posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 06:18 PM
Rail guns are being developed right now. The US Navy has a prototype / technology demonstrator at the Dahlgren proving grounds. The biggest problems
with the rail guns are the power supplies. It takes a *lot* of electrical power to fire one, and that means huge generator / capacitor systems.
Beam weapons have problems beyond the power supply. Charged-particle beams tend to spread over distance, due to mutual particle repulsion, and tend to
be difficult to aim. Neutral particle beams tend to be hard to focus or aim, and lasers suffer attenuation in atmosphere.
It's not some sort of 'technology suppression conspiracy', it's the difference between real-world engineering and the stuff of science fiction
novels. That said, if we don't see an operational rail gun within 5-10 years (assuming R&D funding stays in), I'll be very surprised. It won't be
man-portable, or even tank-portable...but the folks in the Navy's program seem very confident.