For some time the military has had directed-energy weapons under development for many possible applications including missile defense, communications disruption and even ground force weaponry. IEDs applied mainly as roadside bombs have been a very frustrating situation for the U.S. and Allied military resulting in much study and research for ways to alleviate the problem. In 2005, a company called Ionatron claimed to be developing an anti IED device known as JIN (Joint IED Neutralizer) that would "zap" IEDs from a distance by using lasers to ionize the air and allow man-made lightning to shoot towards the devices detonating them at a safe distance. Despite awarding Ionatron 30 million dollars in a contract to produce the JIN, the vehicle is nowhere near being operational, or battlefield ready. According to a brigadier general who was present at the tests, a four star admiral remarked, "This is a Rube Goldberg solution."
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