U.S. forces increasingly operate in challenging environments, known as military
operations other than war. These operations include humanitarian assistance, military
support to civil authorities, peacekeeping/peacemaking operations and non-combatant
Non-lethal capabilities expand the number of options available to commanders
confronting situations in which the use of deadly force is not the preferred response.
Non-lethal capabilities provide flexibility by allowing forces to apply measured force
with reduced risk of serious non-combatant casualties in a manner that provides force
protection and effects compliance thus ensuring the success of the military mission.
Picatinny's cadre of non-lethal warfare specialists work diligently to ensure the
development, production, fielding and sustainment of the Army's non-lethal capabilities.
This mission encompasses weapons, munitions, individual protective equipment and
Since 1995, Picatinny has responded to numerous urgent operational requests for non-
lethal munitions. These requests were rapidly fielded to provide U.S. forces with
capabilities that filled the gap between "show of force" and lethal fire in peacekeeping
missions. Picatinny has been able to respond to these urgent real-world requirements
because of its proactive investment of Army Science and Technology funds. This has
enabled Picatinny to prepare for new capabilities associated with the post-Cold War era's
increased incidence of stability and support operations. Because of the foresight in
anticipating the need for these types of weapon systems, a contingency stockpile of NL
munitions was already available on an emergency basis.
Picatinny's continuing anticipation of user need led to it being selected to support the
Non-Lethal Capability Set for the U.S. Army. Our success also led to a major role within
NATO in complying with a Defense Capability Initiative to provide non-lethal capability
to NATO by 2005.
Examples of Non-Lethal Technologies Being Developed and/or Fielded by Picatinny
The Non-Lethal Capabilities Set (NLCS) provides an Army unit commander with a
variety of options to tailor a response to the degree of threat while protecting the forces at
all times. The components are packed in plywood containers, clip locked and palletized
for easy storage and handling, making it possible to rapidly deploy the NLCS via military
transport, or commercial carrier. This strategy, implemented at Picatinny, is consistent
with the Army Transformation vision - to become more responsive, deployable, agile and
versatile. The NLCS includes:
- Mission Enhancement Devices - These items are designed to enhance the unit's
mission in the area of crowd control, and limit mobility of mounted and dismounted
threats. Examples are the vehicle stopped, vehicle mounted grenade discharger and
- Munitions - Elements include the stun grenade, M203 non-lethal ammunitions, 12-
gauge shotgun non-lethal ammunition, M16 launched non-lethal ammunition.
_ Individual Protective Equipment - Items in this set are designed to protect the
individual from blunt trauma injuries inflicted by thrown objects and clubs. Items
also provide ballistic protection. Examples include the riot face shield, shin guards
and full-length shield.
- Individual Enhancement Components - These items provide an enhancement to the
soldier in the area of antipersonnel, antimaterial and load-bearing capabilities.
Some examples are the riot baton, voice amplification system and pouches.
_ Training Components - These components are designed to provide the organization
with equipment that will assist in training for operations involving the use of non-
The Portable Vehicle Arresting Barrier (PVAB) is used by small units patrolling
vehicle checkpoints, or roadblocks, to prevent unauthorized access of vehicles into, or out
of protected areas. Using a high-tensile net, PVAB can stop a light vehicle (up to 7,500
pounds) with internal braking mechanisms and impede the opening of front doors,
trapping passengers inside a vehicle. The PVAB spans 12 to 24 feet and can be quickly
disassembled, moved, stored, transported, uploaded and reassembled. It can be set up in
less than one hour by two or three individuals, stop vehicles traveling at up to 45 mph,
operate within 1.5 seconds after being armed and protect target areas as well as the
individuals committing the violation.
The Modular Crowd Control Munition (MCCM) is a non-lethal variant of the
Claymore munition. It provides control and force protection by temporarily
incapacitating a large, hostile group without causing life-threatening consequences to the
targeted individuals. This gives the field commander the option to apply non-lethal force
as a first line of defense where appropriate.
Two new systems are being developed and evaluated by Picatinny, a non-lethal mortar
munition and the Aversive Audible Acoustic Device (A3D). The non-lethal mortar
munition is a long-range delivery system for non-lethal payloads. It is intended to
enhance the military's capability in peacekeeping and other unconventional operations by
enabling the user to provide a selective response with minimal collateral damage.
Various payloads are being evaluated for use. The A3D is a highly directional device
that can be hand-held or vehicle mounted. It directs an acoustic beam, which has
tailorable intensity, and is used as a public address system, to focus on a specific
individual or to deliver aversive sounds to alter a combatant's behavior.