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New Army"Light Saber"/Plasma Weapon Aims to Fry Gadgets, People

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posted on Mar, 14 2009 @ 09:52 AM

Electronics-frying "e-bombs" have been discussed for decades — but rarely, if ever, deployed. Knocking out computers and communications gear with electromagnetic radiation is nice, but commanders prefer the proven method: blowing stuff up.

Now the U.S. Army is developing technology to do both at the same time. Hybrid munitions would give warheads the added punch of an e-bomb that can "destroy and disable electronic systems and their operators" all in one blast. The key is a magnet that blows up and spontaneously demagnetizes, releasing energy as a pulse of power. The pulse is carried along a visible antenna "beam" of plasma to the target.

The technology involves a plasma beam as an antenna, so "light saber" type weapons may be around the corner.

Air Force researchers also are worried about small drones to spy on -- or even attack -- U.S. forces. So the military are testing high-powered microwave blasts, to knock the small planes out of the sky.

The labs have made real progress in demonstrating, in an exercise called 'Black Dart,' the ability to detect, track and even shoot down small" drones.
One method relies on microwave energy to shoot down drones by disrupting the aircraft’s electronics.

In December tests at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Boeing used a different kind of energy weapon -- a Humvee-mounted laser -- to blast away a small robo-plane.

The drone-zapping project is one of a number of U.S. military efforts to build better microwave weapons that fry electronics. The Air Force Research Lab has developed a directed energy weapon to destroy buried IEDs (known as “ZEUS”). In December, the service kicked off a three-year, $40 million Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP). The goal is to build a microwave weapon that is capable of degrading, damaging, or destroying electronic systems -- including gizmos that are used for military, industrial, civil, and asymmetrical purposes.

A few months before, the Air Force handed out a pair of $5 million contracts under a $75 million research effort to develop such weaponry. The Air Armament Command has its own effort for building counter electronics payloads. The Navy recently invested more than $7 million on a state-of-the-art Electromagnetic Pulse pulser.

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posted on Mar, 14 2009 @ 09:56 AM
GOD , USA is stupid or what , despite being in debt in trillions and on brink of collapse , it continues to spend money on useless toys

posted on Mar, 14 2009 @ 11:00 AM
I've always wanted a light sabre so this is great news!

posted on Mar, 14 2009 @ 11:37 AM
This is scary news. I played a game called "Command and Conquer: Generals" that had some weapons like this. There was a common enemy in this game though. It was black and white. This is not so in today's world, and we should be very careful not to let our technology exceed our humanity.Truly terrifying if you are on the receiving end.

If our technology does exceed our sense of general ethics, a shadowy and amorphous concept that has yet to be outlined in a tangible way, we could sleepwalk into a tyranny that the world has never before seen. We need to set strict limits for this research, or we could open Pandora‘s box.

posted on Mar, 14 2009 @ 01:06 PM
reply to post by sadchild01
to the extent this takes men off of the battlefield and prevents use of high tech gear by an enemy, I see no need to fear. If we're going to spend money on defense, why not minimize troop exposure?

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