Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Weapons

The W88 ALT 370 warhead was dropped from a crane to simulate a loading accident

Dropping a nuclear warhead may not seem like a particularly bright idea, but earlier this year Sandia National Laboratories did just that. As part of the US government’s Life Extension Program (LEP) for its nuclear arsenal, the inert W88 ALT 370 warhead was dropped from a crane in New Mexico onto a slab of concrete to test the updated design’s safety.  Read More

The Yardarm Sensor fits into the grip of a firearm to monitor use in real time

Anytime a police officer draws their weapon, it's likely to be a tense, confusing situation where split second decisions can be the difference between life and death. In an attempt to reduce some of the confusion, Yardarm has developed a wireless sensor that allows firearms to be tracked and monitored in real time thanks to a small electronics package that fits into the weapon's grip.  Read More

Patrick Priebe's rocket-launching Iron Man gauntlet

By now, many regular Gizmag readers will be familiar with German cyberpunk weapons-hobbyist Patrick Priebe. We've featured a number of his one-off DIY creations before, including an Iron Man-inspired laser gauntlet. Well, now he's created another Iron Man gauntlet, although instead of just a burning laser, this one launches real rockets – and Priebe has already managed to hurt himself with the thing.  Read More

The laser turret prototype being tested on the University of Notre Dame’s Airborne Aero Op...

High energy laser (HEL) systems have been the subject of military research for decades, but it is only in recent years that the technology has advanced to the point where it is feasible for such systems to be mounted on military ground vehicles and sea vessels. Initial flight tests have now been conducted on a new aircraft laser turret that will help pave the way for HEL systems to be integrated into military aircraft.  Read More

The Fonderie 47 Inversion Principle showing the side power reserve indicator

The Bible talks about beating swords into plowshares, but what about Kalashnikovs into timepieces? Swiss watchmaker Fonderie 47’s Inversion Principle has done just that with a luxury watch made in part from the steel of a deactivated AK-47 assault rifle and subtle design cues from the firearm. According to the company, part of the watch’s price goes toward helping to disarm and aid Africa.  Read More

The HEL-MD has successfully engaged targets in foggy conditions

If you've ever gone outside on a foggy night and shined a laser pointer about, you’ve seen two things: how flashy a raygun it makes, and the problem laser weapons face in such conditions as fog and rain scatters the energy that should be destroying missiles. However, in recent tests at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, Boeing and the US Army have shown that their High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) is capable of successfully locking onto and taking out targets in very laser-unfriendly foggy, rainy, and windy maritime conditions.  Read More

The Zubin Axe at Outdoor Retailer

Hiking poles sometimes take on a multifunctional role in the outdoors, serving in place of dedicated tent poles on lightweight shelters like the Mountain Hardwear Hoopla 4. This year's Outdoor Retailer Summer Market took the multifunctional hiking pole to a new level, with two hiking poles that double as full-on survival tools on show. One includes an interchangeable multi-tool system that transforms it into a spear, brush axe and more, while the other has a built-in flashlight … and stun gun.  Read More

The WristBow Mk II stores multiple carbon fiber darts in its ammo clip, which drop into pl...

When we last heard from German cyberpunk weapons hobbyist Patrick Priebe, he'd made a set of X-Men-inspired goggles that incorporated burning lasers. Some time before that, however, he showed us a wrist-mounted, laser-sighted crossbow that he'd created. Now, he's just completed a new-and-improved "semi-automatic" take on that crossbow.  Read More

Artist's concept of Duke Airborne Systems’ Robotic Weapon System (RWS) in action

When we hear about military robots, it usually evokes images of Terminator-like killing machines, but it can also mean robotic systems designed to help soldiers concentrate on the job at hand. Case in point is Israel-based Duke Airborne Systems’ Robotic Weapon System (RWS). Unveiled at the Eurosatory defense industry show in Paris, the system billed as a “first-of-its-kind” is a concealable robotic gunnery module that allows utility helicopters to fly into hostile territory without an armed escort.  Read More

Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a new 30-kilowatt fiber laser (not pictured) produced by ...

In another step forward for laser weapons that brings to mind the Death Star's superlaser, Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a 30-kilowatt fiber laser produced by combining many lasers into a single beam of light. According to the company, this is the highest power laser yet that was still able to maintain beam quality and electrical efficiency, paving the way for a laser weapon system suitable, if not for a Death Star, for a wide range of air, land and sea military platforms.  Read More

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