By Scott M. Bruner
PoliceOne Product Editor
TASER is obviously a leader in the less lethal field – their handheld TASER products have the dominant spot in the market. However, most of their handheld less lethal sidearms are designed for one-on-one law enforcement confrontations. How to control a large scale violent threat? TASER's answer is the Shockwave, a device that fires multiple TASER cartridges remotely to tame the unruliest mob.
"The TASER Shockwave system is the first and only Electronic Control Device designed for area denial,” Brian Beckwith, vice president of TASER International, said."[It is] a completely scalable solution that is designed to provide a standoff capability of up to 100 meters. Originally designed for the US Service member in order to combat the threat of suicide bombers, the TASER Shockwave allowed the operator to remain out of the environment of these threats."
Though the Shockwave's operation seems simple – a single unit launches six TASER cartridges - the technology behind it is not. Each cartridge fires two probes at different angles, meaning a full launch of the Shockwave sends 12 TASER darts traveling at 160 feet per second.
"It provides a barrage fire, area saturation capability. Each cartridge is capable of delivering the same incapacitating affects as that of the TASER X26," Beckwith said. "The Shockwave system is scalable and versatile allowing the operator to custom build fields of coverage. TASER Shockwave devices may be linked laterally, stacked vertically, daisy chained or any combination of these in order to provide the desired coverage."
A single Shockwave device sends a 25 foot spread across a 20 degree arc. However, they can be horizontally stacked to provide up to 180 degrees of coverage. They can also be vertical stacked three units high, launching 36 fully-charged TASER darts.
The Shockwave is fired from a handheld remote device that includes a trigger button, a safety switch, indicator lights and a "re-energizer" button which can recharge the launched probes multiple times.
According to TASER, the applications for the Shockwave are numerous. It can be used at vehicle or personnel check points, to control a crowd or mob, for area denial, or for remote apprehensions – such as suspect hiding behind cover.
It is currently deployed by both police units and the military.
For more information on the Shockwave, visit www.taser.com.