal weapon that can easily be deployed. There are also needs for a combined lethal/non-lethal weapon that has an effective non-lethal range comparable to its lethal range. There are also needs for a combined lethal/non-lethal weapon that allows security personnel to easily and quickly switch between non-lethal and lethal capabilities
The weapon combines lethal capability with non-lethal capability allowing a user to easily switch between lethal and non-lethal force in a moment’s notice. In many urban conflict situations, this ability may help save the lives of security personnel as well as the lives of innocent non-combatants. The non-lethal portion uses directed energy which, unlike many other non-lethal weapons (e.g., rubber bullets, taser, water cannons), generally causes no residual damage to a person fired upon. Because energy is the ammunition, the logistical burdens associated with conventional non-lethal weapons are significantly reduced.
The lethal portion  may be any lethal weapon including a rifle or machine gun. The non-lethal portion may comprise a directed energy weapon and may be bore-sighted or aligned with the lethal portion. In some embodiments, the non-lethal portion may be a kit allowing non-lethal capability to be added to a lethal weapon.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a combined lethal and non-lethal weapon
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FIG. 2 is a functional block diagram of the non-lethal portion of the weapon of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3C is a perspective view illustrating the main reflector in a partially folded-up position.

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