2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Weapons

A robotic 'ferret' will help customs find drugs, weapons and people hidden in freight cont...

It won’t be cuddly, but it’ll certainly be efficient. The University of Sheffield is developing what it calls a cargo-screening ferret that uses a combination of laser and fiber-optic technology to sniff out the tiniest traces of drugs, weapons, explosives and even illegal immigrants.  Read More

The XM25 smart weapon

The XM25 Individual Air Burst Weapon is looking likely to be the shoulder-fired weapon of choice for the US military to kill or neutralize hidden targets. Due for field test this summer, the lightweight XM-25 "smart weapon" uses High Explosive Air-Burst (HEAB) munitions that can be programmed to detonate at a precise point in the air without the need to impact, spelling trouble for elusive targets, be they behind a wall, inside a building or in a foxhole.  Read More

Metal Storm completes First Shoulder Firing of MAUL Shotgun

Metal Storm's MAUL ultra-light shotgun attachment has joined the company’s 3GL grenade launcher in achieving certification for safe shoulder-firing. MAUL, which stands for Multishot Accessory Underbarrel Launcher, mounts under the barrel of a combat weapon including the M-4 and M-16 rifles and is capable of firing a range of lethal and non lethal munitions using the company's computer-controlled, electronic ignition system.  Read More

Akos Ledeczi holds a kevlar helmet with the microphones and network node attached that can...

Imagine being able to pinpoint an enemy shooter in difficult terrain with such deadly accuracy that you can see whether they are kneeling or standing and not only what kind of weapon they are firing but the caliber too. Well, engineers at Vanderbilt University's Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) have developed such a system by turning soldiers' combat helmets into "smart nodes" in a wireless sensor network.  Read More

The 84 mm Carl-Gustaf recoilless, multi-role, man-portable weapon (Images: SAAB)

In the world of military technology, new weapon capabilities quickly supersede the old. With the United States expenditure for the 2009 fiscal year at US$515.4 billion, it's rare to find a very old weapon still cutting it with the best on the battlefield, but the Carl Gustav recoilless rifle (CG) has proved the exception to this rule. First produced in 1946, the Carl Gustav remains in widespread use today.  Read More

HPM bombsuse an enormous electromagnetic radio pulse to disable computers, electronics, ve...

High-power microwave (HPM) bombs that use an enormous electromagnetic radio pulse to disable computers, electronics, vehicles, guided missiles and communications while leaving people and structures unharmed have been under investigation in research labs for a number of years. Until recently these weapons have been impractically large at over 3.5 meters long, but researchers at Texas Tech University have now built a self powered device with U.S. Army funding that measures 15 cm in diameter and only 1.5 meters long, making it small enough to be considered portable.  Read More

The guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (Credit:  U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication S...

Naval mine strikes are cited as the root cause of almost 4/5ths of U.S. Navy ship casualties occurring since 1950, so any device that either detects mines or cloaks the ship to avoid detonation will aid in the reduction of these alarming statistics. This new technology developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) consists of a high temperature superconducting (HTS) degaussing coil which acts to form a cloaking device which eliminates the magnetic signature of the ship. This interferes with undersea mines' ability to detect and detonate when a large magnetic field – like the one created by a ship – comes within close proximity.  Read More

Boeing to develop Free Electron Laser for US Navy
 (Photo: Frank Buck/Boeing)

Boeing has won a U.S. Navy contract worth up to $163 million to develop the Free Electron Laser (FEL), a weapon system that the company says "will transform naval warfare in the next decade by providing an ultra-precise, speed-of-light capability and unlimited magazine depth to defend ships against new, challenging threats, such as hyper-velocity cruise missiles." The envisioned level of precision would enable U.S. Navy ships to deliver nonlethal or lethal force to targets with power and minimal collateral damage.  Read More

Reports of a new anti-ship ballistic missile suggest it is capable of targeting aircraft c...

After years of speculation, details are beginning to emerge of a "kill weapon" developed by the Chinese that is capable of targeting and destroying US aircraft carriers. The Dong Feng 21 anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) can carry a warhead big enough to inflict significant damage on a large naval vessel, such as a supercarrier, with a single strike. The missile employs a complex guidance system, using low radar signature and a maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable. This increases the odds that the missile can evade tracking systems to successfully reach its target. It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 speed and reach its maximum range of 2,000km in less than 12 minutes.  Read More

The Long Range Acoustic Device

When Somali pirates armed with RPGs attacked the luxury cruise ship Seaborn Spirit in November 2005 it wasn't armed troops or the threat of artillery that deterred the attack, it was sound waves. The ship was fitted with a clever bit of tech called the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), a system which can emit painfully loud sound frequencies that are concentrated in a narrow beam and easily direct them at a target, not unlike using a spotlight. LRAD was originally developed for enforcing safe zones around US military vessel, but as Gizmag's David Greig learns, the potential applications of the sometimes controversial technology go well beyond protecting assets on the water.  Read More

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