The U.S. military is reportedly working on a gun which creates an enormously loud sound when it’s fired, but doesn’t shoot any bullets. According to a Defense One report, the Pentagon’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program is working on a non-lethal 130-decibel noise gun which uses quick laser bursts to generate a huge sound.
Called the Laser Induced Plasma Effect (LIPE), the gun directs sound at a specific target and aims to cut down on civilian causalities — it’ll be used as a scare tactic and won’t be capable of shooting real bullets.
The gun, which will be tested in the upcoming months, uses incredibly quick bursts of plasma energy to fire at a target. It’s so fast it creates a blue ball of plasma and is charged with directed lasers to produce intense sound seemingly out of nowhere.
The goal of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program is to develop weapons which “play a critical role in filling gaps between ‘shooting and shouting.'”
LIPE could very feasibly be used to shock enemies to retreat, or as Defense One notes, for crowd control and security checkpoints.
Plasma weapons like LIPE have been tested previously , though those weapons were too heavy and unwieldy for practical use.
Speaking to Defense One, David Law, the Joint Non-Leathal Program’s Technology Chief, said the goal of LIPE was to be able to create a sound of 130-decibels at a distance of 100 meters. For reference, 130 decibel is about as loud as standing behind a fighter jet taking off from an aircraft carrier.
The loudest concert ever recorded by notoriously noisy rock group The Who was 120-decibels at a distance of 50 meters.
The technology behind LIPE has been proven at short range in the lab, with long range testing to begin in the coming months.