242: Arsenal Freedom

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Arsenal Freedom

Just as speculative fiction foretold computers and the Internet, some of the weapons in today's shooters might just end up in tomorrow's armies. C J Davies profiles some of new military advancements that may have been inspired by videogames.

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"Gay bomb", you say? Fascinating.

There's really nothing special about Israel's trophy system. It is a thing that many militaries world wide are working on incorporating today. The simple basics are that a radar detects incoming missiles and the onboard countermeasure computer (or whatever nifty name it gets) fires something akin to a shotgun blast at the incoming missile to force it into exploding prematurely. This not only removes the kinetic impact but also the advantage of the shaped charge warhead, in similar ways to the "reactive" armor used on most modern tanks.

that isreal "forcefield" is just a point-defense system, an AMS. Nothing to do with shields.

Fiction will always lead technology. You need to imagine it before you can make it happen. We have been creating better and more creative ways to kill each other ever since we figured out that rocks hurt, I pitty any alien race that was ever foolish enough to declare war on earth.

We've been in training for a long time.

The rail gun made me smile, it reminded me of quake 2 and how with the lag on a 56k modem it was damn near unusable in multiplayer. It looked pretty though. I think that the navy versions lack of blue spiral following the round is an oversight, heres hoping it makes it into the finished product.

THey should have made the hilarity bomb, that would have been genius!

bjj hero:
Fiction will always lead technology. You need to imagine it before you can make it happen.

I think this might have been the case up until around the turn of the 20th century, but in the day and age of videogames, most of what you see in them has been proposed to some degree already either to the military or within it. There's very little the US military hasn't tried.

Before 1980, the US military alone had already experimented or explored directed energy weapons (including lasers and concentrated sound), armed remotely controlled aircraft, hyper-velocity projectiles (including exploring the railgun concept, which is generally limited by the need for immense power rather than anything else), a liquid land mine capable of being sprayed on the ground or from the air, the use of the A-12/SR-71 airframe as a bomber capable of dropping a solid projectile to create a localized earthquake, a constellation of satellites that could redirect sunlight to any spot of the globe to illuminate battlefields at night, nuclear powered aircraft, a camouflage system that could be sprayed from the air over vehicles and troop emplacements, weather modification (including hurricane and tornado seeding), disorienting hallucinogens, trained sea mammals (still in use)...I mean the list goes on and on.

During the 1970s and 1980s, proposals for various orbital weapons (including things like orbital lasers, missile launchers, etc) were made, eventually leading to the "Star Wars" missile defense program.

Space based weapons and weather modification even have international treaties either in effect or being proposed banning their implementation. The Enviornmental Modification (ENMOD) convention dates to 1977. The first treaty demilitarizing space dates to 1967. The Soviets proposed a treaty demilitarizing the moon in 1979. I think at this point, you'd be hard pressed to come up with a weapon or military scenario that hasn't already been thought up by one military or another at some level before.

I was going to correct you on the "civil war era rifleman", since what they were mostly equipped was considered a musket. But you are right because the main weapon of use, the Springfield 1861, was a rifled musket, so it technically is a rifle. Anyway, this was a good read and the Rods from God weapon system is to me the most fascinating and unfortunately the one least likely to happen because of the space demilitarizing treaties that popped up during and after the cold war.

I want them to make a magnetic deflector shield, or something to that effect.

Always loved the idea of a rail gun. It just sounds so darn nifty. I wonder about a gay-bomb though... that just seems bizarre. Possibly it would only encourage better comradeship? Heh and I wonder how they went about developing such a thing. And how they tested it.

Just sayin that the heartbeat sensor was ripped right out of aliens, and not from MW,
And a magnetic deflector shield, although possible would screw up any electronics within its range and wouldnt block anything without steel, iron or nickel in it.
But railguns are awesme

Strange. Just last night I saw a special on the discovery science channel that detailed current progress in the world of ray guns, force fields, and rail guns. Could be a coincidence. It was called Sci Fi Science.

The idea of a Railgun like it has been showne truly is a scary thought.

I remember seeing it in Transformers...Wow!

There seems to be a general consensus that fiction inspires fact when it comes to advances in technology but I think one finds that in reality it's the other way around.

Not that I'm trying to be boring or anything like that, obviously it's awesome if somebody puts a technology into a game or story or whatever and some scientist thinks it's cool enough to try and make a real one. But the reality is, most of this stuff is "imagined up" by hearing the rumours about what the military or private sector are experimenting with, and running with a sexed-up imaginary/misinterpreted version of it.

Hammer of dawn / Unreal tournament's Ion painter...look back to the Cold War, several decades ago, before videogames even existed - they had already invented the concept of orbital bombardment. Just never built any. As thatguy96 already pointed out, the US Military has tried some batshit-insane ideas (not to mention the crazy stuff they came up with during WW2II)

C J Davies:
Arsenal Freedom

Just as speculative fiction foretold computers and the Internet, some of the weapons in today's shooters might just end up in tomorrow's armies. C J Davies profiles some of new military advancements that may have been inspired by videogames.

Read Full Article

I've heard of quite of few of these innovations, and I love how they work. For example, the trophy system acts through using radar to fire counter-projectiles at the RPGs before they hit, causing the round to explode before penetration (you can see it working on Honey Badger in the beginning of "Exodus" in MW2). However, I can do you one better: there's a real laser cannon developed by Israel.

It's called the MTHEL which stands for Mobile Tactical High Energy Laser (though in the video it lacks the M) It works by firing a microwave laser at any airborne object, such as a missile or artillery round, and exploding the charge or fuel supply in mid-air. I can hazard that this could potentially even destroy enemy planes on their way to a target.

C J Davies:
Best to avoid the shit-talking turrets from Portal

"Shit-talking?" I might have gone for "overly-friendly," because if any character in a game talked less "shit" than those turrets, it was mute.

Also, check out number nine on this list.

Orbital Weapons have been forbidden.
Wouldn't suprise me if USA went ahead and made one anyway, those bastards.

Now I'm having a hard time deciding which weapon is more badass, a giant satellite laser, or a satellite that drops giant metal poles at 7000 MP/H. I hope some game developer read this article, 'cause I can't wait to to try it out.

As for the robotic drones; I doubt technology will be able to emulate human insight and intuition, at least not in the near future, while these aspects are vital things to have in combat. More research funding will probably be poured into making tanks even more indestructible, instead of advanced robot AI, and I'm okay with that.

Chasmodius:

C J Davies:
Best to avoid the shit-talking turrets from Portal

"Shit-talking?" I might have gone for "overly-friendly," because if any character in a game talked less "shit" than those turrets, it was mute.

Also, check out number nine on this list.

I clicked your 'list' link, but I got a 404...

And while we're on the subject of Portal's turrets, I wonder how effective these things would be in real life.
Think about it: besides being armed with a buttload of bullets and, with proper AI, sniper-like accuracy, the bad guys/good guys/lab-rats that manage to find cover before they're turned into Swiss cheese can still be destroyed psychologically by a honey-sweet yet mechanical voice inquiring whether or not they're still on the premises.
Not to mention the agony they feel once they tip one of those things over, only to hear: "No hard feelings" or "I don't blame you".

Rainboq:
THey should have made the hilarity bomb, that would have been genius!

Well, maybe they could fill a shell with nitrous oxide?

Well the trophy system just seems to be some sort of weapon that prematurely detonates missles via bullets, nothing special. bu I did find that something close to a heartbeat sensor does exist now.

Link to prove it too.
http://www.designnews.com/article/11227-Hand_held_radar_device_detects_breathing_heartbeats.php

Railguns have always fascinated me, and they are actually quite simple to build. However, they are INSANELY DANGEROUS to operate due to the high risk of lethal electric shock. The one I built is hardly worth mentioning since it only worked twice before the firing/charging switch melted. However, here are some of videos of some do-it-yourself railguns. Some are similar to the one I built, and some are far more sophisticated.

NOTE: I do NOT recomment anyone here attempts to build one of these without proper knowledge of electricity! They are VERY dangerous!

Zeithri:
Orbital Weapons have been forbidden.
Wouldn't suprise me if USA went ahead and made one anyway, those bastards.

China is doing the same. Hell, about a year ago they shot down one of their own satellites as a statement to the world. Since they can shoot them down, we might as well build one that can shoot back.

tsb247:

Zeithri:
Orbital Weapons have been forbidden.
Wouldn't suprise me if USA went ahead and made one anyway, those bastards.

China is doing the same. Hell, about a year ago they shot down one of their own satellites as a statement to the world. Since they can shoot them down, we might as well build one that can shoot back.

And that would solve things how?

No, China is not doing the same. They used a ground-based medium-range ballistic missile.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS_5VOEcKs0

It's a hell a lot diffrent than having something that circles the earth and can fire directly at any location.
Just for example, think of ION Cannon or the Gundam 00 version, because that is what orbital weapons will lead to.
http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/Memento_Mori

Zeithri:
Orbital Weapons have been forbidden.
Wouldn't suprise me if USA went ahead and made one anyway, those bastards.

Weapons of mass destruction have been forbidden. Not kinetic weapons and other conventional weapons. If that were the case, then the Star Wars system would have been illegal. So, it is legal. Morally reprehensible? Very possibly.

Rainboq:
THey should have made the hilarity bomb, that would have been genius!

Both the United States and the British tested the potential of LSD in this capacity. The hallucinogen known as BZ was actually fielded, though it was never used.

Aphroditty:
Weapons of mass destruction have been forbidden. Not kinetic weapons and other conventional weapons. If that were the case, then the Star Wars system would have been illegal. So, it is legal. Morally reprehensible? Very possibly.

Star Wars was already of debatable legality under the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (1972), as is the current slew of missile defense work. This is why the US government decided to unilaterally remove itself from the ABM, in order to remove any potential issue. It unfortunately also led the Russians to unilaterally remove themselves from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces and Conventional Forces in Europe treaties.

Furthermore, the wiki entry of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty is misleading. Firstly, the treaty never actually defined "weapons of mass destruction" (which is serious legal significance), and banned the testing of any type of weapon in space. The construction of space-based military bases, installations or fortifications was also banned, as were military maneuvers in space.

Wow - has anybody here read Anathema? First off, GREAT book. Second, Rods of God found a place in those pages, undoubtedly inspired by the real thing.

Had a lot of fun with this article, though I'll wait for my portal and gravity guns.

thatguy96:

Furthermore, the wiki entry of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty is misleading. Firstly, the treaty never actually defined "weapons of mass destruction" (which is serious legal significance...

What you're saying then is that yeah, there is plenty of reason to believe a Rod from God is perfectly legal, and no it's not misleading at all. As per the treaty:

Article IV, para. 1 of the Outer Space Treaty:
"States Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the Earth any
objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction,
install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in
any other manner." [emphasis added]

So, if it's not a WMD, then it's plenty legal. A Rod from God certainly doesn't strike me as a WMD.

thatguy96:
...and banned the testing of any type of weapon in space. The construction of space-based military bases, installations or fortifications was also banned, as were military maneuvers in space.

And in this case you are simply wrong.

Article IV, para. 2:
"The establishment of military bases, installations
and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of
military manoeuvres on celestial bodies shall be forbidden." [emphasis added]

Celestial bodies are rather different from orbital and space-based weapons. You can have no military materiel on celestial bodies, and you can place no WMDs anywhere in space or orbit, but there is plenty of latitude.

So, your original assertion that weaponry and maneuvers in space are illegal is false.

http://www.unoosa.org/pdf/publications/STSPACE11E.pdf

Also:

thatguy96:

Star Wars was already of debatable legality under the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (1972), as is the current slew of missile defense work. This is why the US government decided to unilaterally remove itself from the ABM, in order to remove any potential issue.

It was indeed of debatable legality, and yes we did withdraw from the ABM -- in 2002, decades after Star Wars had died.

Aphroditty:
What you're saying then is that yeah, there is plenty of reason to believe a Rod from God is perfectly legal, and no it's not misleading at all. As per the treaty:

Article IV, para. 1 of the Outer Space Treaty:
"States Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the Earth any
objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction,
install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in
any other manner." [emphasis added]

So, if it's not a WMD, then it's plenty legal. A Rod from God certainly doesn't strike me as a WMD.

Most treaties take specific time to define what various terms mean. The term "weapons of mass destruction" in the 1967 treaty is not defined at all, only that it includes nuclear weapons. Common meanings of a term are of little legal significance and one could easily argue that something like the "Rod from God" fits the spirit of the term as intended by those who wrote up the treaty. This is exactly how lawyers argue the finer points of other important documents, such as the US constitution.

Aphroditty:
And in this case you are simply wrong.

Yes, I misread the copy of the document I have.

Aphroditty:
It was indeed of debatable legality, and yes we did withdraw from the ABM -- in 2002, decades after Star Wars had died.

Yes, but that was not my point. Had SDI gone into action, it would have been of debatable legality regardless of the terms of the '67 space treaty.

The Rods from God sounds liek a remarkably stuipd Idea to me? Can you imagine the reload time on that thing, how many can it carry and load before it runs out and they have to send a shuttle to fill it back up, impressive as a 7000mph stake is for killing giant vampires I imagine it would take alot to cause significant damage to say a countries infrastructure.

Zeithri:

tsb247:

Zeithri:
Orbital Weapons have been forbidden.
Wouldn't suprise me if USA went ahead and made one anyway, those bastards.

China is doing the same. Hell, about a year ago they shot down one of their own satellites as a statement to the world. Since they can shoot them down, we might as well build one that can shoot back.

And that would solve things how?

No, China is not doing the same. They used a ground-based medium-range ballistic missile.

I would also like to make the distinction between developing such a weapon and actually implimenting it. I'm sure that all of the world superpowers have the know-how and have probably had a space weapons program at some point in time.

Sure, the U.S. probably could successfully impliment a "Rod from God" weapons system, but would we? That's a different question altogether. We are still bound by the same treaty that everyone else is. However, someone else already pointed out that the treaty refers specifically to, "Weapons of mass destruction," and it is unlikely that a long metal rod would be seen as such since it carries no explosive payload at all.

Zeithri:

tsb247:

Zeithri:
Orbital Weapons have been forbidden.
Wouldn't suprise me if USA went ahead and made one anyway, those bastards.

China is doing the same. Hell, about a year ago they shot down one of their own satellites as a statement to the world. Since they can shoot them down, we might as well build one that can shoot back.

And that would solve things how?

By the good old means of having a bigger stick than the other guy. It means that the other guy has to build an equally big stick or something capable of countering said stick, granting an advantage, however temporary, to the owner of the new, large stick.

Thats how arms races work.

Anyway, cool list. But trophy in addition to only being a CIWS mounted on a tank, isn't even anywhere near the first of its kind. The Ruskies have had a similar system on thier Marines' tanks since the early 1980s

God i hope we dont see metal gears... god i hope not...

I have a friend who built a railgun (in age of... 15? 14?). It was composed of a laptop, gun (four coils IIRC) and... light bulbs (for discharging). It had quite a punch when he used nails. :D

"If we don't end war, war will end us"

Can't help thinking that as I see weapons get more powerful, and more deadly

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