Russia to fight underwater terrorists with electric cannons

Posted: 02/20/2012 in all marine news

Igor Ogorodnev –

Everyone knows of the danger of sky-borne terrorism. Underwater terrorists get less publicity, but that doesn’t mean the world’s security agencies aren’t worried about them.

The Russian Interior Ministry has posted a tender for two underwater cannons, at a cost of 400 thousand dollars each, that are expected to be used for large-scale events such as the Sochi Olympics.

“The current state of security at our ports and dams leaves a lot to be desired, so the new systems will provide a layer of defense” a security insider told Izvestia.

The expected winners of the tender are Electric Rays – a homegrown product developed at a secret Russian military institute. Like their namesakes, these cannons use a powerful electric charge to create an underwater explosion that can stun intruders at a range of about 100 meters.

“This is a more humane method of fighting terrorism” says security expert Aleksandr Romanov. “Before, they just used to carpet bomb a certain area with depth charges, which killed, while this weapon will only stun.”

But ecologists are worried – there is little possibility of channeling the blast in a specific direction, and many sea creatures are bound to feel its impact.

Environmentalist Konstantin Sobinin is also worried about the sensitivity of the cannon’s detection system. “The sensors on these devices usually cannot detect whether an object within its range is a terrorist or a dolphin or seal.”

Full story…

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