Science fiction meets reality! Next year, the U.S. Army will debut a microwave gun
, which fires painful yet nonlethal and non-injuring electronic beams. It will most likely see its first use in Iraq for crowd control and to quell civil disturbances. These guns, known formally as the Active Denial System (what a name!), will be mounted on large armored vehicles already in Iraq, to be called "Sheriffs." The Army hopes to have at least several Sheriffs deployed by next fall. If the Sheriffs prove successful, they may be deployed elsewhere, such as sensitive military sites worldwide and for border patrols.
The Active Denial System may be paired with another innovative weapon, Gunslinger, that detects enemy sniper fire, automatically determines its origin, and fires back. This device, however, will be a bit more deadly.