Non-lethal Chemical Agents


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Chemical compounds used for non-lethal applications include irritating and incapacitating agents, which can be dispersed as aerosol or gel. Such compounds include the pepper aerosol (also known as pepper spray or OC Oleoresin Capsicum) and various “tear gases” such as CS (ortho-chlorobenzalmalononitrile) or CN (chloroacetophenone) aerosols impact munitions. OC is considered to be more capable than other irritants, as it has a faster response and longer effect. Aerosols are dispersed from hand-held dispensers, launchable, hand thrown or rifle grenades. Aerial delivery of such weapons is also considered, deployed on helicopters or UAVs. Future aerial delivery of non lethal chemical weapons is considered for mortar bombs, artillery projectiles and barrage weapons (such as the Volcano mine delivery system). With such applications, less than lethal weapons could be deployed over extended ranges – a capability which is not available today. Such munitions will be contained in frangible cases, filled with incapacitating agents such as pepper spray.

Not all chemical agents are delivered by aerosol. The sticky Pepper Gel is propelled out of the storage canister by compressed air, stick to the target on impact (when hitting the face, it will cause temporary blinding). Since the gel can be deployed at longer distances, it can neutralize assailants from a distance of 8 meters. The Pepper Gel formulae has 10% pepper formulation (same as OC) suspended in gel, it is not flammable and will not ignite when affected by an electrical shock (from Taser weapon, for example).

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