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Tag Archives: defense

DARPA Wants Invisible, Self-Healing, Shoot-Through Shields


By Evan Ackerman

Not even the Predator has it this good… DARPA had decided to set aside $15 million to build super shields for urban soldiers. These shields will render the soldier invisible, and as if that wasn’t enough, they’ll also heal themselves and allow guns to be shot through them from behind while still providing protection from the front. DARPA doesn’t generally throw money away at completely impossible concepts, which leads me to think that there must be some shot at getting one of these produced in the near future. And it’s true, there has been a lot of progress recently made on things like visible light bending metamaterials and self-healing materials. Still, for such a fanciful (and technical) concept, $15 million doesn’t seem to be nearly enough, so we’ll see. Or ideally, we won’t see.

VIA [ Danger Room ]

Gratuitous Video: C-RAM Phalanx

By Evan Ackerman

C-RAM Phalanx

Wired‘s Danger Room defense blog has voted the C-RAM (Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar) defense system as it’s #1 example of war tech, which gives me an excuse to post a video of the system in action. The C-RAM is a Phalanx 20mm gatling cannon that can spit out 75 armor piercing shells per second, and using it’s sophisticated radar tracking system, is able to shoot down missiles, rockets, artillery shells, and mortar shells in flight:

The US Military isn’t the only force with this kind of technology. See some more examples (even if the videos are slightly less cool) after the jump.

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Company Develops Lightning Based Entry Denial System

By Evan Ackerman

Few things instill as visceral a reaction in people as a close lightning strike, so it’s only natural that everybody from Benny Franklin on has tried to harness it’s power, be it for good or evil. Ionatron’s Portal Denial System is a demo of sorts for the actual lightning gun that they’ve been developing, except that in the above video, they’re using the technology to guard a door.

The discharges can be tuned to be lethal or “less lethal,” and can disable vehicles by frying their electronics. Although it looks like lightning (and it pretty much is), the heart of the system is actually a laser. The laser fires femtosecond pulses, which create a superconductive plasma channel to the target, focusing the electrical discharge. So yes, it’s a lightning gun and a laser gun and a plasma gun. Want one yet?

A lightning gun is certainly not a new idea, and Ionatron has been working on their version for years, with limited results… although currently they’re testing a remote controlled lightning gun equipped anti-IED vehicle (which sounds way way WAY cooler than it looks), not much progress seems to have been made towards the promised handheld or vehicle mounted lightning gun.

The Portal Denial System is currently available only to US Government approved customers. Whatever that means, you probably can’t get it.

VIA [ Danger Room ]