Prior to the establishment of the dedicated research and development wing of the Department of Defense, the AS military simply purchased common less-than-lethal weapons from defense industry companies in-country. While these weapons were usually reliable, this military-industrial complex had led to a general inconsistency with the quality and recommended usage of these weapons. Late into the 22nd century, the Research & Development Division of the Department of Defense saw to it that these inconsistencies be eradicated, and their weapons specifications be achieved personally rather than indirectly through contracting outside companies to do it for them. Other benefits included easier classification of specs and first-party resource usage, among other things. Since then, the R&D Division found that most less-than-lethal weapons did not need very much upgrading beyond securing their already high reliability and adding quality-of-life improvements.
The G129 Flashbang is designed to incapacitate targets rather than to kill them. It achieves this through producing an extremely bright flash of light, plus an extremely loud yet short bang, hence "flashbang". The G129 does not fragment, nor does it ignite the surrounding environment. Its charge is a wholly combustible cartridge holding an unreleased blend of flammable powder, which deflagrates (burns) extremely quickly as opposed to detonating (exploding) when set off. This cartridge is contained within a metal "cage" with circular openings punched out of the frame in order to release its light and sound.
When deployed, unprotected persons within a 6.6-foot (2.0 m) radius of the equipment experience primary effects along the lines of temporary blindness via an intense burst of light measuring up to 10 million candela (think 10 million lit candles inside of a can), plus temporary deafness and tinnitus via a burst of up to 180 decibels. There is also a secondary effect within its range, that being a disorienting off-balance feeling in the target caused by the sudden quick blast disturbing the liquid in the vestibular system.
The G129 sports the F64 programmable capacitor fuze that can be set prior to pulling its triangular pull pin or letting go of its safety lever. It is an electronic fuze can be set via a dial to a timed delay of 1, 2, 5, or 10 seconds. A miniscule shielded circuit calculates delay time in milliseconds. The F64 holds a charge within a capacitor indefinitely, then uses that charge to ignite the charge when its set delay time is reached.
Before the G129, a physically burning fuse was used in grenades, however it had an inconsistent delay of 1 to 2.5 seconds. Though previous fuses were reliable, the F64 fuze goes a step beyond in certainty that the equipment will always work as intended.
Given its retrieval, a discharged G129 including the F64 can be reused by swapping out its blown charge with a new one, and re-energizing the fuze's capacitor.
Though the G129 is classified as a less-than-lethal device, there are still dangers involved with the mishandling of the equipment. The G129 cannot ignite solid matter such as wood or cotton; however, if there is loose flammable gas present very near to the device, the gas will indeed ignite. Furthermore, the G129 will severely injure any unprotected body parts that are touching the body of the device at the point of discharge. A person's fingers are very likely to be blown off if the device is held in the hand at the point of discharge.
The G129 is used nearly exclusively by the Riot Control Division of the Department of Defense. It is a small yet universally common part of the expansive less-than-lethal armory at the fingertips of RCs. It is generally present on all geared personnel, even including the long range and vehicle troops, and is subject to relatively frequent usage in room clearing as well as crowd dispersal tactics. Its selection of fuze times permit both short and longer ranged tosses, as needed by the situation at hand. This presents any given squad greater reach with their upgraded inventory.