Raytheon Set to Sell The First Pain Ray


A company called Raytheon (ever heard of a Phalanx gatling gun?) is about to start selling what they’re calling the Active Denial System, or ADS.  It is apparently a non-lethal energy ray that penetrates the skin about 1/64th of an inch causing excruciating temporary pain.  In case you’re wondering, yes – this is a functioning pain ray.  Raytheon has been marketing this system as a non lethal deterrent system, and it is a huge device that looks like it should be mounted on a truck or ship or something:

raytheon painray ADS

It’s being called the Silent Guardian.  There are two models of the ray system – a 30,000W version (effective up to 250 meters) and a 100,000W version (effective up to 750 meters).  Raytheon recently gave a presentation to NATO about anti-pirate measures and the Active-Denial System, and produced this PDF document – Raytheon has been studying this technology since before they unveiled a version of it in 2001.  Think about this for a moment:  a point focus microwave generator that produces an excruciating feeling when directed at someone from a minimum of 250 meters.  As far as protecting cargo and container ships, I think this is a pretty interesting non-lethal weapon.  Raytheon seems to be pointing this towards non-military applications too – like law enforcement and security.  No offense to either of these industries, but quite frankly I wonder what kinds of news stories I’ll be writing about when this thing hits the market.  I think it’s great that we might have a non-lethal weapon that could protect whatever needs protecting from actual threats, but why don’t you go search Google News for the words “police” and “taser.”

I hate to sound like a broken record, but if we can’t even trust people with taser guns, what makes this joystick-controlled hurt beam any different?  What about the possibility of this thing being used in “questioning” situations?

pain ray

I like hearing about things that deal with light and energy, and even though the realistic part of my brain tells me differently, I am going to hope for the best here.  Let’s hope that we don’t read about some overzealous agent using this on a detainee or some militant law enforcement group just unleashing this onto a group of demonstrators without need or license.

From the PDF presentation:


painray ADS

Thanks, Danger Room!

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  1. While and interesting concept I must say I share your concerns on a “pain ray” being used on groups of civilians. While non-lethal what kind of damage does it do to a person? Anything causing that much pain can’t be completely safe.

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