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Advanced Gun Systems aboard the Zumwalt Class Destroyer

June 21, 2007 The role of the Navy has changed with the U.S. "War on Terror" - it is seldom involved in direct naval battles and much more often relegated to support of invading (liberating?) land and air forces. Thus, munitions are being designed to suit. BAE Systems' Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) are currently under construction and will redefine the state of the art for naval firepower. The vertically loaded, pivoting gun towers will launch 155mm standard and guided munitions to a range of approximately 100 miles, with accuracy between 20 and 50 metres and at a rate of up to 12 rounds per minute.  Read More

The small pod containing Northrop Grumman's laser Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DI...

June 19, 2007 We’ve all seen the scenario many times in films – a heat-seeking missile is launched towards a helicopter and relentlessly pursues its prey to destruction. Now it appears that there’s a removable laser Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) System which can defeat such threats. The system was tested for the first time recently and successfully thwarted a series of simulated heat-seeking missile attacks on a Dutch AH-64D Apache helicopter during flight trials at Vliehors Test Range in the Netherlands. The small pod containing Northrop Grumman's laser Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system mounts to the end of the stub-wing on the Apache AH-64D attack helicopter. The system functions by automatically detecting a missile launch, determining if it is a threat and activating a high-intensity laser-based countermeasure system to track and defeat the missile.  Read More

The Sky Warrior, from General Atomics

June 18, 2007 Resurrecting a great name from the 1950s, General Atomics have completed the maiden flight of their Sky Warrior Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). While the original, built by Douglas, was known for being the largest and heaviest "whale" of a bomber to take-off and land on aircraft carriers, the new Sky Warrior will operate as an unmanned long range surveillance, communications and weapons delivery drone. Able to run happily on diesel or jet fuel due to its Heavy Fuel Engine, the Sky Warrior will form a key part of the U.S. Army's Extended Range/Multi Purpose Unmanned Aircraft system.  Read More

Polarisation technology shows up the hidden trip wires in the image.

June 4, 2007 Silent, unmoving, millimetre-thin and extremely difficult to see, trip and command wires are frequently found on land mines, conventional munitions and many improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In a bid to increase troop and civilian safety in war zones, defense contractor QinetiQ has been given a UK£800,000 contract to produce and evaluate portable tripwire detection devices based on polarization technology that's showing positive results.  Read More

TASER and iRobot are collaborating on a TASER-shooting robot

June 3, 2007 Love them or hate them, TASER stun guns have become an essential and effective part of law enforcement armory. Perhaps their main drawback has been that even the long-range wireless shotgun-mounted TASER XREP puts a police officer within 30 feet of a potentially dangerous suspect before they're in range. Now, a new partnership between TASER and iRobot will see the construction of TASER-wielding robots that can be sent in to incapacitate violent suspects without ever exposing police officers to the risk of harm. What's more, TASER has released their Remote Area Denial (TRAD) system, an unmanned device that operates in a network to identify and incapacitate intruders in secured areas. It all points towards an interesting future with embedded moral implications; how long will it be until suspects are told "you have 15 seconds to comply?"  Read More

U.S. Defense report nervous on Chinese military capability

May 31, 2007 A new report from the US department of defense has raised concerns about China's growing military power, particularly in regard to cyber-warfare preparations and an expanding counter-space program. The report to congress entitled "Military Power of the People’s Republic of China" asserts that whilst Beijing continues to focus its military preparedness on the Taiwan Straits, it appears to be shifting its attention to arenas that may pose a greater threat to the rest of the world.  Read More

High altitude launch capability demonstrated for MK-54 torpedos

May 30, 2007 If there’s an absolute truth about military technology, it’s that it keeps getting more deadly with each passing year and the High Altitude ASW Weapons Concept (HAAWC) is a prime example. HAAWC employs the Lockheed Martin LongShot Wing Adapter Kit to allow the launch of torpedoes from high altitudes and long standoff ranges, allowing aircrews to remain beyond the reach of enemy air defences. Additionally, the manoeuvrability of the concept allows for off-axis launch of torpedoes at potential undersea targets preventing the need for the aircraft to manoeuvre.  Read More

Sellex's Sencion thread liquids detector - the flashing red light indicates the presence o...

May 29, 2007 Without going through the hassle of removing bottle-tops, staff at security checkpoints are unable to see the difference between a bottle of drinking water and a potential molotov cocktail - the solution has commonly been to prevent people from passing through checkpoints with bottles. Now there's a device that can instantly detect whether a bottle contains a potential threat liquid without taking the top off. The Senicon is already in use in Japan's Kansai International Airport - and it's currently under review by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for use in airports and other areas under threat of terrorist attacks.  Read More

The hand on the left is visible due to the presence of explosive material. The hand on the...

May 23, 2007 One of the telltale signs of an explosive crate, envelope or package is the tiny trace amounts of explosive chemicals the bomb-maker leaves on the outer of the package when he closes it. Trace quantities of explosives are very hard to wash off hands as well, which is the theory behind the XPAK, a new portable explosives detection unit that allows shipping officers and security personnel to quickly scan for trace quantities of explosives in the field.  Read More

The Taser X-26.

May 18, 2007 The taser: a convenient, effective non-lethal way of incapacitating a person, or a potential killer? Amidst claims of misuse, abuse and taser-related deaths, a new study has been undertaken to document the short and medium term physiological effects this painful and common law enforcement tool can have on subjects. Kudos to those who volunteered to be shocked; those five seconds would have felt like an eternity.  Read More

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