Less-Lethal Weapons Industry Overview
The benefit of less-lethal weapons is that they reduce the lethality of three basic types of trauma: blunt trauma, penetrating trauma and fluid shock. Wider projectiles achieve this by spreading their kinetic energy via a wider impact area that does not penetrate vulnerable parts of the body.
The Evolution Of Less-Lethal Weapons
In today’s world, both military and law enforcement agencies require alternatives to traditional lethal ammunition. From a military standpoint, this need arises from the increased involvement of armed forces in populated areas. Police forces also require less-lethal weapons for riot control and critical incident de-escalation, motivated partly by a desire to avoid expensive litigation and reduce injuries to civilians and police.
During the 1970’s and 1980’s, military and police forces began using kinetic energy impact projectiles. Such systems include less-lethal weapons such as .68 caliber shot guns and 37/40mm caliber ammo.
During the 1970’s and 1980’s, military and police forces began using kinetic energy impact projectiles. Such systems include less-lethal weapons such as .68 caliber shot guns and 37/40mm caliber ammo. These agencies fire a wide ranges of less-lethal weapons such as rubber, wood and plastic batons. Other impact projectiles include foam, fin-stabilized rounds, pellets, rubber balls, bean bags, and payload rounds that can deliver chemical agents or marking rounds for riot and crowd control.
The wide variety of less-lethal weapon options available today can be used not only by police and military organizations, but also by correctional services and homeland security for border control. Each of these organizations have defined purposes and particular requirements that can be supported in various ways by less-lethal weapons.
Mobile phones, cameras, video and social media give civilians and non-combatants an increased ability to communicate globally and instantaneously.
Less-lethal weapons are becoming a necessary tool of enforcement organizations due to the way civilization is evolving through communication tools. It is becoming increasingly transparent due to a variety of factors such as mobile phones, cameras, video and social media give civilians and non-combatants an increased ability to communicate globally and instantaneously.
Political Impact Of Less-Lethal Weapons
The application of state coercive force has become increasingly problematic for state interests, whether applied during a military occupation or during basic civilian policing. The world is shifting toward a society that is more empathetic, democratic and less tolerant of the excessive use of force. Perceived violations of human rights and the basic rules of war are likely to cause additional political turmoil, particularly if force results in the death or maiming of unarmed civilians.
Governments require less-lethal weapons that minimize the risk of the loss of life or serious injury while still allowing users to assert compliance over crowds, groups, or an individual.
For this reason, governments require less-lethal weapons that minimize the risk of the loss of life or serious injury while still allowing users to assert compliance over crowds, groups, or an individual.
Current less-lethal weapons such as rubber or foam munitions still carry certain risks of injury if not fired at a safe distance from the target. When rubber ammo is fired at a range where the kinetic energy impact is not lethal but still effective, it is called “the sweet spot”. The most successful less-lethal weapons products will have a short sweet spot and the ability to accurately hit targets at a reasonable range.
The demand for less-lethal weapons that serve their purpose accurately and efficiently is on the rise. According to a 2011 Homeland Security Research Corporation (HSRC) study entitled “Non-Lethal Weapons: Technologies & Global Market”, the global NLW market will grow by a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% between 2012 to 2015. (See graph below). The study concludes that the growth rate will accelerate to 17% CAGR between 2016 to 2020, due to technology breakthroughs expected in 2014-2015.
Global NLW Market [$M] by Customer Sector 2011-2020
Source: HSRC 2011
Security Devices International
SDI is a defense technology company specializing in the development, manufacturing and sale of next generation 40mm less lethal ammunition.
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