The Navy Reveals Secret Device to Defeat IEDs
Last week the Pentagon revealed the existence of a new weapon in the war against roadside bombs: a beam of radio-frequency energy that can detonate hidden Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at a distance.
And its creators say the potential does not stop there—the beam could be also used to set off other types of warheads before they reached their target. In theory it might be used to set off ammunition before the enemy even has a chance to fire. “The capabilities are not limited to improvised devices,” Lee Mastroianni, program manager at the Office of Naval Research (ONR), told Popular Mechanics.
There are many counter-IED devices that work by jamming the command signals to bombs that are triggered by a radio signal. These are collectively known as Counter Radio-controlled Electronic Warfare, or CREW. And there have also been some other technologies, such as the Army’s Blow Torch, which use a high-powered beam of microwaves to damage the bomb’s electronics. But the new device targets the explosive itself.