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Directed Energy Weapons FM 7-92

Directed Energy Weapons FM 7-92

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Courtesy of library.enlisted.info/field-manuals/series-1/FM7_92/APPC.PDF

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Published by: IdeaTrack on Dec 21, 2012
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This appendix discusses directed-energy weapons and gives an over-
view of how to defend against them. The technical characteristics
of DEWs are given in the United States Army capstone manual ondirected-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. Conventionalweapons 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 compli-
cated. Neither the equipment nor the soldiers' apparel have built-in
passive defense mechanisms to counter the effects of DEWs. Equipmentwill 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 meas-
ures discussed in this appendix to protect themselves from attack by
Lasers are the DEWs most likely to be used against US forces. All modernarmies have increasing quantities of laser devices in their inventories. Anylaser-emitting device, such as a target designator or a range finder, can beemployed 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 sightsand the soldiers behind the sights.b. A laser beam entering a direct-view optical system, such as a tele-
scope, 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
FM 7-92
required for the eye to heal itself depend on weather conditions, theintensity 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. Asoldier 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 isanticipated that a laser weapon will fire at a target for a split second atmost 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 aninefficient way to employ them. Lasers burn people, with the eyes beingthe 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 lightat night, laser energy entering the eye during darkness has a greater effect
than it does during daylight. Some types of lasers are hazardous to theeye 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 glasssurfaces 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 possibleexposure of many glass surfaces, block the line of sight between friendly
forces and known or suspected enemy locations with smoke, or plan routesto lessen exposure time.
d. Sound tactics prevent friendly weapons locations from being pin-
pointed and targeted for attack by laser devices.
FM 7-92
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 visionblocks 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 theenemy, 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 fireshould 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 tubularammunition packaging or other scrap materials.i. Low-energy, antielectro-optical weapons work only if they haveline 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 reducingyour 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 air-borne, ranger, and special forces units.Ground-locating laser designator in either the ground-mountedor vehicle-mounted mode—used by FISTs for mechanized, in-
fantry, and air assault units.
GVS-5, binocular-type laser range finder—used by all FIST
Laser designator—used by some attack helicopters to direct the
Hellfire and Copperhead systems.Laser devices—used by artillery survey parties for surveying ingun positions.
GVS-5 laser range finders—used by reconnaissance platoons.

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