LRAD for the London Olympics

‘Sonic weapon’ deployed in London during Olympics

May 11, 2012

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed a device which can be used as a “sonic weapon” will be deployed in London during the Olympics. The American-made Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) can be used to send verbal warnings over a long distance or emit a beam of pain-inducing tones. The equipment was spotted fixed to a landing craft on the Thames at Westminster this week. An MoD spokesman said it would be used “primarily in the loud hailer mode”. Royal Marines operating in patrol craft from HMS Ocean are also heavily armed with conventional firearms.

The piercing beam of sound emitted by the device is highly directional. Some versions of the LRAD are capable of producing deafening sound levels of 150 decibels at one metre. But the device, which was used this week during Exercise Olympic Guardian, can also be used to broadcast verbal warnings, such as ordering crowds to disperse. The San Diego-based LRAD Corporation has previously sold the device to the US Army, which deployed them in Iraq for crowd control. They have also been bought by the US Navy and Air Force as well as a number of police forces worldwide.

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Pain-inducing loudhailer for Olympics: Sonic weapon to be used on Thames to make boats stop

May 12, 2012

A weapon that can emit a piercing beam of pain-inducing sound will be deployed at the Olympics, it emerged last night. The Ministry of Defence has confirmed plans to use the sonic equipment which was used by US troops in Iraq. The kit, which the MoD says will mostly be used as a loudhailer to make boats stop on the Thames, was seen this week fixed to a landing craft on the river at Westminster. Experts say the weapon, in operation during this week’s Exercise Olympic Guardian which tested Games security, is mainly for making crowds disperse and is called the long range acoustic device. Sound emitted by it can be pointed in virtually any direction. Some versions of the American-made LRAD are capable of producing deafening sound levels of 150 decibels at 3ft – which is the same as being stood next to the speakers at a very loud rock concert and causes the sensation of being compressed as if underwater.

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Chicago police bulk up with $1m in riot gear for ‘peaceful’ Nato summit protests

May 11, 2012

“This is a device that has the capability to inflict permanent hearing loss on people,”

Chicago police confirmed to the Guardian that they will have a LRAD available at the 20 May protest, “as a means to ensure a consistent message is delivered to large crowds that can be heard over ambient noise”. “This is simply a risk management tool, as the public will receive clear information regarding public safety messages and any orders provided by police,” said Chicago police spokeswoman Melissa Stratton. However while the device can be used simply to transmit voice messages, it also has a “deterrent tone”, emitted at a volume which is painful to the human ear and which can be used to disperse crowds.

LRADs have been purchased by the US army and navy, and have also been used in commercial shipping as an attempt to drive away pirates. The device was first used at a protest in the US at the G20 Pittsburgh summit in September 2009, however there are ongoing complaints that its use there caused some people to suffer permanent damage. Karen Piper, a university lecturer, claims she suffered irreversible hearing damage that day, and is currently bringing a legal case against the city of Pittsburgh. “This is a device that has the capability to inflict permanent hearing loss on people,” Piper’s lawyer, Vic Walczak, told the Guardian, adding that the device is “more dangerous than a Taser”. “We don’t believe it should be used against demonstrators. It should not be used outside the battlefield.”

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Sonic weapon deployed for Olympics

May 11, 2012

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London 2012: Sonic Weapon Deployed For Olympics

May 11, 2012

A device which can be used as a sonic weapon is being deployed in London for the Olympics. The American-built long range acoustic device (LRAD) can be used both as a high-powered loud speaker and to emit an ear-piercing beam of sound. The Ministry of Defence confirmed that it was among a “broad range of assets” being used by the armed forces to provide security during the Games. A spokesman said it would be used primarily in “loud hailer mode” in order to issue verbal warnings to any boats on the River Thames that were causing concern.

However the LRAD, which can reportedly emit a highly directional beam of sound at a pain-inducing 150 decibels, has also been used by the US Army as a crowd control device in Iraq. “As part of the military contribution to the police-led security effort to ensure a safe and secure games, a broad range of assets and equipment is being used by our armed forces,” the MoD spokesman said. “This includes the LRAD which will be deployed during the Olympic Games primarily to be used in the loud hailer mode as part of the measures to achieve a maritime stop on the Thames.”

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