The Army's 10 Greatest Inventions Of 2010
Never noted for its frugality or its successes, the defense industry looked to the people who care about its products most when judging the Army's 2010 Greatest Inventions.
On August 23 at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland a group of recent combat infantry soldiers were given a crop of new gear and told to chime in.
What they chose makes up the 10 greatest Army inventions from last year.
Improved weapons are here, of course, but other choices are less conventional: texted medical appointments and wearable batteries for 200 hours of power are just a couple.
The M992 40mm Infrared Illuminant Cartridge lets soldiers see in the dark
Launched from the M203, M320, and the M79 grenade launchers, this round floods the battlefield with infrared light. The infrared vastly enhances night vision capabilities in gear used by soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, while being invisible to the naked eye.
The RG-31 Robot Deployment System keeps soldiers safe while looking for IEDs
One of the most effective ways for locating IEDs is sending out a motorized robot to scout a suspicious area.
The RG-31 tackles the problem of sending the robot out manually and exposing soldiers to fire. The belly of the vehicle has a robot elevator that allows soldiers to use the device without putting themselves in the open, while the cab is heavily fortified.
The 5.56mm M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round is the Army's new "green" bullet
Called the "green bullet" because it has a copper core instead of lead, the M855A1 is supposed to bring greater consistency and more damage to every shot.
Designed to fit the M16 and M4 Carbine used by soldiers in Afghanistan, the bullets "wobble" less in flight and have a greater velocity than the M855 round it replaces.
Green Eyes Escalation of Force Kit disrupts a person's vision
Directed at hostile forces "Green Eyes" makes it almost impossible to aim a weapon or drive a vehicle.
The unit can also be installed at checkpoints warning civilians away from areas where they might be at risk.
The Husky Mark III takes out IEDs
Designed to detect landmines the Husky Mark III can survive explosions, and be repaired in the field.
The Husky can find and disable IEDs on roads used by U.S. troops and is able to protect its driver from blasts as well as incoming weapons fire.
The M240L Machine Gun is dramatically lighter than its predecessor
Almost four pounds lighter than the original M-240B the new L model has titanium components and costs about $9,200 each. The M240 has been used by U.S. soldiers since the 1980s and has largely replaced the M60 machine gun of Rambo fame.
The mCare Project uses text messaging to coordinate medical care
When a soldier is wounded badly enough to be discharged from service, managing medical appointments and scheduling can be a nightmare. The Army's mCare Project puts an end to this by texting appointment times to patients' phones and allows providers to respond to questions online and via SMS.
The MFCS-D is a new and improved mortar system
The Mortar Fire Control System - Dismounted (MFCS-D) takes the time required to fire a 120mm mortar from eight minutes during the day and 12 minutes at night -- to two minutes any time of day.
Digital targeting allows troops greater accuracy and enables them to fire on an enemy before they have a chance to relocate.
The Jackal Explosive System detonates IEDs
Made by Supacat in the UK, the Jackal finds and destroys IEDs.
Despite delays and cost overruns the Jackal is ready to protect soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq by finding and detonating roadside bombs.
Soldier Wearable Integrated Power Equipment System is an advanced battery
Able to extend battery power up to 200 hours, the Soldier Power System is wearable and rechargeable.
The zinc-air batteries strap to the torso or the sides and allow troops to shed 16 pounds of weight over previous systems. Extremely important considerations for today's gear-laden, electronic-dependent, ground soldier.
10 Incredible Weapons That Only America Has
The Soviets exploded their first nuclear weapon in 1949. China revealed plans for its own stealth bomber last year.
But there are still some weapons the rest of the world doesn't have.
Weapons like the MQ9 Reaper Drone, the Laser Avenger and the MAARS Robot give U.S. troops the advantage on any battlefield around the world.
Some of these weapons have been around for several years but were recently modified, and some are still in production.
MQ9 Reaper Drone
Manufactured by: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI)
Release date: 2001
The Reaper has been around for over 10 years, but was used largely for intelligence and reconnaissance until recently.
Today, squadrons of F-16's are being transitioned into fully unmanned drone fleets.
The Reaper is the largest of the UAV's in the U.S. arsenal with a wingspan of 84 feet, a takeoff weight of 7,000 pounds, a payload capacity of 3,000 pounds and a flight time of 36 hours.
The drone climbs up to 52,000 feet, and reads a license plate from over two miles away. Capable of carrying 500 pound bombs, air-to-ground, and air-to-air missiles the UAV fleet is poised to perform the lion's share of American air support.
As of March 2011 the Air Force has more personnel training to operate its burgeoning drone fleet than for any other weapon system in its arsenal.
AA12 Atchisson Assault Shotgun
Manufactured by: Maxwell Atchisson
Release date: 2005
The AA12 can fire five 12-gauge shells per second and because the recoil is engineered at just 10 percent a normal shotgun, it can be fired from the hip with only one hand.
The Atchisson also fires a high explosive or fragmentation grenade called a FRAG-12 round to 175 meters with equal efficiency.
Designed for long-term combat use, tests have shown the AA12 can fire up to 9,000 rounds without being cleaned or jamming.
All the user needs to do is hold the trigger down for four seconds to empty the 20 round drum at a target.
Manufactured by: the Department of Defense (DOD)
Release date: 2007
The Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response (PHASR) rifle is a handheld laser array, called a dazzler, capable of blinding and disorienting anyone caught in its sights.
While weapons to cause blindness were sagely restricted by the 1995 United Nations Protocol on Blinding Laser
Weapons (a ruling the U.S. didn't agree to until 2009) the PHASR causes only temporary blindness, thus escaping the ban.
Dazzlers were originally mounted devices to U.S. soldiers rifles as a non-lethal way to halt Iraqis who failed to stop at checkpoints.
The PHASR uses a green laser array to calculate its targets distance and ensure its non-blinding intensity.
The Taser Shockwave
Manufactured by: TASER
Release date: 2008
The Taser model will electrocute a crowd of people at the touch of a button.
Creating an "area of denial" the Taser can be stacked up and strung together almost indefinitely. It will also mount to any vehicle.
The Shockwave has an effective distance of 25 feet and can be seen in action on this company video at Gizmodo.
The Black Knight
Manufactured by: BAE Systems (BA.L)
Release date: 2008
The Black Knight is a combination remote controlled tank and forward scouting vehicle, designed for situations too risky for manned vehicles.
To keep costs low, the Black Knight shares a weapons systems and engine parts with the manned Bradley Fighting vehicle. Including a 30mm cannon, machine gun and 300 horsepower engine.
The vehicle is also fitted with autonomous navigation software and can design and follow its own routes without input from an outside source.
The Active Denial System
Manufactured by: Raytheon (RTN)
Release date: 2008
Dubbed America's Ray Gun, by 60 Minutes, the Active Denial System is really more a combination radar array and microwave.
The ADS shoots a stream of electromagnetic waves, shorter than microwaves, which are instantly absorbed by the top layer of skin.
The pain is so intense, the reaction to run from the beams so overpowering, the military calls it the "Goodbye Weapon."
The ADS has been used domestically, both on test subjects and prison inmates. It was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, only to be recalled, inexplicably, months later.
The military claims there are no lingering effects from exposure.
The Laser Avenger
Manufactured by: Boeing (BA)
Release date: 2009
Only a few centimeters in diameter and invisible to the naked eye, the Avenger's laser is 20 times hotter than an electric stove top and will cut through artillery shells with ease.
The Avenger was designed with the hope of effectively detonating the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) that inflict more damage on American forces than any other weapon.
Current disposal methods involve a version of the MAARS robot that insurgents will bomb to take out of action.
The Avenger is also being tested to take down aerial vehicles.
MAARS Robot (Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System)
Manufactured by: QinetiQ - QQ
Release date: 2009
The MAARS Robot is a modified remote control, bomb disposal robot.
Customizable to various needs, the MAARS can be configured with either an MB240 machine gun and 40mm grenade launcher, or a loudspeaker and eye dazzling laser, or bean bag guns, smoke, and pepper spray.
To date, no shots have been fired in combat by a remote device like the MAARS.
XM2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle
Manufactured by: Remington
Release date: 2010-2011
The product of a long string of modifications to the 22 year-old M24 sniper rifle, the XM2010 is designed specifically to be effective in the high altitude long distance fighting in Afghanistan.
To provide quiet, pinpoint accuracy at up to 1200 meters the XM2010 carries more gun powder in the bullets it fires, has a flash suppressor, sound suppressor, and a thermal sleeve to hide the warm barrel from FLIR.
When U.S. Snipers graduate from the five-week school at Fort Benning, Ga. they are capable of hitting a man-sized target nine out of ten times at 600 meters — over a third of a mile away.
XM25 Individual Airburst Weapon System (IAWS)
Manufactured by: Heckler & Koch
Release date: 2014
Dubbed "The Punisher" by American forces in Afghanistan, the XM25 accurately shoots a next-generation, 25mm, grenade up to 500 meters.
But, the distance isn't what impressed soldiers involved in the live trial of the weapon — it was the grenade programming.
A targets distance is transmitted by a rangefinder in the XM25 to the grenade in the firing chamber. When the grenade leaves the barrel it is spiraling, like a football, and measures the distance it's traveled by the number of spirals it completes.
The detonation can be manually programmed within 10 meters to hit enemy in bunkers or behind barriers.
A platoon leader commented in an Army Times article: "Engagements that typically take 15 to 20 minutes were over in a matter of minutes.”
10 Weapons Of The Future That Are Being Developed Right Now
Invisibility may be making its way out of Hogwarts and into the real world in the near future. "Invisibility cloaks," are just one of the defense mechanisms and weapons scientists are working on developing for the near future.
From bugs with computer chips to death immune microorganisms, theses are not your typical weapons.
The Aurora Excalibur is an unmanned aircraft that operates with a vertical take off and landing. It can reach speeds of 460 miles per hour and carry missiles on board to shoot. The aircraft can do all of this with a remote control. The Excalibur was successfully tested in June of 2009.
XM-25 Grenade Launcher
The XM-25 is capable of firing up to 25 grenades at any distance that can be predetermined and programmed by the user. This new weapon combines the capabilities of both a gun and a computer in one. It is rumored that five XM-25 guns will be used in Afghanistan this month.
The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing the future of lasers weapons known as High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System. The goal of this laser system is to be compact enough to fit on board of a tactical aircraft without affecting mission performance. The lasers would be powerful enough to shoot down rockets, missiles, and artillery shells. Stage 4 ground tests are scheduled this year.
Metaflex Future Camouflage
Scientists in Scotland are working on advancing camouflage by creating a material called Metaflex. This material acts as a Harry Potter-esq invisible cloak. The wearer appears invisible because the Metaflex material bends light as it hits its surface. The "invisibility cloaks" are being tested this year and could potentially be used as a defense weapon.
The Free Electron Laser
The Navy is in the process of designing another laser system to shoot down rockets and missiles that may attack its ships. There are endless uses for the laser when it's not shooting down enemy fire such as a tracker, sensor, information exchange, and target designation among others. A preliminary design was completed in March and a prototype should be ready by March 2012.
The US military tested a version of a Railgun in the spring of 2008. The weapon can accelerate projectiles at speeds of 2.4 kilometers per second, seven times the speed of sound. A perfected version of the gun is expected to be read between 2020 and 2025.
BioDesign Synthetic Organisms
DARPA is putting $6 million into a project to create microorganisms that can "ultimately be programmed to live indefinitely." These microorganisms would contain molecules that help resistance of death and could also be killed by users with the flick of a switch. Debut date unknown.
Chinese Kill Weapon
The Chinese navy is developing a "kill weapon," which will have the ability to target and destroy moving U.S. aircraft carriers. The anti-ship ballistic missile could strike U.S. vessels at a range of 2,000 km. The missile's odds of evading radar systems are increased because of the maneuverability making the flight path unpredictable and the low radar signature. Debut date unknown.
Hybrid Insect MEMS
The HI-MEMS is part insect, part machine. First, a micro-mechanical system is placed inside the insect during early stages of metamorphosis. The bugs operate similarly to a remote control car — the goal is to be able to control the bugs movement and location through the implanted microsystem . HI-MEMS will be used for gathering information using its sensors, such as a microphone or a gas detector. Debut date unknown.
DREAD Silent Weapon System
The DREAD Silent Weapon System has the ability to shoot off 120,000 rounds per minute. The gun runs fully on electrical energy, not gunpowder, which means no recoil, no sound, and no heat. Debut date unknown.
Sources of Information
Are you sure you want to block this user?
¿Seguro deseas procesar este post?