Bat light: Russian warship to test unique blinding device

Russian warships may soon be equipped with special light systems that can blind enemy optic sensors and personnel with an intensive multiband ray.

The device, officially called a “visual optical jammer station Grach,” was revealed this week at a military expo in Kubinka near Moscow. It’s a remotely-controlled device with two to four projectors that produce light intensive enough to suppress enemy sensors and cause temporal blindness in humans.

The projectors radiate light in the infrared and ultraviolet ranges of the spectrum, which means they affect devices such as thermal visors which rely on such wavelengths. Grach is intended to provide cover for troops during firefights and hinder enemy reconnaissance. It can also be used as a regular searchlight and to send light signals large distances.

Grach was developed for the Russian Navy, which will start testing a prototype later in October. However, its producer, OPK, sees a wide range of potential applications.

This development has significant export potential. It can be used in counterterrorist operations, counteramphibious or countersabotage warfare. It can save lives and hardware and causes a strong psychological effect on the enemy,” said OPK Deputy Director Sergey Skokov.

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Not only foreign navies, but also border guards and law enforcement agencies fighting against piracy on the seas may find it useful.

Grach is to be tested by the frigate Admiral Gorshkov, the lead ship of advanced Russian multipurpose frigates, which is currently undergoing trials.