Military Review

Acoustic non-lethal weapons: for the protection of objects and for other tasks


LRAD system on a ship. Photo by the US Department of Defense

One of the promising and promising areas in the field of non-lethal weapons are systems that act on the target with directional sound signals. Non-lethal acoustic weapons can be used to solve a wide range of combat and auxiliary tasks. At the same time, the best results can be achieved in the field of protection of objects and prevention of attacks.

A forward-looking concept

The topic of non-lethal acoustic weapons is regularly raised in various publications. Thus, in the January issue of the magazine of the Ministry of Defense "Military Thought" an article was published "Use of non-lethal weapons in the interests of protecting objects from unauthorized entry." It discusses various ways of influencing manpower in the context of perimeter protection, incl. acoustic.

The authors of the article believe that acoustic weapons are one of the most effective means of non-lethal action in the context of protecting objects. An alternative or addition to it is called systems that use electric current or emitters of electromagnetic waves of extremely high frequency (EHF).

The best working and "combat" characteristics are demonstrated by acoustic systems using the upper part of the audible range - from 16 to 20 kHz. Loud sound at such frequencies excessively affects the eardrum, which leads to displacement of the elements of the middle ear and pain. Pain sensations occur in a healthy person with noise intensity of 130-140 dB. Experiments show that sound up to 130 dB for a duration of up to 10 s does not lead to irreversible damage to the hearing organs and is generally safe.

Another version of the LRAD. Photo by the US Department of Defense

The authors of "Military Thought" write about the need for further development of hydroacoustic non-lethal weapons. Such systems, suitable for protecting water areas from manpower, have their own characteristics. So, in the aquatic environment, acoustic radiation can cause a whole range of negative sensations. Anxiety, weakness, as well as general discomfort and depression are added to the pains of the hearing organs.

Depending on the current conditions and tasks, acoustic systems can be used independently or together with other non-lethal weapons of any type. So, when holding back a crowd that does not show pronounced aggression, "Military Thought" allows the use of acoustic weapons. At the same time, to suppress disturbances, EHF systems should be used, which give a faster and more pronounced effect.

Real samples

A promising concept, as expected, did not go unnoticed by engineers and operators. The first samples of acoustic weapons suitable for practical use were created at the beginning of the XNUMXs. Soon it became known about the purchase of such devices by various structures, as well as about their intended use.

The most famous over the past two decades was the American device LRAD (Long-Range Acoustic Device). It is a portable system that includes a radiator-speaker, a controlled acoustic signal generator and an amplifier. Such a device can be used as a loudspeaker to send messages, as well as solve full-fledged combat missions.

The LRAD product can produce sound signals over a wide range of frequencies with the required loudness in a sector up to 30° wide. The range of action and the effect on the biological object depend on the selected operating parameters. It is possible to work on individual goals or in groups with equal efficiency.

Acoustic non-lethal weapons: for the protection of objects and for other tasks

Stationary version of the Sirin system. Photo of the company-developer "Roniks"

LRAD consists of supplying a number of army and police structures in the United States and other countries. Such products have been repeatedly used to disperse crowds and suppress riots. In addition, they were used by ship crews to fight pirates. In all cases, sufficient efficiency was demonstrated. It should be noted that the suppression of unrest and the protection of navigation fully correspond to the range of tasks considered by the Military Thought.

Similar systems are being created in our country. So, in 2017, a “sonic gun” called “Sirin” was introduced. It was made in the form of a remotely controlled module for placement on a machine tool or a self-propelled platform. Two sound emitters and optics were placed on a rotary and swinging base to search for targets.

It was reported that the signals of the Sirin product in loudspeaker mode are heard at a distance of up to 5 km. Acoustic non-lethal suppression is provided within a radius of 560 m; sound pressure - up to 152 dB. Subsequently, new samples with different characteristics were developed, and now we are talking about the whole Sirin family.

Hydroacoustic means for the protection of water areas are also being developed. So, a few years ago, the Zeus active protection system was introduced. Its main element is a submersible cylindrical module that generates powerful acoustic impulses.

A module weighing 130 kg is capable of operating at depths of up to 10 m and affecting targets within a radius of 100 m. The acoustic pulse has a negative effect on the hearing organs and hollow organs. At the same time, at short distances, up to meters, severe damage to the body and death is possible.

Another version of the Sirin system is in position. Photo "Roniks"

Also in the context of non-lethal acoustic weapons, one should recall the recent history with Havana syndrome. Russia was suspected and accused of using some secret devices, possibly acoustic weapons. However, no evidence has emerged, and it has recently emerged that almost all of the complaints of American personnel were caused by various natural factors, but not by hostile activities.

In theory and practice

In general, non-lethal acoustic weapons are of particular interest from a technical and practical point of view. Such systems have a number of important features and advantages that help him find a place in the armies and law enforcement agencies. Demand for existing systems stimulates the development of new designs, which contributes to the further development of the concept, the emergence of new functions, etc.

One of the main advantages of acoustic weapons is their relative simplicity. A system of this class, designed for operation on land, can be built on the basis of available components with sufficient characteristics. Hydroacoustic systems are more complex, but there are no fundamental difficulties.

Acoustic weapons are flexible in use. Given the current conditions and challenges, the operator can choose the optimal operating mode and signal parameters. This ensures equally high efficiency over the entire parameter range. In addition, emitters can be used not only to influence the target, but also as simple loudspeakers.

Submersible module "Zeus". Photo

An important advantage of acoustic weapons is the minimal negative impact on living targets and the environment - subject to all safety measures. Damage and destruction of infrastructure or surrounding objects is virtually excluded. In this regard, acoustic means are more convenient and safer than kinetic or electromagnetic ones.

However, there are also significant drawbacks. The negative impact of acoustic weapons can be reduced by fairly simple and common means of protection. In addition, even loud sounds are shielded and reflected by various objects. In certain situations, it even poses a potential threat to operators.

All these shortcomings can reduce the real effectiveness of acoustic weapons. To reduce their negative impact, it is necessary to correctly approach the use of such systems. In addition, acoustic weapons should be supplemented with non-lethal weapons of other classes. Several different samples will be able to complement each other without leaving weak spots in the defense.

multipurpose tool

Thus, non-lethal acoustic weapons have a number of advantages and are therefore of interest to various structures. When used correctly, alone or with other systems, it allows you to solve various problems with little or no collateral damage and long-term negative consequences. The main scope of its application should be considered the protection of various objects, territories and equipment.

Interest in this topic has led to a number of different speaker designs on the market. In addition, the topic of such weapons is regularly raised in various publications, incl. in serious military-scientific publications. It can be assumed that in the future these trends will continue, and the direction of acoustic weapons will develop. This will lead to the emergence of new samples that will go into service with various structures and will help in protecting objects, areas or water areas.

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  1. tihonmarine
    tihonmarine 14 February 2022 18: 29
    Thus, non-lethal acoustic weapons have a number of advantages and are therefore of interest to various structures.

    This is certainly interesting, but this weapon can be used above 140 dB.
    1. Gato
      Gato 14 February 2022 18: 46
      The ship's howler is a thing! fellow
      1. tihonmarine
        tihonmarine 14 February 2022 19: 37
        Quote: Gato
        The ship's howler is a thing!

        It's cool, well, the figure created a competent defense, although there would have been enough "bells of a loud battle" there.
        My friend had a dacha near St. Petersburg, where the local "bungs" constantly stole crops. So he decided to ward them off from the military (the time was perestroika) for the liquid "reward received a large amount of" Bruno's spiral ", which he stretched behind the fence from the side of the dacha, and it was not visible from the outside. His wife already told me about the next : "We sleep peacefully in the house, suddenly inhuman screams are heard, when we flew out like crazy, then I saw that three thieves were lying on the side of our fence, entangled in a spiral and yelling in a heart-rending voice, and I felt sick." Well, I had to call rescuers, yes and the police arrived, in general, the people were pulled out of this spiral. The police could not do anything to Nikolai. And they didn’t want to present anything, only his wife said - "Until you remove this muck, my legs will not be in the country house."
        Kolya, of course, removed it, but since then his dacha, and the whole cooperative society, the thieves bypassed, the whole district knew about the spiral, of course, Nikolai removed the spiral so that no one would see.
  2. evgen1221
    evgen1221 14 February 2022 19: 23
    We rivet more, mask at the border and figure who will pass))), and look for where from which bump it broadcasts, you are tormented.
  3. riwas
    riwas 15 February 2022 08: 17
    Judging by the articles, the US does not use acoustic weapons, but a laser, as a non-lethal weapon to protect ships and unmanned ships. We have similar developments.
  4. Flank
    Flank 15 February 2022 12: 10
    Ear plugs and headphones to help the attackers.
  5. kig
    kig 15 February 2022 16: 39
    During the heyday of the Somali pirates, there were attempts to use LRAD. I remember that the Piracy Reporting Center bulletin described a pirate attack on a small passenger ship. At first, the system worked and the pirates rolled away, but then they realized where the threat was coming from, and shot these "searchlights" from machine guns, while injuring one of the "operators". The ship, however, was able to leave. And there was also a completely anecdotal case: a tanker, I don’t remember the name, had on board unarmed security and LRAD installations. The guards fought back with sound cannons, jets of water from fire hoses and fireworks. The pirates put out their RPG pipes and successfully jumped aboard. Moreover, this happened right in the zone of the patrolled corridor in the Gulf of Aden. The guards then jumped into the water and were then rescued by a helicopter from some patrol ship, and the tanker was safely hijacked in Somalia.

    So it's only good against an unarmed and unorganized crowd.
  6. gridasov
    gridasov 18 March 2022 00: 14
    This article is for dreamers and dreamers. Well, there is no knowledge about the physics of processes! Tell someone that you need a current generator with an algorithmically tuned pulse and not variable, but unidirectional. Well, no one will believe it. Although it is absolutely simple. A microwave pulse on a variable current direction vector is a heating device and nothing more. And you need to understand why. We need minds and fundamental solutions. Neither classical science nor alternative scientists can advance towards the truth in their opposition. Because it is necessary not to sort and filter, but to optimize the entire cumulative mass of knowledge and crystallize what will be optimal and efficient.