July 26, 2016

Potentially Diver Killing "Hydroacoustic" Noise Maker

Combat divers, be they SEALs or otherwise, have dangerous jobs. Target countries can make life that much more dangerous by protecting ports, or other facilities, with potentially deadly devices, including the ZEVS Hydroacoustic Protection System.

Probably several countries sell deadly anti-diver devices, but one of the most explicit is the ZEVS Mobile Hydroacoustic System. It is a sound through water projector. It is designed for protection of objects in aquatic areas (ports and harbours, private property, various hydrotechnical facilities, large vessels, nuclear plants). The sales brochure adds "as well as for traumatizing trespassing divers and swimmers."

The ZEVS Mobile Hydroacoustic System can be nasty to trespassing swimmers or divers. 
Between 15m to 100m the ZEVS noisemaker can cause "Minor bodily injury, painful impact", 4m to 15m grievous bodily harm, maybe "fainting". "Fatal" between 0m to 4m.

Below are photos and specifications for ZEVS from the sales brochure. 

The last feature of the specs indicates "Special feature: Requires no special permission". I would imagine that is for the Russian seller. Importer Deadly Weapons buying rules and public safeguards are likely to be very restrictive in responsible buyer countries.

Main specifications [for ZEVS Hydroacoustic Protection System]

0.4×0.95 m
95 kg
Power supply parameters
220 V 50 Hz or 24 V DC
Length air- and water-tight cable
100 m
Beam pattern
38 deg.
Protection range
100 m

Special feature

·       Requires no special permission

Other countries market (likely) similar devices. For example US company "HAI has developed extremely effective hydroacoustic based Diver Interdiction Systems (DIS).  These defense systems are designed to neutralize terrorist divers and thereby providing marine and underwater protection. The DIS acts against the threat of an underwater terrorist by delivering non-lethal acoustic low frequency energy into the environment which causes the diver to come to the surface for effective prosecution.  HAI provides fixed, portable and mobile systems. The DIS is a great compliment to Diver Detection Systems (DDS). Now there is a non lethal deterrent to force a diver to the surface. The DIS is classified as EAR99 by the Department of Commerce. HAI has developed and delivered the DIS to multiple customers including for the US Navy, Coast Guard, commercial agencies and foreign militaries."


Anonymous said...

There will likely be more marine life casualties than divers.

Peter Coates said...


"more marine life casualties" may occur if:

- the "Diver Detection Systems (DDS)" referred to in the HAI paragraph uses the fixed sonar detection software that doesn't discriminate between objects 6 feet long or less, or

- if there is no netting barriers that need to be consciously cut or moved over.

More than 6 feet long dolphins or real seals would indeed likely suffer.