Small Arms Long-Range Human Electro-Muscular Incapacitation (HEMI) Munition
Navy SBIR 2018.3 - Topic N183-140
MCSC - Mr. Jeffrey Kent -
Opens: September 24, 2018 - Closes: October 24, 2018 (8:00 PM ET)


TITLE: Small Arms Long-Range Human Electro-Muscular Incapacitation (HEMI) Munition



ACQUISITION PROGRAM: Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate

The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Develop a small caliber, non-lethal, untethered (wireless) human electro-muscular incapacitation (HEMI) munition that can be employed via a conventional DoD small arms weapon.

DESCRIPTION: The long-range, long-duration, untethered HEMI munition has been a long-sought and currently unmet need. Currently, all the Services field a version of the Taser International X-26 “Taser”. This device is configured in a pistol-like form-factor, the cartridge is wire tethered (which limits the range and accuracy to a single human target at < 20-25 feet) and limits the non-lethal electro-muscular disruption (EMD) “disable” effect (i.e., full body tetanization of the muscles) and the duration of non-lethal “disable” effect to 5 seconds.
At least four previous DoD-sponsored SBIR efforts have been initiated on this technology area, with the previous efforts being funded by both the Army and the Navy, and were coming to completion over 12 years ago. Each of these previous SBIR topics added to the knowledge-base for this technical challenge but none led to the development of an effective HEMI munition that met the JNLWP capability gap.

The Marine Corps is seeking innovative technologies to design a low-cost (< $1,000 per round) HEMI munition that can be employed via a conventional DoD small Arms weapon with the system, subsystem, and component performance specifications and system attributes below:
1. A minimum safe range of 5 meters and a maximum effective range of 100+ meters
2. Deliver non-lethal human incapacitation duration of effect (threshold of 30 seconds to an objective of greater than 3 minutes) [Refs 3, 4, and 5]
3. Deliver non-lethal human incapacitation effect with an overall charge of ~50 Coulombs or less (Commercial-off-the-shelf HEMI waveform’s deliver a total charge of ~100 Coulombs) [Refs 3, 4, and 5]
4. Suitable projectile flight stability to achieve the min-safe/max effective range capability with a low risk of significant injury with respect to the blunt impact effects of this round “hitting” human targets accurately at 100+ meters
5. Advanced reliable round attachment capability to a human body and through common natural clothing (i.e., fabric, denim, leather, etc.) to ensure delivery of HEMI effects for the required time duration mentioned above
6. HEMI waveform generator capable of effectively inducing non-lethal HEMI effects
Effective compact battery suitable for small arms weapon ammunition
7. A robust form-factor commensurate with a small arms weapon system and capable of withstanding the gun launch accelerations associated with caliber of the weapon selected. Note: acceptable calibers could range from .38 caliber/9 mm pistol round form-factors (e.g., commensurate to the Shock-Rounds HEMI .38 caliber bullet [Ref 1] to the 12-gauge Taser International XREP HEMI round [Ref 2], or the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) 40mm HEMI round). The exact caliber selected will depend on the proposer’s innovative approach to meet all the HEMI munition requirements described in specifications above.

PHASE I: Develop a conceptual design of a long-range, extended-duration, full-scale, low-cost HEMI munition, and create a design verification/validation study on the identified technology challenges associated with HEMI munition min-safe/max-effective range, munition flight stability, reduced blunt impact, round accuracy, precision aiming, assured round attachment, form-factor, and design commensurate with a standard DoD caliber. Determine the technical feasibility of the concept design and model key elements that can be developed into a useful product for the Marine Corps through analytical modeling and simulation to provide initial assessments of the concept performance. Provide a Phase II HEMI munition development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones, and that will address technical, schedule, and cost risk reduction.

PHASE II: Based on Phase I results, develop a full-scale HEMI munition prototype that can be employed from a conventional DoD small arm weapon as specified in the Description section above. Evaluate the prototype to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in Phase II development plan. Demonstrate the system performance suitability or operational test and evaluation on DoD range through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters. Use evaluation results to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Marine Corps requirements. For test and evaluation purposes, develop a minimum of 100 prototype test articles in Phase II. The prototype design may or may not be single use (i.e., parts of the design could be designed to be re-useable). This re-usability would be a design enhancement. Prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology for the Marine Corps use.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Technology designed and developed in Phase II will be utilized to build additional (100+) advanced prototypes for a long-range, extended-duration HEMI munition. Support the JNLWD/Marine Corps with test and validation to certify and qualify the technology to transition to the Joint Service and the Marine Corps. This developed capability to non-lethally disable/incapacitate individuals at distances in excess of 100 meters is needed to support the joint services, civilian law enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of Justice, the Secret Service, and Customs and Border Protection.


1. Harrington Group Limited. “ShockRounds Electrical Shock Ammunition.” Defense Update: International Online Defense Magazine, 27 January 2005.

2. Hsu, Jeremy. “Taser Rolls Out Extended Range Shock Shotgun – Yes, a Shotgun.” Popular Science, 10 July 2009.

3. Burgei, Wesley. “Nanosecond Electrical Pulse (nsEP).” Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate Industry Day, dtd 22 June 2012.

4. “Human Electro-Muscular Incapacitation FAQs.” Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate.

5. Gibbons, John A. “Risk Mitigation during Human Electromuscular Incapacitation Research.” Air Force Research Lab Brooks City Base Texas – Human Effectiveness Directorate, dtd 30 April 2015.

KEYWORDS: Human Electro-Muscular Incapacitation; Electro-Muscular Disruption; Tetanization; Blunt Impact Mitigation; Non-Lethal Weapon; HEMI Bio-Effects; Untethered HEMI/EMD Munition