Practical laser weapons came another step closer to reality recently as defense contractor Northrop Grumman tested the latest version of its Firestrike solid-state lasers. On May 1st, the company announced that it had completed trials at its Redondo Beach laboratory of a more powerful and rugged generation of its slab lasers, that combine with improved sensor capacities to create a general laser component that can provide the military with a wide range of greatly enhanced defensive and offensive laser capabilities.
Lockheed Martin's new Shadow Hawk weapon is deceptively small considering the influence it will likely have on warfare from this point forward. The era of unmanned warfare is about to go to a whole new level. The Shadow Hawk is an 11-pound class, 2.75-inch (7 cm) diameter, 27-inch (68 cm) long drop-glide munition released a mile or more above the target by the equally diminutive unmanned RQ-7B. It may not seem like a major leap forward in weapons technology but it most certainly is, because the Shadow Hawk munition now arms an entire fleet of RQ-7s for the US Marines and Army that could previously only be used for reconnaissance, and it does so with a much smaller and cheaper weapon.
As modern-day piracy continues to be a real threat to ships in some parts of the world, people are likewise continually coming up with new ways of projecting crews and passengers against attacks. While some anti-piracy systems have utilized things such as sound waves
, a new one uses something that is decidedly lower tech – flailing water hoses.
German cyberpunk weapons-maker Patrick Priebe has created another dangerous toy, and this one's a doozy. Previously, he’s built things such as a laser-sighted wrist-mounted crossbow
, and a hand-mounted flamethrower
. His latest creation, the Blade Driver, is a full-size laser-sighted crossbow ... oh yeah, and instead of shooting arrows, it shoots spinning rotary saw blades.
If you've already built your own wrist-mounted laser-sighted crossbow
, how do you top it? Well, a hand-mounted flamethrower might do the trick. That's just what cyberpunk weapons hobbyist and Iron Man
fan Patrick Priebe has done, with pretty impressive results. However, unlike some of his previous creations (which have included a 1-megawatt pulse laser gun, and a balloon-popping palm laser), the "flame glove" is not for sale - given its rather startling performance in the video that follows, that's probably for the best.
The F-35A is the conventional takeoff and landing version of the Joint Strike Fighter
, intended primarily for the U.S. Air Force short range fighter role. These single-seat single-engine fifth-generation fighters are designed to carry out air defense, ground attack, and recon missions. February 16, 2012 marked the first flight of the F-35A carrying an external load of two Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles. The F-35A also had four additional weapons pylons attached each of which can carry 2000-pound air-to-ground weapons.
This Valentine's Day won't just mark the time of year when people the world over scramble for heart-shaped candy and restaurant reservations – it's also the release date for the highly-anticipated Twisted Metal
video game on the Playstation 3. The game features crazy vehicles decked out with weapons all trying to destroy each other, so what better way to promote the occasion than by unloading a machine gun into an ice cream truck like one featured in the game? Rather than just doing it themselves, however, the promoters of the game have set up ShootMyTruck.com, a website that will let users take a shot at the truck remotely using their computers.
Two years after BAE Systems was awarded a US$21 million contract from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop an advanced Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun
for the U.S. Navy, the company has delivered the first industry-built prototype demonstrator to the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren. The prototype launcher is now being prepared for testing which is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.
Neuroscience has ramifications for future warfare, and the scientific community must be more aware. So says a new report published by the Royal Society titled Neuroscience, conflict and security
, which cites interest in neuroscience from the military community, and identifies particular technologies that may arise. Among them is the potential for "neural interface systems" (NIS) to bring about weapons controllable by the human mind, though the reports also discusses more benign military applications of neuroscience, such as fostering a revolution in prosthetic limbs.
You have to feel sorry for the police officers who are required to frisk people for guns or knives – after all, if someone who doesn’t want to be arrested is carrying a lethal weapon, the last thing that most of us would want to do is get close enough to that person to touch them. That’s why the New York Police Department teamed up with the United States Department of Defense three years ago, and began developing a portable scanner that can remotely detect the presence of a gun on a person’s body. The NYPD announced the project yesterday.