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James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

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Gulf States Use New Ray Gun in Battle Against Pirates

Gulf States Use New Ray Gun in Battle Against Pirates

Gulf states are planning to use ray guns to protect their oil and gas infrastructure and also dissuade pirate attacks.

Raytheon, the largest manufacturer of missiles in the world and one of the largest US defence contractors, has developed a ray gun called the ‘Silent Guardian’.

“Silent Guardian directs a focused beam of millimeter wave energy that travels at the speed of light producing an intolerable sensation that causes targeted individuals to flee or take cover. The sensation immediately ceases when an individual moves away from the beam or the operator discontinues engagement. Silent Guardian does not cause injury because of the shallow penetration depth of the millimeter wave and the safety features built into the system.”
Taken from Raytheon’s website.

Kevin Massengill, Raytheon’s vice president and regional executive, said that “the capability in a maritime application would allow you to defend ships against pirates being able to board. That is a really great technology that our business in Tucson has married up with acoustic hailers and ship defences. It is a great product for shipping to use in a purely defence capability.”

The United Nations estimates that piracy cost the global shipping industry as much as $12 billion last year alone.

However, due to the non-lethal nature of the technology it is also being used against civilians to keep them away from oil and gas infrastructure, in order to prevent accidental damage.

Massengill said that “the technology has been used in critical infrastructure protection. If you are the Abu Dhabi Maritime Authority of the coast guard, for example, one of the things you are constantly frustrated with is local fishermen encroaching in on very expensive oil and gas infrastructure.”

“It is not that you want to shot anybody, or anything that they are doing is deliberate, but it could be dangerous if they moor on the wrong thing… So this kind of technology is exactly what you want to be able to bridge the gap between lethal force and being able to defend critical infrastructure. That is what it is being used for right now in the region.”

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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  • Thomas on August 21 2012 said:
    So what happens when the pirates get their hands on this technology. Is only a matter of time before they would get it on the black market or would be duplicated with a few modifications to maybe penetrate further and kill? Then it would be turned against the very people it was designed to protect. They already carry automatic weapons. Just a thought!
  • Mel Tisdale on August 17 2012 said:
    One gets the impression that this application is just part of the weapon's development programme, and an opportunistic one at that. If it proves not to be quite as safe as intended, then so what? After all, they are only pirates or inconsequential fishermen. The technicians can tinker a bit and get it right without any media outrage.

    Perhaps the article would be better headed: 'Coming to a street near you, soon'.
  • buck on August 16 2012 said:
    This sounds well and good, but a Browning .50 caliber would do the trick if applied in correct manner. Even though the technology may not be brand new, it would render those pirates null and void with one application.
  • M E Brooks on August 16 2012 said:
    Exactly what is the reasoning for not wanting to "shoot" pirates? If a "pirate" or any one else for that matter decides to attempt to perform harm to people or by force seize property that is not theirs, then lethal force should be used to stop them. A dead pirate is a pirate that will not pirate any more. Any one who attempts to harm me, my family, or my property will meet this end I promise you that. Piracy is an issue in today's world because Dictators in the 2nd/3rd World and Socialist in Europe do not believe that the citizenry have the right to defend themselves. We are property to them not individuals with Rights.
  • oceanarcher on August 16 2012 said:
    Sounds like a good thing, until you remember that there are waves on the ocean, which create complex movement patterns both in the defending ship and the intruding ship. Since this "ray gun" (or beam, if you will) has a very narrow cone of effectivity, the only way you would be able to make this work is to have a gyro-stabilized platform on which to mount the "gun". The small littoral ships used to protect the oil rigs and the shipping lanes don't have the room to carry such a device ...
  • George Thompson on August 16 2012 said:
    This is a great invention. With this in mind, why are various "nonviolent" government agencies buying up hundreds of thousands of hollow point bullets?

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