Frankly I didn’t know what a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) was until I saw an article in the June 1, 2017 printed edition of the NY Times which you can find on-line at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/nyregion/sound-cannon-protest-lawsuit-long-range-acoustic-device.html?_r=0, (which is also a photo source).
The article addressed a law suit filed as a result of LRAD use on December 5, 2014 at a protest in Midtown Manhattan against a grand jury’s failure to indict a police officer whose choke hold killed Eric Garner. Among other capabilities, the LRAD can inflict permanent hearing damage although the article notes that the LRAD was designed to repel boarders after the attack on the USS Cole.
Compared to a noise flame thrower, the LRAD offers a number of other capabilities as explained on the vendor website: https://www.lradx.com/, which is another photo source.
The vendor shows variants of the LRAD that can provide Mass Notification or Public Address capabilities as well as integrate with existing communication systems. There is also the capability of employing the devices remotely.
If one burrows down a bit in LRAD Corp’s website, under the Investor tab, you will find a Corporate Presentation. Slide 12 which appears here gives the company’s position with in the defense industry. It would seem that the HA & DR application would be a MISO/PSYOP mission while Large Crowd Communications might be a Military Police or MISO/PSYOP mission.
As with many of today’s defense systems, the LRAD is complex, yet modular. Thus far the LRAD appears to be vehicle mounted and does not seem to be available in a Man Pack configuration at this time.
Given the range of capabilities, operators will need to undergo some very solid training on ROE and the legal aspects of LRAD use. While permanent hearing damage has been noted as a potential outcome, the lethality of this weapon has not been tested.
For example, if the LRAD is ‘fired’ at a moving vehicle disrupting the operation and causing a death – does his move LRAD into the lethal force domain or not.
Reader input appreciated.