Are you ready for the latest and greatest weapons of future wars? Here are five more instruments of devastation that seem more at home in Hollywood than on the battlefield. Each day, we get closer to Space Marines and Spartans.
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5. EXACTO Bullets
The boys at DARPA have a new and welcome surprises straight out of Alien: Smart bullets. Developed as EXtreme ACcuracy Tasked Ordinance program (EXACTO), the bullets are capable of chasing it’s enemies. The experimental .50-caliber sniper round is incredible, capable of correcting it’s own trajectory mid-flight. With a range of over a mile, the bullets auto correct for the earth’s rotation, weather, and attempts by the enemy to flee.
Working with a laser sight on the sniper rifle, the bullet is capable of 30 directional changes per second. The EXACTO bullet is 4-inches long, and leaves the gun’s barrel without rifling, using a number of actuators to control its flight path. Surprisingly, the farther you run, the more accurate the bullet is. After all, more distance is more time to adjust.
Straight out of Hot, the US Army is testing a M4 rifle that fires electronics frying pulses. The “Pulser” is made of an antenna, a piezoelectric generator (which sounds like techno babble if I’ve heard it) and a blast shields to make sure the weapon doesn’t hurt it’s holder. Attached to an M4 barrel, it converts the explosive energy of a fired round into directed electrical charge via a crystal. The exact range of this new weapon is classified, but there’s some speculation it will be used to shoot down enemy drones.
A crystal powered lighting gun for killing robots. The US Army has a crystal powered lighting gun for killing robot assassins. Good God, it’s a great time to be alive.
Also in development by the US Air Force is the CHAMP (Counter-Electronics High-Powered Micro Wave Advanced Missile Project), a missile that can launch similar pulses at specific buildings, disabling electronic support.
3. Velocitas Eradico
The US Navy has developed a terrifyingly powerful railgun that is set to be the deck gun of the future. Using electromagnetic propulsion instead of gun powder, the weapon can launch 40 lb tungsten slugs anywhere from Mach 5 to Mach 10. The raw kinetic energy of the slug means it can destroy missiles, ships, and land targets from up to a hundred miles away. Being essentially chunks of metal, the new ammunition is cheaper and less dangerous than the 2,700 lb explosive shells previously used.
Plans are currently in place to deploy the rail gun aboard the Spearhead-class joint high-speed vessel USNS Trenton, under the motto Velocitas Eradico, Latin for “I, who am speed, eradicate.”
Persistent Close Air Support is a DARPA program that comes close to making the battlefield a video game HUD, providing real-time battle info. Android tablets and heads-up-displays are used both in the air and on the ground to share information, to better coordinate. Using live visuals and digital maps, the system helps make optimal weapon choices, increasing the effectiveness and lethality of Joint Terminal Attack Controllers. Typical air support calls can take up to an hour to arrive, but with PCAS, tests suggest it will only take minutes.
This project is based out of Russia and maybe an attempt to revive “Istrebitel Sputnik”, an orbital Russian weapons platform. Speculation emerged after the launch of a secret satellite in 2014. Kosmos 2499 entered orbit with 3 other satellites, all identified as communication satellites, only to break formation and begin unusual maneuvers. The precise nature of the movements lead analysts to believe it may be targeting other satellites with methods such as a robotic arm laying explosives or cutting away solar panels on US satellites.
China launched its own satellite, Shiyan-7, which has already demonstrated the ability to grab other satellites out of orbit. Russia, however, has a bit of a head start in orbital warfare.They did test out a gun for shooting down our space interceptors already.