US Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition Day 1 (April 9, 2018) End of Day Report
LRAD (long range acoustic device) was created in response to the October 2000 attack on the USS COLE to communicate to ships and boats not responding to radio calls, and to unequivocally determine their intent. David Schnell, Vice President of Business Development for LRAD, noted that in uncertain situations, “escalation of force is increasingly initiated using attention-commanding LRAD voice and tone broadcasts. LRADs provide the captain and crew more time and distance to determine intent, distinguish between intruders, terrorist threats, fishing boats or commercial vessels, and scale responses quickly and accurately.”
The retired Navy Captain went on to explain that the company’s acoustic hailing devices (AHD) focus sound in a 30° “beam of sound” to produce, “the industry’s most intelligible long-range voice broadcasts. LRAD broadcasts are clearly heard and understood over significant levels of background noise from close range out to 3500 metres [11,500 ft].”
LRAD’s broadcast range exceeds the US Navy’s Vessel Protection Zone for standoff distances for ships pier side, at anchor or in restricted waters. Further, Mr. Schnell pointed out “LRAD’s unmatched acoustic performance is also used to conduct interdictions at sea, for underway replenishments, and other missions at sea. To date, 24 international navies and coast guards have deployed LRAD systems.”
LRAD provides a diverse product portfolio for maritime domain forces. “From the man-portable LRAD 100X to the permanently installed LRAD 950RXL remotely operated pan-and-tilt systemme, LRAD has a full product line to outfit any ship,” the San Diego, California-based Executive said.
Delegates at the 2018 Navy League have a wide range of topics to discuss with the LRAD team. Indeed, the US Navy continues to be one of LRAD’s largest customers. Mr. Schnell added: “All Navy surface combatants and most submarines are each outfitted with 2 – 5 LRADs. Additionally, our SoundSaber line array systems provide highly intelligible, wide area communication inside for the hangar bays of several aircraft carriers and large deck amphibious ships.”
The subject matter expert concluded with the imperative to invest in LRAD technology: “Communication with potential threats from a safe stand-off distance can resolve and de-escalate most scenarios without resorting to lethal force.”