QUANTICO, VA -- They may not be deadly, but some of the non-lethal weapons the Marine Corps is working on look pretty devastating.
The Marine Corps Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate is currently testing an 81-mm mortar round that delivers a shower of flash-bang grenades to disperse troublemakers. There is also an electric vehicle-stopper that delivers an electrical pulse to shut down a vehicle's powertrain, designed for use at access control points.
"When you hear non-lethal, you are thinking rubber bullets and batons and tear gas; it's way more than that," Marine Col. Wendell Leimbach Jr., director of the Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate, told an audience at the Modern Day Marine 2019 expo.
Leimbach, a former tank officer, is trying to convince the combat units in the Corps, and the other services, that intermediate force capabilities are needed more than ever to deal with threats that show up in humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and nation-building -- scenarios that are just below armed conflict and often referred to as "gray zone" operations.