Now we know why ray gun maker Ionatron hasn't been talking up their bomb-frying, electricity-spewing Joint IED Neutralizer, lately. It turns out the Defense Department has turned down the machines. Ionatron's going back to the drawing board.The company cranked out a dozen of the golf cart-esque JINs last year. Ionatron execs said the machines, which use laser pulses and electrical bursts to zap bombs, would be sent out to Iraq, pronto. But the JINs never made it."The U.S. government customer concluded that the JIN counter-IED technology performed well and offers great promise, but determined that the current vehicle platform should be changed," the company said in a statement, picked up by the Arizona Daily Star.
Ionatron CEO Thomas Dearmin, in a conference call with financial analysts, expressed some disappointment that the company did not receive a production contract after months of testing of the JIN system."We expected to be in production at this point in time," Dearmin told analysts. "All I can say is, it's more complicated than you or I thought it could be."Dearmin said the vehicles used as platforms for the JIN test units were by necessity off-the-shelf because of the time constraints involved. Ionatron said it produced the 12 test JIN units in nine months.Ionatron will work to adapt the system to other vehicles, possibly including existing military vehicles, he said."There needs to be parts and spares available, and it's a big system," Dearmin said. "We've engineered to put these on other platforms I think there are other platforms out there that the military is comfortable with."