US military tests electric shock weapons with a range of 100 meters

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SPECTER bullet with brake parachute. Picture: JIFCO

Taser weapons have a maximum range of 10 meters. The wireless bullets from SPECTER are designed to avoid injuries using a bizarre technique

Taser electroshock weapons, which use an electric shock to temporarily contract the muscles of those affected with great pain, immobilize them and usually cause them to fall, are routine equipment for police forces in many countries. The non-lethal or less lethal weapons are intended to protect the police and reduce the use of firearms, i.e. they have a de-escalating effect.

In the United States, almost all police officers carry them with them, which apparently does not necessarily reduce the fatal use of firearms. For this purpose, tens of thousands of people are touched every year, who have the corresponding traumatic experiences. One can assume that the weapon sold as a non-lethal weapon will be used faster and more frequently than the use of physical force or the use of a baton or firearm, since nothing serious will happen. Sometimes they are also used to torment the victim, often psychologically disturbed and confused people, or to demonstrate power.

Amnesty International stated in one Report on the use of taser weapons by the Dutch policethat they would be used excessively and without necessity, even against helpless people, for example if they are already in handcuffs. Taser weapons are also used up close so that they cause pain but do not immobilize the victim.

However, there are always Reportsthat people can not only be injured by using a taser, but also die – for example as a result of an unchecked fall to the floor. while on the other hand in the US Criticism of the unreliability of the weapon became loud. That was up to 40 percent of their use, police officers in major cities said last year, mainly because those affected do not become immobile or not at all. That was last on June 26th in Londonwhen the police first fired a taser at Badreddin Abadlla Adam, who had injured 6 people with a knife in a hotel but was not immobilized. A police officer then shot him.

In 2015-2017, police officers used firearms with fatal consequences 250 times after the taser (after one Reuters report blacks were the victims disproportionately often). The non-lethal weapons do not de-escalate, but increase the anger and fear of those affected. And newer weapons from Axon (formerly Taser) are said to be less reliable than the old ones, presumably because the strength of the electric shock has been reduced to protect victims and because the angle of the arrows has been changed so that the police officers have to shoot them from a greater distance. However, the police officers must not be too close to the victim either, because then the shot arrows, which penetrate the skin, are not far enough apart to apply the necessary current surge. Ideally, they should be at a distance of 30 cm, the shooter should be at least two meters away.

The range of taser weapons for security forces is a maximum of 8-10 meters; at greater distances, they become extremely unreliable. That means the policeman and his victim must be pretty close. This makes the situation dangerous for the police officer if the electric shock does not work. Then you shoot several times or use other force, including a firearm.

From a security agency perspective, a non-lethal stun gun that would disable people from a distance is a desideratum. The Marine Corps is testing one new weapon called SPECTER (Small arms Pulsed Electronic Tetanization at Extended Range) from Harkind Dynamics, which should have a range of 100 meters and whose ammunition fired from a 12-caliber shotgun no longer requires cables. The development is financed by the Joint Intermediate Force Capabilities Office (JIFCO)

So that such a projectile fired by a normal rifle, with its greater range and greater accuracy than the Taser, is less dangerous, the company has built a brake glider into the projectile, which should open shortly before it hits and halve the speed. For this purpose, the tip of the projectile should be deformable to reduce the impact force.

One meter in front of the victim, SPECTER shoots three electrode arrows that can penetrate clothing to pierce the skin. They are said to continue to deliver electric shocks while the victim is still moving. It all doesn’t sound very safe and it sounds like a non-lethal weapon. If the screen does not open, the impact can cause injuries, which could be fatal.
(Florian Rötzer)

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