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Weapons


— Aircraft

Upgrades to extend B-52 Bomber's lifespan until 2044

Mention the "B-52" to most people and they'll think of either an '80s pop group, a bad hair style, or an ancient bomber that's a relic of the Cold War. The name conjures up a vintage warplane featured in grainy footage from the Cuban Missile Crisis, but what may surprise people is to learn that in the second decade of the 21st century, the B-52 fleet still plays a key role in America's nuclear deterrence and conventional warfare strategy. Now the US Defense Department is upgrading the venerable USAF B-52 heavy bomber to allow the sixty-year old aircraft to continue in active front-line service until the 2040s. Read More
— Military

Boeing and BAE team up to develop laser weapon for the U.S. Navy

Both Boeing and BAE Systems have been working on laser weapon systems for use at sea for a number of years and now the two companies have teamed up to develop the Mk 38 Mod 2 Tactical Laser System for the U.S. Navy. The system combines both kinetic and directed energy weapons capability by coupling a solid-state high-energy laser weapon module with the Mk 38 Machine Gun System that is already in use on many U.S. Navy vessels. Read More
— Military

Metal Storm and Taser developing less than-lethal ammunition

Metal Storm is to begin working with TASER on less-than-lethal ammunition for the its aptly-named MAUL rapid-fire 12-gauge launcher. The tiny 800 gram MAUL can be operated independently from its own shoulder stock, fitted as an accessory to an assault rifle (pictured), or used with a pistol grip. A five round reload takes two seconds and each bullet incapacitates those it hits with the same Neuro Muscular effect of a handheld TASER. Read More
— Military Feature

Are 'suitcase nukes' a genuine concern?

On the 7th September 1997, 60 Minutes broadcast an alarming news item featuring the allegations of former Russian National Security Advisor, General Aleksander Lebed. Lebed claimed that the former Soviet Union had not only manufactured but had lost track of perhaps 100 of a very frightening weapon: a nuclear bomb in a casing which made it appear to be a small suitcase. The claim was hotly denied and none of these weapons have never surfaced, but that hasn't stopped the idea of "suitcase nukes" gaining a grip on the public imagination through popular fiction and TV shows. So is it even possible to fabricate a nuclear weapon so small? If so, is it likely that such devices exist and are even missing? Read More
— Military

‘Fire-and-forget’ LCITS technology to combat small swarming boat attacks

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has unveiled a new weapons technology designed to give helicopters, such as the MH-60 and the AH-1 Cobra, the ability to combat the threat of a small boat swarm. The Low-Cost Imaging Terminal Seeker (LCITS) system equips existing unguided Hydra-70, 2.75-inch rockets with a low-cost guidance capability that allows pilots to essentially "fire-and-forget," thereby allowing them to engage multiple, fast attack seaborne targets in a shorter period. Read More
— Military

Fiber-optic laser-based system brings rifle sights into the 21st century

At long ranges, snipers must compensate not only for crosswinds and the fact that bullets travel in a curved trajectory, but also allow for even very small barrel disruptions that can cause a shooter to miss their intended target by a wide margin. Contending with such difficulties makes feats such as the 1.53 mile (2.47 km) sniper kills by British Corporal Craig Harrison even more impressive, but a new type of rifle sighting system developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) could take one of these variables out of the equation. The fiber-optic laser-based sensor system precisely measures the deflection of the barrel relative to the sight and automatically adjusts the crosshairs to match. Read More
— Military

U.S. Navy demonstrates solid state laser weapon at sea

Solid-state laser weapons are a step closer to operational capability with the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) reporting that it has successfully disabled a small target boat during testing off the Californian coast. Stemming from the Defense Department's Joint High Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL) program, the Northrop Grumman developed Maritime Laser Demonstrator (MLD) was installed on the deck of the Navy's test ship the USS Paul Foster for the demonstration, making it the first time such a system has been integrated with a ship's radar and navigation system and the first time a high-energy laser has been fired at sea from a moving platform. Read More
— Military

Silynx’s C4Grip puts soldier’s non-trigger fingers to good use

These days guns used by soldiers are more than just a weapon designed to send a high velocity projectile at an enemy. Modern assault rifles also include attachments for flashlights, laser sights and even wireless communications. However, operating these extra capabilities usually means taking a hand of the weapon, which can leave the soldier vulnerable to attack or result in them missing the opportunity for that vital shot. The C4Grip from Silynx is a forward grip that solves this problem by putting extra controls at the user’s fingertips. Read More
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