War Profiteer of the Month: NonLethal Technologies
NonLethal Technologies is a US-based company, building a variety of “less than lethal riot and crowd control equipment for military and law enforcement applications”1, and also markets weapons to be used in prisons. The company produces and sells rubber pellet cartridges, “ballistic bag” beans bags, CS gas cartridges and grenades, barricade penetrators, stun grenades, colour smoke grenades, and other similar equipment, as well as handheld and vehicle launchers.
NonLethal Technologies also produces the IronFist vehicle mounted launching system, designed to fire a range of 37/38mm and 40mm CS, smoke screening, impact, or flashbang canisters. The companies online catalogue describes the IronFist as a “less lethal 38mm weapon system with up to 36 barrels in various configurations that can be vehicle mounted or hard mounted on perimeter defensive structures, to rapidly deploy a blanket of less lethal munitions into, or over, a hostile crowd.”2 Using the companies high capacity cartridges, the IronFist allows “a tactical officer can deploy up to 360 CS mini-grenades into a riotous crowd as needed from a single vehicle station…a true force multiplier.” The weapon can also be fitted to buildings or permanent structures3. The IronFist appears to have been exhibited at DSEI in 20154.
NonLethal Technologies also markets the “IceBreaker Vehicle Escape System”. The IceBreaker is a tear gas launcher fitted underneath a vehicle, and designed to allow it's operator to launch tear gas into a crowd and “escape the threat”.
There is evidence of CS gas canisters produced by NonLethal Technologies being used by Bahraini security forces in crackdowns on pro-democracy activists in April 20135, and against Turkish activists in the Gezi Park protest.
Use in prisons
NonLethal Technologies also produces a range of equipment designed for use in prisons.The TG Guard system is a remotely operated CS or OC gas dispenser “designed to move a disruptive crowd out of an affected area”. The dispensers and firing consoles are installed in prisons, embassies, and other buildings around the world and allows a single operator to “shepherd” inmates towards exits7.