When a flash-bang grenade isn’t enough

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Flash-bang grenades are great, but what if you want to deliver 14 flash-bang grenades from 1,000 meters away?

“Currently the armed forces are unable to deliver non-lethal effects at extended ranges,” Michael Markowitch, an engineer involved in designing the munition, said in an Army press release in 2016. “Our goal was to develop a mortar that would be capable of delivering a non-lethal payload at ranges typical of mortar systems.”

“We took our inspiration for our design from the family of illumination mortars. They use parachutes attached to an illumination candle to slow its descent and illuminate an area. The team determined that similar designs could be used to control the descent of the metal parts,” Markowitch added.

This first field-test occurred during this year’s Rim of the Pacific exercise, which occurs every two years and involves more than 20 nations and dozens of warships.

The modified round is compatible with existing 81 mm mortar tubes and flies through the air like a standard mortar. The round’s effective range is between 450 and 1,500 meters.

When the round is roughly 250 meters above the target, a time-delay fuse detonates. The mortar’s nose and tail sections separate and the 14 nonlethal cardboard-encased submunitions are released.

Parachutes also release from the mortar’s nose and tail, and the mortar floats to the ground while the flash-bang grenades fall, stabilized by drag ribbons.

The nonlethal cartridges are designed to detonate simultaneously, covering an area of roughly 30 meters. Each cartridge, like the M84 stun grenade, emits a roughly 180-decibel bang and a flash of more than one million candela within five feet of the initiation spot.

Flash-Bang Mortar Dispersion

Developers of the system have also shown interest in adding infrared or ultraviolet ink to the mortar in order to paint anyone near the detonation. This could help soldiers identify people in a crowd who may disperse from the impact site, according to the Defense Department release.


  1. Kirk says:

    Know what works even better than this foolishness?

    Effective ROE that enable commanders to use lethal munitions as appropriate, and the enemy’s certainty that they will be used on them as appropriate.

    All this half-hard “less lethal” bullshit actually manages is to convince the enemy that we lack the certainty of our convictions, and won’t really fight when it comes down to it, thus actually serving to encourage their intransigence and belligerence.

    If the Israelis answered the Gazan border provocations with a full-scale artillery counter-strike upon the very first breaching attempt or launch of incendiary kites, the Palestinian appetite for such activities would evaporate. It is just like dealing with a bully in real life–You try the half-hard approach, and that just encourages them because they see your weakness. You want the bullying to stop, utterly? You have to make the price high enough that the bully is afraid to escalate, and the price has to be real. I am reminded of the little guy in high school who finally snapped one day, and took a baseball bat to the “football hero” who’d been tormenting him. Day ended with assault charges, an ended athletic career, and that being the last time that kid got bullied…

  2. Sfoil says:

    So when the shock (less than an equivalent volume of explosives btw) wears off, then what? Imagine rolling a flashbang into a room, it goes off…and maybe someone shows up in an hour or two. That’s what this is.

  3. Sam J. says:

    “…If the Israelis answered the Gazan border provocations with a full-scale artillery counter-strike…”

    It’s ridiculous to talk about the Palestinians like this. The land they are (walking towards with no weapons) that you want to fire artillery at them on is… theirs.

    “…Gazan border provocations…It is just like dealing with a bully in real life…”

    The Palestinians as bullies??? You’re off your rocker. Jews have no respect for the lives of anyone but themselves. I’m not a part of the Palestinian glee club but Jews act the exact same way in the US and Israel and everywhere else. They show nothing but hatred for everyone not Jewish and justify it by proclaiming everyone else the aggressor. Kirk’s blatant mind warp thinking about the Palestinians is a perfect example. Let’s look at a map and see what’s happened to the Palestinians land.


    Of course they will say that they lost the land because of “aggression” but the Israelis take the land from them no matter what or when.

    Let’s not forget the Jews are responsible for 9-11 or at least covering it up…actually they are responsible. Building 7 fell the same speed as a rock dropped in air. So the building HAD to have only been supported by AIR when it fell to fall at that speed. Meaning it had no support. No amount of fire could have boiled away the bottom 11 floors til it was the density of air. The Jews owned the building that was bombed, owned the security in the building, owned the security companies where the planes took off from, conveniently have people who worked for a moving company who were explosives experts filming the WTC when it went down and own the media where they conveniently fail to notice buildings dropping like rocks in air. I mean what the hell is needed to prove the obvious.

    If they ever get complete control of this country they will treat us just like the Palestinians.

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