Technical Specifications: Flashbang
CLASSIFIED LEVEL YELLOW
PHALANX Extraterrestrial Response Unit
Technical Document, Delta Clearance
Filed: 20 March 2084
By: Cdr. Paul Navarre, R&D: Engineering Division, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command
The alien attack on Mumbai made our situation painfully clear. Their technology is far more advanced than ours. The complete inability of Commonwealth troops to make a dent in the Mumbai offensive revealed critical weaknesses in current military training and equipment. They lost three battalions just bringing the aliens to a standstill without inflicting significant casualties. PHALANX has to overcome these odds, and to do that we need the very best human technology has to offer.
The Excalibur Program was created to find the most effective weapons on Earth by reviewing their manufacturing standards, durability, operational record, and their combat performance in the situations where we've managed to bring the aliens to battle.
The flashbang is a non-lethal grenade that produces a blinding flash and a deafening blast to temporarily confuse or disorient targets in the area of effect. The grenade body does not explode or fragment upon detonation. In fact, if the body remains undamaged, it can be easily refilled and used again.
Humans affected by a flashbang suffer temporary deafness and impaired balance, as well as complete loss of eyesight for up to five seconds before the effect fades and vision returns to normal. This makes the flashbang an excellent weapon for distracting and temporarily disabling the enemy, especially when assaulting heavily-defended positions. From combat reports, we've concluded that flashbangs have much the same effect on aliens as they do on humans; alien targets are effectively blind and deaf for a short time after the flashbang is deployed, rendering them helpless. We can't say exactly how long this period is, and it will undoubtedly vary from alien to alien, but it's still long enough to make the difference in a firefight.
Aside from being a useful tactical tool, the flashbang will allow our soldiers to get in close and personal without being cut to shreds by the alien weapons. It allows the commander to choose exactly which weapons are applied in a given situation whilst avoiding the collateral damage potential of a frag grenade. A very quick enemy can take precautions to negate flashbang effects simply by closing his eyes and plugging his ears, but he will have very little warning and in most cases will require special training to respond in time. From what we can tell the aliens have had no prior experience with this type of weapon and have no defensive doctrine against it. Even a prepared enemy will still be distracted by a flashbang and could be engaged by fast-action troops before being able to reclaim his weapon and take aim.
The flashbang's strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. It has served with distinction in many wars before this one, and it will continue to do so until all its functions can be replaced somehow by a new system.
The flashbang does no physical damage to anyone caught in its area of effect, and for that reason alone this weapon should be used over frag grenades and other explosive ordnance during any mission where civilians are placed at risk.
It is an indispensible weapon in any terrain that features large amounts of available cover. If aliens are lying in wait and charging around a corner might be suicide, the mere act of popping a flashbang down the corridor can significantly change the outcome of the ensuing firefight in favour of our troops. Its utility is not to be underestimated.
Naturally the flashbang is only effective against organic aliens with eyes and ears.