Eclipse Defense Technologies has developed a projectile launching device which operates on compressed air and automatically adjusts muzzle velocity to maintain less-lethal impact forces regardless of target range.
These launchers offer a safe and effective alternative to current riot control weapons by reducing the risk of injury at close range.
The civilian models are used for flares, paintball, and animal control.
The launchers are designed for military, peacekeeping, homeland security, law enforcement, correctional services, maritime and private sector security.
They are ideal in crowd control scenarios and capable of remote operation for sentry, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and counter-UAV use. (drone and anti-drone)
The Eclipse launchers utilize a fire control computer that is capable of both controlling the projectile velocity based on data from an integrated laser range finder and simultaneously charging and programming intelligent rounds such as flash bangs and counter unmanned aerial vehicle (CUAV) ammunition. This will allow less-lethal projectiles to be deployed in a safe and more effective manner than is capable with current less-lethal products. The fire control computer can also interface with thermal sensors or radar for enhanced target acquisition.
The optional electronic sight projects targeting data in real-time, including range, launching mode, sensor data, shot counter, power levels, and ammunition identification. It has multiple dynamic reticules and a built-in compass and tilt sensor for ballistic compensation and targeting.
The technology is scalable and adaptable to various forms of launch platforms. The company has created belt fed, magazine fed, breech loaded, and revolver variants. Initial production will be 37mm and 60mm breech loaders and 40mm revolvers with smooth or rifled barrels. Launchers can be built as unregulated devices for sport, signaling, safety, line throwing or other non-lethal use or as an ATF registered NFA destructive device for less-lethal or lethal use.
Ammunition currently used by police and military in pyrotechnic launchers is intended for deployment at up to 30 meters from the target but does not allow for the velocity of the projectile to be dynamically adjusted. The inability of these launchers to adjust projectile speed increases the risk of blunt impact trauma injuries at closer ranges. The ability of the Eclipse launchers to automatically vary the velocity of the projectile based on range data will help reduce injuries that are common in close range deployment with other less-lethal launchers.
Since the ammunition does not contain a pyrotechnic lifting charge or primer, the weight the operator must carry is reduced and this feature also allows for the immediate re-use of projectiles during training. This benefit reduces operating costs by many factors and allows for more complete training compared to cost prohibitive pyrotechnic launch systems.
The use of intelligent rounds that are capable of precisely deploying their payloads is a feature that will greatly enhance the effectiveness of less-lethal deployment. This ability along with the variable velocity feature of the launchers will provide true escalation of force options for law enforcement and military while reducing the number of blunt impact trauma injuries.