The Marines are replacing the “mini-green” laser with an upgraded version of the hail and warning system that integrates laser range finding and allows troops to better target individuals with the laser to avoid lethal encounters.
The laser, known as Glare Recoil and dubbed the LA-22/U by the Marine Corps, is a dazzling laser that uses “laser range finding, near-field detection and a 3-axis gyroscope” as part of its safety controls, according to a B.E. Meyers & Co. news release.
Those features allow the laser to detect objects or people in the proximity of the beam and then self-adjust the power output to maintain eye safety while still warning the target, according to the release.
The Marines have plans to acquire 1,056 systems this fiscal year and another 597 next fiscal year. They expect initial operational capability by February, with full operational capability across the Corps by October 2021, according to Marine Corps Systems Command.
The Glare Recoil can engage targets up to 16 km and if the person being warned, Marines can increase the beam’s intensity to achieve “voluntary compliance.”
The lasers are used in such operations as urban patrolling, cordon and search, crowd control, clearing facilities and security checkpoints.
Thirty-six systems previously were fielded to units in Task Force Southwest operating in Afghanistan, according to the command.
The LA-22/U will replace both the LA-9/P and 532P-M GLARE MOUT dazzling lasers, according to the command.
B.E. Meyer & Co. began developing an early laser pointer for crew-served weapon and Joint Terminal Attack Controller needs through a Naval Special Warfare Center Crane program using a green laser.
The company made modifications to that system to create an early dazzler. The first wave “mini-green” lasers for individual Marines hit in 2006.
Continuous upgraded versions of a dazzler laser were built and fielded to Army and Marine units over the years, with the Glare Recoil version being designated the laser for the Corps’ Ocular Interrupter System program last year.
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.