Ray Gun Eyed for Riot Control

Weapon focuses painful microwave beam on skin, but doesn't kill
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2007 10:12 AM CDT
The Raytheon Silent Guardian.
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(Newser) – The US is eyeing a new weapon said to produce "waves of agony" for its potential in riot control and combat situations, reports Information Week. Raytheon's Silent Guardian aims a highly concentrated beam of millimeter waves, heating water just under the skin in a manner that creates a burning sensation but creates no damage and leaves no marks—except, perhaps, the psychological.

Daily Mail reporter Michael Hanlon aimed the ray at his own finger, describing the sensation as “a bit like touching a red-hot wire, but there is no heat.” Raytheon asks journalists not to call it a ray gun, so Hanlon went with “pain gun.” Since the weapons leave no mark, critics fear they will be used for torture.