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Israelis develop Nazi-doodlebug sonic deathwave cannon

Bunker-bust boom blaster offered for riot pacification

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Israel intends to offer for export one of its latest and most terrifying military technologies: a sonic cannon or "thunder generator", powered by devasting "bunker buster" fuel-air explosive technology - used in secret Nazi superweapons of the 1940s - to deliver sound rays so powerful as to be instantly deadly to anyone hearing them.

Or, looking at it another way, Israeli businessmen have decided to market an LPG fuelled bird-scaring device as a less-lethal* riot control weapon.

Defense News reports from Tel Aviv on the Thunder Generator, which started life as a bird-scaring device intended to keep feathered intruders away from crops, airports and so forth. It uses bottled LPG to create an explosive fuel-air mixture inside a tubular combustion chamber ("cannon barrel"). The mix is then detonated, causing a loud explosion whose blast vents out of one end of the chamber.

According to Defense News, this is "a patented process involving Pulse Detonation Technology (PDT)". There might be some new special sauce involved, but the basic idea is an old one - pulse-detonated fuel/air mixtures were used in the Argus "pulse jet" which propelled the Nazis' V-1 (aka "Doodlebug") cruise missiles during WWII, for instance.

Fuel-air explosions can also be generated without a confining container, as in the various kinds of "bunker buster" munitions employed by the world's militaries - so called as their prolonged overpressure is particularly hard on structures. Russia's "Father of All Bombs" and the British shoulder-fired Anti Structures Munition are of this type.

Igor Fridman, one-time Soviet scientist, decided to use the principle for bird-scaring after moving to Israel in 1991. The use of cheap, clean LPG was seen as a win compared to nasty chemical bird repellents.

As it happens, fuel/air effects are used for similar purposes in America: the fearsome "Rodenator" burrow-busting weapon has lately been employed against troublesome tree-scoffing squirrels by uncompromising US parkies, for instance.

But now it seems that Israel's booming (cough) weaponry industry has decided that riot-control devices are more profitable than birdscarer kit, and the Thunder Generator has now been licensed for export as a weapon. Fridman tells Defence News that it "could be lethal" inside 10 metres, but that if used as intended outside 30 metres' range it should cause no permanent ill effects.

Apparently, the frightful sonic shockwave raygun is "safe and simple to use", and "menial labourers" can be trained to handle it in less than 30 minutes. ®

*More honest than "non-lethal".

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