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Weapons

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

The Sabertron swords in action

Who hasn't grabbed a stick and pretended it was a sword at one point in their lives? Now, with a bit of help from technology, Sabertron swords are helping everyone live out that sword-fighting fantasy, but with some actual score-keeping.  Read More

The Pentagon looks at the next 25 years of military robots

Last month, the US Pentagon pulled out its crystal ball and released a report that presents a blueprint of what it sees as the future of military robots over the next quarter of a century. It projects likely developments in new unmanned technologies against a background of shrinking budgets and shifting strategic policies, and how the dramatic development and expansion of military unmanned systems requires large-scale consolidation and development to exploit the technology’s full potential.  Read More

The HEL MD that took out mortars and UAVs in flight using its vehicle-mounted 10-kW laser ...

High energy laser weapons are a hot area of research with companies including Lockheed Martin, Rheinmetall and Northrop Grumman all developing systems. Boeing is also in the mix with its High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD), which is being put through its paces by the US Army. Between November 18 and December 10, the HEL MD successfully took out mortar rounds and UAVs in flight, marking a first for the vehicle-mounted system.  Read More

Left: Patient Zero's Mk. 1 weapon. Right: Mk. 2 weapon. Yes, my face always looks like tha...

Australian real life video game company IRLShooter is back in 2014 with a total upgrade and redesign of its Patient Zero live action zombie shooter game, which puts small teams of players through a survival quest in a purpose-built game facility seething with infected undead. Gizmag’s Loz Blain and his brother Chris dropped in to check out the upgraded weapons system and try out a whole new addition to the game – the “pain belt” – which delivers a nasty electric shock any time you take damage in-game. Naturally, we filmed the pain belt test for your viewing pleasure. (Warning: contains strong language)  Read More

The upgrade allows the B-52 to carry 50 percent more smart weapons (Image: USAF)

The B-52 heavy bomber is a bit like the Queen of England – sometimes it seems as though both of them are going to go on forever. Last week, Boeing announced a new program to extend the life of the US Air Force B-52 fleet by expanding its capacity to carry smart weapons by 50 percent as part of a new US$24.6 million contract.  Read More

Bow Mag increases the striking power of your arrow with the insertion of a .38 special or ...

Many archers in adventure stories and comic books use arrows with unusual heads. These include the standard explosive and grappling hook arrows, and the not-so-standard boxing glove arrow, Greek fire arrow, handcuffs arrow, and the ever popular atomic warhead arrow. While real archers generally have to make do with target and field heads, Louisiana-based archery company Rac-Em-Bac is now providing some spirited alternates.  Read More

A film still of a bouncing bomb trial (Photo: BAE Systems/SSPL)

It's seventy years to the day since No. 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force returned from Operation Chastise, in which specially designed bouncing bombs were dropped in an attack on the Möhne, Sorpe and Eder Dams in Germany during World War II. Though the bouncing bomb is without doubt the invention for which Barnes Wallis is most renowned (thanks in no small part to its depiction in the film Dambusters) Wallis' other work before, during, and after World War II was of great importance, and in some cases, far ahead of its time. Gizmag spoke to Dr. Andrew Nahum, Principal Curator of Technology at the Science Museum where many of Wallis' papers are archived, about swing-wing aircraft, earthquake bombs, improbable mathematics lessons, and the geodetic Wellington Bomber.  Read More

The 3D printed single-shot Liberator pistol in test fire mount (Photo: Defense Distributed...

The potential for 3D-printed guns has (unsurprisingly) generated a great deal of controversy, and the Liberator is no exception. Named after the WWII single shot pistol, this 3D-printed .380 caliber pistol is made of almost entirely of plastic and looks more like a nozzle for a water hose than a gun. The weapon has survived multiple firings with very little damage, inspiring enough confidence that designer Cody Wilson has now tested the gun by hand.  Read More

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