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News :: Education
more about dew and some countermeasures for the soldier
28 Feb 2006
GOOD INFO BELOW!!! but old




This appendix discusses directed-energy weapons and gives an overview of
how to defend against them. The technical characteristics of DEWs are
given in the United States Army capstone manual on directed-energy weapons
and in TB MED 524. This new category of weaponry is different in operation
and effect from any other weapon. There is evidence of enemy use of DEWs
in areas of conflict around the world.


Directed-energy weapons include lasers, microwave radiation emitters, and particle beam generators. These weapons produce casualties and damage equipment by depositing energy on the target. Conventional weapons rely on the kinetic/chemical energy of a sizable projectile to defeat a target. DEWs depend upon subatomic particles or electro-magnetic waves impacting on the target at or near the speed of light.

a. In the future, DEWs will be able to damage only soft targets to include people or soft components of hard targets. Measures to prevent damage or destruction from DEWs engagement to currently fielded equipment and to soldiers are limited but are not impossible or complicated. Neither the equipment nor the soldiers' apparel have built-in passive defense mechanisms to counter the effects of DEWs. Equipment will be manufactured with built-in defenses against known DEWs, and older equipment can be refitted with protective devices.

b. For the present, the reconnaissance platoon can employ the measures discussed in this appendix to protect themselves from attack by DEWs.


Lasers are the DEWs most likely to be used against US forces. All modern armies have increasing quantities of laser devices in their inventories. Any laser-emitting device, such as a target designator or a range finder, can be employed as a weapon if it is aimed at a type of target it can damage.

a. The most probable targets of laser weapons are optical and electro-optical systems--specifically, fire control devices such as sights and the soldiers behind the sights.

b. A laser beam entering a direct-view optical system, such as a telescope, has its power increased by the magnification of that system. Anyone who happens to be looking through the system will suffer burns to the eye(s). The severity of the burns, the permanence of the damage, and the time required for the eye to heal itself depend on weather conditions, the intensity of the laser, the magnification of the optical device, and the duration of the eye's exposure to the laser. Eye injury ranges from temporary flash blinding and mild burns to total, permanent blindness. A soldier subjected to this type of injury can be incapacitated and unable to aim a direct-fire weapon or track with a command-guided weapon. It is anticipated that a laser weapon will fire at a target for a split second at most before laying on another target.

c. A laser beam entering a non-see-through electro-optical device, such as a night vision sight or thermal imagery device, deposits its energy in the form of heat on the sensor screens inside. If the heat is intense enough, it can burn out the screen, making the device useless. Some of the electrical circuits inside also burn out from the heat and from a sudden surge of electricity caused by the laser's energy. Any device so affected will require extensive repairs.

d. Laser weapons can also be directed against people, but that is an inefficient way to employ them. Lasers burn people, with the eyes being the most susceptible to injury. For the person to suffer eye injury, they must be looking at the laser source. Since the eye is more sensitive to light at night, laser energy entering the eye during darkness has a greater effect than it does during daylight. Some types of lasers are hazardous to the eye even though the laser cannot be seen.

e. Any uncovered glass surface (such as eyeglasses, vision blocks, or binoculars) has the potential to attract or alert an antielectro-optical weapon's target acquisition system.


Apply the following techniques to avoid detection by antielectro-optical weapon systems:

a. Use artillery, mortars, or direct-fire weapons to suppress known or suspected antielectro-optical weapons locations. Smoke rounds are good for temporarily defeating laser devices.

b. When operating from fixed or semi-fixed positions in the line of sight of known or suspected enemy locations, lessen the exposure of glass surfaces in the direction of the enemy by positioning vehicles and weapons in covered or concealed positions.

c. When the mission requires maneuver and, as a result, the possible exposure of many glass surfaces, block the line of sight between friendly forces and known or suspected enemy locations with smoke, or plan routes to lessen exposure time.

d. Sound tactics prevent friendly weapons locations from being pinpointed and targeted for attack by laser devices.

e. Devices with external glass surfaces not in use should be shielded until the device is used. Even vision blocks and headlights can alert antielectro-optical weapon target acquisition systems; cover the vision blocks as well. Tape, canvas, empty sandbags, or other materials can be used as covers.

f. When using optical or electro-optical devices to search for the enemy, use the minimum number possible to do the job and lessen exposure time. Protect the rest until they are required to fire.

g. Gunners can use the AN/TAS-4 to scan for enemy laser devices. A blooming of the image indicates the presence of a laser. Gunners should be instructed to find and avoid the threat laser device. Indirect fire should be used to neutralize the devices once they are located.

h. Tubular extensions over objective lenses lessen their chances of detection except from almost head on. They can be made from tubular ammunition packaging or other scrap materials.

i. Low-energy, antielectro-optical weapons work only if they have line of sight to their target. They are just as effective at night as during the day; however, smoke, fog, snow, and dust degrade their effectiveness. Another good countermeasure against some laser devices is to cover one-half of the optical lens with tape or some other type of cover. There might be some degradation of viewing; however, the benefits in reducing your vulnerability could be great.

j. Soldiers should be aware of the potential hazard from laser devices in the US Army inventory. Laser range finders are the ones most likely to be found near friendly soldiers.

k. Laser range finders are used on the M551A1, M60A3, and M1 tanks. They are also used in the artillery units.

Lightweight target designator--used by artillery FISTs for airborne, ranger, and special forces units.

Ground-locating laser designator in either the ground-mounted or vehicle-mounted mode--used by FISTs for mechanized, infantry, and air assault units.

GVS-5, binocular-type laser range finder--used by all FIST members.

Laser designator--used by some attack helicopters to direct the Hellfire and Copperhead systems.

Laser devices--used by artillery survey parties for surveying in gun positions.

GVS-5 laser range finders--used by reconnaissance platoons.

l. Air Force and Navy aircraft can also carry laser target designators for aiming precision-guided munitions. The F-4, F-7, F-111, F-105, F-16, and A-6 aircraft can be equipped with these designators.

m. Operators of laser firing devices are given extensive training in their safe employment. The devices themselves cannot be activated without conscious, deliberate action on the part of the operator. While the possibility of an accident is extremely remote, it can happen. A victim might suddenly and unexpectedly move directly into the path of a laser beam and look directly at it, or a laser beam might reflect off a shiny surface and strike a victim in the eyes.

(1) To preclude such accidents, operators of laser firing devices must be kept constantly aware of friendly soldier locations, and they must positively identify targets before lasing them. Lasers should not be fired at reflective surfaces, and the warning "lasing" should be given before activating the laser.

(2) Conversely, commanders of soldiers operating in areas near friendly lasing must ensure that the commanders of laser-operating forces are always aware of the locations of friendly soldiers. Soldiers should be be told if there are friendly lasers in their area and should be told where the lasers are at, if possible. They should be warned not to look in the direction of laser-emitting devices unless specifically told it is safe to do so. Whenever possible, soldiers should wear laser-protective goggles matched to the wave length of the friendly lasers. Laser-protective goggles are available through normal supply channels.


Electromagnetic pulse is electromagnetic radiation that has a frequency ranging from 10 MHz to 4 GHz.

a. Electromagnetic pulses can come from nuclear detonations (nondirected EMP), from detonation of conventional explosives coupled with focusing electromechanical devices, or from electrically powered EMP generators on or above the ground.

b. Electromagnetic pulses can damage or destroy sensitive electronic components, such as microchips, coils, and fuses by overloading them with electrical current. Any equipment containing electronic components is subject to damage or destruction from EMP attack. FM radios are susceptible to EMP damage. The amount of damage to equipment depends on its distance from the source of the pulse.

c. Electromagnetic pulses can be projected into target areas from long ranges. They can enter a targeted device through any opening and attack sensitive components inside even if the device is disconnected or turned off. For example, it can enter a radio set through the louvers over the cooling fans and destroy circuitry inside, making the radio useless. It can also enter through unshielded cables for antennas, power lines, and so on.

d. An EMP attack lasts only for a split second and affects a large area. Protecting equipment from its attack is difficult. The only reliable way to do it is to encase susceptible equipment in some type of heavy gage metal shielding, or to surround it with special metal screening. Burying or covering it with sandbags or other nonmetallic materials does not provide enough protection. Terrain masking is ineffective because EMP follows the curve of the earth.

e. When operated from combat vehicles, sensitive equipment should be disconnected if not needed and moved to the center of the vehicle. Smaller pieces of equipment should be placed in empty ammunition cans. Hatch covers should stay closed unless someone enters or exits the vehicle. By doing this, the equipment is less susceptible to destruction, and the rest is available for use after the attack.

f. Known or suspected locations of enemy ground-based EMP-generating weapons should be attacked by direct or indirect fire weapons within range.


Commanders at all levels mentally condition their subordinates to face the threat of DEWs. DEWs appear at first glance to have devastating effects on men and equipment; effective defense against them seems nearly impossible. However, a basic understanding of what they are and how they work reveals them to be less awful than first supposed.

a. Laser, microwave, and EMP weapons damage their targets by attacking their soft electronic components. Their terminal effects are less violent and destructive than those of conventional kinetic or chemical energy munitions. Even though they render their targets just as combat-ineffective, they do not have the blast, fire, and fragmentation effects of conventional munitions. The dangers to people are less from laser, microwave, or EMP attacks than from conventional attacks.

b. While the thought of eye injuries from lasers is repulsive to the soldier, the extent of injury and the recovery time for a laser injury is less than that for a gunshot wound. Also, permanent blindness in the effected eye is not a certainty, and occurs in only a small percentage of incidents.

c. The advantages of particle beam weapons (if they are used) are their flat trajectory, long range, and large magazine capacity. Other than these advantages, they are similar to conventional tank cannons in employment and effect. Whether a vehicle is struck by a HEAT round, an APDS round, or a particle beam hardly matters; the effect on the vehicle and its occupants is about the same in all cases. There is no countermeasure against a particle beam weapon system.

d. Until equipment is factory-hardened against DEWs, the defensive techniques discussed in this appendix can provide some protection from directed-energy attack. DEWs that can injure people are line-of-sight systems; standard defensive techniques employed against any direct fire weapon provides equal or better protection against personal injury from DEWs than from conventional weapons, since DEWs have no bursting radius.


Each squad is issued one LCMS. The LCMS is designed to disrupt enemy optical and electro-optical sighting devices. The LCMS is capable of detecting, locating, suppressing, illuminating, and designating enemy optical and electro-optical devices. (Figure C-1.)

Detect--All optics from extended ranges.

Locate--Optics/electro-optical devices allowing the gunner to track and suppress.

Suppress--Temporarily flashblind eyes using direct-view optics, temporarily bloom image intensifiers, temporarily flashblind unprotected, unaided eyes.

Illuminate--At 1,000 meters, the LCMS can illuminate a 30-meter target.

Designate--Target area, cuing and directing fires from other weapons.

a. The platoon leader uses the LCMS to assist in identifying targets during reconnaissance and security operations. Once targets are identified, the LCMS is used to enhance the combat power of the maneuver force by directing other direct and indirect fires to destroy targets. The target handoff must be coordinated and specified in the operation order. This ensures the LCMS is not used before the availability of hand-off assets. For example, if mortars are going to be used to destroy identified targets, the squad will not activate the LCMS until the mortars are ready to fire. If activated too early, the enemy takes measures to counter the affects desired by the mortars. The LCMS can be used in either the active or passive mode. When used in the passive mode, targets can be identified without the enemy's knowledge. In the active mode, the enemy is aware that he is being targeted.

b. The LCMS gives the platoon the ability to detect targets at greater ranges. It should be used in conjunction with other detection devices. The mission of the platoon does not change with the addition of LCMS. The ability to provide tactical information is increased, but the platoon must use the tactical skills that places them in a position to use the LCMS. For safety, the LCMS should never be used to identify friendly forces.

Figure C-1. Laser countermeasure system.



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8.1 R&D and Production Infrastructure TOP

While receiving some recent public attention, relatively little is know concerning the details of Chinese directed energy weapon (DEW, or

xin gainian wuqi) systems development. Related R&D has probably been conducted since the 'Project 640' BMD and ASAT programme in

the 1960s. Today support is probably provided through the 863 Programme of the MOST and managed by COSTIND. Other major DEW

research is being undertaken as a broadening of the CNNC's traditional nuclear R&D activities and there does not appear to be any

hesitation in the use of nuclear power sources for such weapons. China's broad laser R&D and production infrastructure appears to be

formidable and it is quite possible that it has recently produced DEW breakthroughs. Reportedly, China has recruited significant Russian

DEW expertise but large numbers of Chinese researchers also have a strong fascination and talent for this field.

While still probably trailing the expertise of the US in this field, China's DEW-related R&D and applications programmes are massive and

sophisticated by any international standard. China is believed to be a world leader in various specific areas. Some estimates suggest that

approximately 10,000 personnel, including 3,000 engineers, from 300 organisations are involved with China's laser programmes alone,

with perhaps 40 per cent of related R&D being conducted for defence applications. Table 8.1 summarises China's key laser,

optoelectronic and other potential DEW R&D and production centres.

The Southwest Research Institute of Technical Physics, Chengdu in Sichuan Province, conducts applied R&D on military lasers and

photoelectric technology in such areas as laser crystals and components, laser photoelectric detectors, laser range-finders, laser

control/guiding/tracking/'confrontation' systems, simulators, image processing, TV systems, and photoelectric systems. R&D is also

conducted on 'plasma technology spin-offs', high current ion sources, cryogenic superconductors, and high field magnets. The military

'493 High-Flux Reactor' Programme is believed to have been conducted at this institute.

The North China Research Institute of Electro-Optics has reportedly developed atmospheric laser radars (lidar), the 27th Research

Institute laser range-finders, and the 41th Research Institute high-energy laser power sources. The North China Research Institute of

Electro-Optics has also developed thermal imaging and slow-scan infrared imaging systems.

The National Engineering Research Centre for Solid State Lasers, Beijing, is conducting R&D on solid state lasers, multi-wavelength

lasers, tunable lasers, diode-pump solid state lasers, and various industrial and medical laser applications. A large solid state laser, the

LF-12 Shenguang-1 (Magic Light) began operations at the CAS Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics in 1986. The follow-on

Shenguang-2 reportedly has a power output of two terrawatts and is a major facility for China's inertial confined fusion programme. This

Shanghai R&D establishment has also developed a Nd:YAG laser with an output power of 62.5 MW, the Xingguang-2 Nd:Glass laser, and

a tunable titanium-sapphire laser with an output power of 650 MW. Semiconductor optoelectronics devices and applications are a

speciality of the 44th Research Institute of the former Ministry of Electronics Industry. The Tianjin Electronic Materials Research Institute

conducts infrared technology R&D. The China Institute of Atomic Energy, Beijing, is a large research establishment that conducts R&D in

such areas as strong current particle beam laser nuclear fusion, free electron lasers, quasi-molecular lasers, krypton-flouride excimer

laser, and chemical lasers. The Southwest Institute of Nuclear Physics reportedly developed a fast breed reactor-pumped xenon laser.

1 Image

8.1 R&D and Production Infrastructure

8.2 Development Programmes

8.3 Foreign Technology Transfers

Page 2

Table 8.1 Likely Chinese Directed Energy Weapons-Related Organisations

· Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics

· Beijing Aeronautical Manufacturing Technology Research Institute's Key Laboratory for High-Energy Density

Beam Processing Technology

· Beijing Broadcasting Equipment Factory

· Beijing Electron Accelerator

· Beijing General Academy of Non-ferrous Metal

· Beijing Institute of Electronic Engineering

· Beijing Institute of Technology

· Beijing Light Source, CAS

· Beijing Polytechnic University

· Beijing Electron-Positron Collider, CAS

· Beijing Number Three Radio Equipment Factory

· Beijing University, Department of Physics

· Beijing Vacuum Electronics Research Institute

· Changchun College (Institute) of Optics and Fine Mechanics

· China Academy of Engineering Physics

· China Institute of Atomic Energy, Beijing

· China Science and Technology University

· Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (Dalian Institute of Chemistry and Physics)

· Department of Radioisotope, Beijing

· East China Research Institute of Electronic Engineering, Hefei, Anhui

· Free Electron Laser Lab, Institute of High Energy Physics, Beijing

· 41st Research Institute

· 44th Research Institute of the Ministry of Electronics Industry.

· Guangdong Linnan Industries Company, Zhuhai Branch

· Guangzhou Institute of Laser Technology Applications, Guangzhou, Guangdong

· Hanguang Electronics Plant, Xiaogan Hubei

· Hangzhou Electronic Laser Technology Enterprises Inc.

Page 3

· Hebei Academy of Sciences, Institute of Lasers, Shijiazhuang

· Hefei Cryoelectronics Institute, Hefei, Anhui

· High-Power Laser Laboratory, Shanghai

· Huadong Technology College

· Huazhong Electro-Optical Technology Research Institute, Wuhan, Hubei

· Huazhong Precision Instrument Factory

· HuaYe Optical Material Corporation, Jiangsu

· Institute of Applied Electronics

· Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics, Beijing

· Institute of Applied Infrared Technology, Liaoning

· Institute of Computer Applications

· Institute of Dynamics

· Institute of Electronic Engineering, CAS

· Institute of High Energy Physics, CAS, Beijing

· Institute of Ion Physics, CAS

· Institute of Nuclear Physics and Chemistry

· Institute of Optoelectronics, Beijing

· Institute of Particle Physics

· Institute of Physics, CAS, Beijing

· Institute of Plasma Physics, CAS

· Jiangsu Shugang Opto-Electronics Instrument Factory, Yangzhou, Jiangsu

· Kunming Research Institute of Physics

· Laboratory of Laser Cooling and Confined Atoms, Beijing University

· Lanzhou Institute of Modern Physics, CAS

· Laser Institute Academy of Sciences, Shandong Huada Machinery Works, Guangdong

· Laser Institute of Huazhong University of Science and Technology

· Laser Single Atom Detection Lab, Tsinghua University, Beijing

· Liuzhou Changhong Machinery Manufacturing Company, Liuzhou, Guangxi

· Luoyang Opto-Electro Technology Development Centre, Luoyang, Henan

· Luoyang Institute of Electro-Optical Equipment (Luoyang Electrical-Optical Equipment Research Institute),

Luoyang, Henan

Page 4

· Nanjing Aeronautics and Astronautics University

· Nantong Laser Hologram Company Ltd., Nantong, Jiangsu

· National Engineering Research Centre for Solid State Lasers, Beijing

· National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, Hefei

· National University of Defence Sciences and Technology (University of Science and Technology for National

Defence), Changsha, Hunan

· North China Research Institute of Electro-Optics

· Northwest Academy of Non-ferrous Metal

· Northwest Institute of Nuclear Technology, Xi'an

· Nuclear Industry Physiochemical, Engineering Research Institute, Hedong, Tianjin

· Research Institute of Contemporary Physics, CAS, Gansu

· Shandong Optoelectronic Instruments Plant, Tai'an, Shandong

· Shanghai Institute of Laser Technology

· Shanghai Institute of Metallurgy, CAS, Shanghai

· Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics

· Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics

· Shanghai Laser Group Company Ltd., Shanghai

· Shanghai Leiou Laser Equipment Factory, Shanghai

· Shanghai Synchronised Radiation Unit, Shanghai

· Sichuan Space Industry Corporation, Baisha, Sichuan

· Southwest Institute of Applied Electronics

· Southwest Institute of Electronic Engineering

· Southwest Institute of Electronic Equipment

· Southwest Institute of Fluid Physics

· Southwest Institute of Nuclear Physics

· Southwest Research Institute of Technical Physics, Sichuan

· Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility)

· Tianjin Electronic Materials Research Institute

· Tianjin Institute of Laser Technology, Nankaiqu, Tianjin

· University of Electronic Science and Technology of China

· Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy Lab, Zhongshan University

Page 5

The 11th and 13th Research Institutes of the China Academy of Electronics and Information Technology are also thought to be

undertaking solid-state laser R&D. The China Academy of Engineering Physics has conducted chemical, solid-state, and free electron

laser (Raman, Compton, Cherenkov, electromagnetic wave-pumped, etc.) research since the mid-1980s. Their initial free electron laser

experimental system, Shuguang-1, began operation in 1993 with an output power of 140 MW (theoretical maximum output of 10

gigawatts) at the Southwest Institute of Fluid Physics. The Southwest Institute of Electronic Engineering is attempting to miniaturise the

size of free electron lasers. Both the Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics and the Institute of High Energy Physics,

CAS, Beijing, are also conducting free electron laser R&D. The Institute of Optoelectronics, Beijing, the Shanghai Institute of Optics and

Fine Mechanics, the Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics, and the Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics,

are believed to be conducting R&D on adaptive optics and deformable mirrors, and other aspects of laser technologies. China considers

itself a world leader in adaptive optics, following the US and Germany. Anhui is also active in the development of large-scale laser range-

finders, lidar, excimer lasers, and the atmospheric effects on laser transmission.

NORINCO's Jiangsu Shugang Opto-Electronics Instrument Factory, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, undertakes the R&D, production and integration

of lasers and optics, including products such as lightweight laser range-finders.

'Intelligent' coherent TV optoelectronic tracking systems have been developed by the 27th Research Institute and precision optics have

been developed at the Guangdong Linnan Industries Company, Zhuhai Branch. The Zhang Yingxin Research Institute of TV and Electro-

Acoustics, Beijing, has recently developed the Model 341TVT-B TV optical tracker and fire control system for acquiring and automatically

tracking aerial targets in conjunction with the '341 radar servo system', which has a low-level target capability by improving radar angle

tracking performance.

The Beijing Aeronautical Manufacturing Technology Research Institute currently operates the subsidiary Key Laboratory for High-Energy

Density Beam Processing Technology (lasers, electron beams, plasmas).

Wuhan, capital city of the central province of Hubei, has recently announced its intention to establish itself as a centre of excellence in

photoelectronic technologies, including laser devices, laser processing complete plants, and optical telecommunications equipment. To

accomplish this it is seeking investment and technical expertise from Western firms such as Ericsson, ABB, Alcatel, and Siemens. Lucent

Technologies of the US and 20 other multinational companies are reportedly helping Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong Province, to

establish itself as a 'photon valley' or electro-optical centre of excellence.

8.2 Development Programmes TOP

The PLA is currently devoting considerable discussion on the tactical and strategic use of DEWs for applications such as air defence, anti-

personnel, communications, weapons guidance and fire control, sensors, space tracking, ASAT and BMD. It is likely that at least some of

this interest is now being channelled into actual development programmes, probably supported through the national 863 programme for

strategic R&D.

NORINCO has for a number of years openly marketed a portable offensive battlefield laser 'disturber,' the ZM-87, which has a

flashblinding and damage range of up to 10 km depending upon weather conditions (a x7 magnifying optic option is available). The ZM-87

is designed to dazzle or blind enemy soldiers and optical sensors despite the UN's global ban on such systems. Indeed, such a system

now appears to be mounted on the PLA's latest MBT, the Type-98, as a mast-mounted 'laser dazzler', and may also be mounted on PLAN

ships. An upgraded version of the ZM-87 laser (si guang pao) is possibly under development and could have anti-aircraft applications with

improved counter-countermeasures and automatic targeting systems.

China has developed various industrial (e.g. cutting, welding of special materials, annealing, material hardening and alloying) and medical

laser applications using:

· high-energy helium-neon lasers

· C02 lasers

· titanium doped sapphire lasers (using a reportedly unique temperature gradient technique and induction thermal field up-shift method for

atmospheric testing)

· pulsed YAG lasers

· Xi'an Northwest Optical and Electrical Instruments Plant, Xi'an, Shaanxi

· Zhang Yingxin Research Institute of TV and Electro-Acoustics, Beijing 27th Research Institute

· Zhongnan Optical Instruments Factory, Zhicheng, Hubei

Page 6

· continuous wave lasers

· solid-state lasers

· excimer lasers

· semiconductor lasers

· pulsed power supplies (e.g. 10 megawatt compensated pulsed alternator with high repetition rates),

· Nd:YAG laser crystal, innovative undoped YAG substrate (using a patented temperature gradient technique for ultraviolet and infrared


· magneto-optic single crystal, and

· pyroelectric laser radiation detectors for the detection of pulsed laser radiation with a power density of up to 100 MW per square


China claims that its quantum IR semiconductor laser technology developed by the CAS Shanghai Institute of Metallurgy is at an

advanced level comparable onl

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