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GEK Cobra: Austria Goes Less Lethal

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 49 Issue: 10 Dated: October 2001 Pages: 170-173
Samuel M. Katz
Date Published
October 2001
4 pages
This article describes Austria's Gendarmerieeinzatskommando (GEK) Cobra counter-terrorist unit and their new non-lethal weapon FX, a high-pressure water cannon.
Established in 1972, the Austrian Gendarmerieeinzatskommando (GEK) Cobra was considered one of the most innovative and trend-setting of Europe's police counter-terrorist units. GEK Cobra is under the command of the Ministry of the Interior and the Directorate for State Security. GEK Cobra had been aggressively exploring the use of non-lethal weapons in the ending of hostage-taking and other serious criminal situations. GEK Cobra designed and developed the FX, a high-pressure water cannon that releases a powerful burst of water at the subject. It puts the subject down but does not kill. Using the FX, a Cobra officer can escalate the level of force as the situation dictates, allowing more options than when using a lethal weapon.