The Defense Department’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program has demonstrated the Radio Frequency Vehicle Stopper, an experimental "direct energy weapon" that causes car and boats' electronic engine control units to enter into an endless cycle of rebooting, immobilizing the vehicles until the weapon is switched off.
The weapon has a range of 50 meters and weighs 400 pounds, drawing on a 300kw gas-powered turbine for energy.
It's not clear to me whether a defender could deploy a simple countermeasure like a copper mesh casing around the ECU to neutralize this attack.
The jammer works by targeting the car’s engine control unit causing it to reboot over and over, stalling the engine. Like an invisible hand, the microwaves hold the car in place. “Anything that has electronics on it, these high-powered microwaves will affect,” David Law, who leads JNLWD’s technology division, said in March. “As long as the [radio] is on, it holds the vehicle stopped.”
Law’s crew has dubbed the device the Radio Frequency Vehicle Stopper. They’re working on two versions. A small one, vaguely resembling an old-time phonograph, can fit in the bed of a truck. With a range of 50 meters, it is intended for hot pursuits. To deploy it, the driver would pull out in front of the attacker and turn it on.
The Pentagon Is Making a Ray Gun to Stop Truck Attacks [Patrick Tucker/Defenseone]
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