TDI KRISS Super V XSMG
Developer: Transformational Defense Industries (Switzerland)
What it is: Named after the Indonesian sword that cuts down its enemies, the .45 Caliber KRISS XSMG submachine gun’s innovative design really shows itself off in the fully automatic mode. You don’t have to fight the recoil or muzzle climb as you would with other fully automatic weapons, making this future weapon a breeze to use.
What it does: The powerful .45 round has finally been tamed. While most machine guns kick like a mule, the revolutionary firing mechanism on the KRISS -- the Super V -- directs the recoil downwards, instead of directly into your shoulder, like other weapons.
Why war needs it: On today’s battlefields, there are no second chances. The time it takes to make an adjustment almost certainly means your demise. You need a fast, compact and accurate weapon, as well as a powerful round like the .45 Cal (operating at 4,500 rounds per minute on full-auto) for unsurpassed knock-down power.
Active duty: At the moment, the KRISS is still in final testing, and is used and operated by the controversial security and mercenary firm, Blackwater.
CheyTac Intervention M-200
Developer: CheyTac LLC. (U.S.)
Long Range Rifle System
What it is: Remember that ridiculously long-range soup-can shot in the Mark Wahlberg film, Shooter? Well, that was the Cheytac Intervention M-200. The CheyTac Intervention’s Long Range Rifle System (LRRS) shoots farther than any other weapon, ever. It is accurate just beyond 2,500 yards, which makes hitting your target akin to the enemy being struck down by God.
What it does: The magic behind the custom-made 408 caliber round lies in the system that supports it. At the center of the LRRS is the tactical ballistic computer (essentially a PDA featuring ballistic software) where wind speed, resistance, muzzle power, and the earth’s rotation are factored into the shot. This computer is linked with the Nightforce NXS 5 5-22X night-vision scope, the Kestrel 4000 sensors and the Vector IV laser rangefinder. It carries a precision range of 2,187 yards
Why war needs it: The CheyTac Intervention M-200 takes the guesswork out of sniping and you can save the lives of the infantry on the ground while stationed miles from the action. With all the battlefield variables accounted for, the M-200 produces world record setting kill shots, landing three bullets within 16 and 5/8 inches at 2,321 yards. With the Cheytac Intervention, one shot always means one kill.
Active duty: The CheyTac Intervention M-200 is a standard-issue weapon for Turkey’s Special Forces team, the Maroon Berets and the Marines of the Turkish Army.
Active Denial SystemDeveloper: U.S. Military
What it is: Is your fleet facing an unruly mob supported by small-arms fire? No worries, just roll out the Active Denial System (ADS) and they’ll disperse like ants under a magnifying glass. The ADS uses an invisible electromagnetic radiation beam to deliver a non-lethal burning sensation to the skin of its directed adversary.
What it does: The ADS delivers a beam of electromagnetic radiation, at a frequency of 95 GHz, (much higher than a microwave oven’s 2.45 GHz) and gradually heats water molecules on your skin to 130F at a distance of up to 500 yards. While it doesn’t burn you, penetrating only 1/64 of an inch of skin, it does exploit your autonomic response to pain.
Why war needs it: The ADS can disrupt, dissuade and disperse any hostile mob using non-lethal force with little effort. However, there are still questions about its potential application as a weapon of torture and whether it truly has no lasting effects on the human body.
Active duty: ADS is expected to be deployed to Iraq by late 2008
CBU-97 Sensor Fused
Developer: U.S. Air Force
Air Deployed Bomb
What it is: The CBU-97 is the Air Force’s smartest 1,000-pound class freefall cluster bomb. It can search a radius of 1,500 feet and can literally clear a battlefield of tanks, vehicles and bunkers.
What it does: The CBU-97 is like a space shuttle launch in reverse. The outside shell falls away to reveal the 10 BLU-108 submunition units. Each unit uses rocket power and a small parachute to right it vertically and help spin the four hockey-puck sized skeets out from their holding unit. The skeets deploy and search out enemy targets using their laser sensors to zero in and rain down explosive molten copper.
Why war needs it: To have smart skeets that can pinpoint and follow enemy targets means that more innocent lives than ever before aren’t needlessly taken, thus reducing civilian casualties.
Active duty: The CBU-97 Sensor Fused Bomb was first used during the March 2003, invasion of Iraq.
CornerShotDeveloper: Corner Shot Holdings LLC/ Israel Defense Forces
What it is: The original CornerShot is a semi-automatic pistol with a hinge in the center that allows the barrel to swivel from left to right while the handle and trigger portion of the gun remain stationary, allowing the operative to shoot around corners in either direction. It can be seen fired by Angelina Jolie in the filmWanted.
What it does: In all custom variations, the weapon of choice is mounted on the front of the CornerShot and it bends horizontally in either direction at a 60-degree angle, or can be locked in a straight position. A flashlight and a digital camera are mounted on what is normally considered the bayonet position, and the operative uses a hinged screen on the left side of the trigger part of the gun to see what he’s shooting at while the barrel snakes around the corner.
Why war needs it: The CornerShot has the advantage in unpredictable terrorist or hostage situations. The operative is kept safely shielded by a wall, while the weapon is fired around the corner so the hostile enemy never knows what hit him.
Active duty: CornerShot has been used by SWAT Teams and Special Forces battalions in 15 countries, including Israel and the U.S. It was recently evaluated by Britain’s Ministry of Defense.
Metal Storm Stacked ProjectilesDeveloper: Metal Storm Technology (Australia)
What it is: The genius of Metal Storm starts by combing the barrel with the magazine. There is no traditional firing mechanism, instead, when the trigger is pressed, electronic impulses are sent to the bullets igniting them all in rapid succession at a rate of 16,000 rounds a second from multiple barrels. Metal Storm can also be modified to launch grenades at a rate of a half-a-million rounds a minute. It is the fastest automatic weapon in the world.
What it does: In addition to its two modes and innovative ignition system, Metal Storm can be left completely unattended as a silent assassin. Its motion detecting sensors relay situational awareness stats on the battlefield to the commanding generals, so if an enemy intruder crosses paths with the Metal Storm, they'll most likely be full of holes. Metal Storm’s electrical ignition system allows it to more closely bond with computer targeting systems and it can be fired at lethal or non-lethal speeds.
Why war needs it: The ability to load different types of ammunition in the same weapon and to control the rate of speed that they’re fired gives the operative an infinite number of options in an infinite number of situations; from the tank-busting, armor-piercing rounds to a volley gun used in riot and crowd control situations.
Active duty: Metal Storm is still undergoing testing and has yet to be certified for deployment. Metal Storm is also partnering with iRobot (makers of the Roomba vacuum) to create a weaponized robot.
Boeing YAL-1 Airborne LaserDeveloper: Boeing/U.S. Air Force
What it is: The Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser (ABL) is designed to intercept and shoot down Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBM) with a Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser (COIL) mounted on the nose and hood of a modified Boeing 747. The ABL heats the missile from the inside out until it explodes. The ABL is capable of shooting a missile at the speed of light from a range of hundreds of miles out.
What it does: Four sensors pick up on the heat signature and vapor trail of the missile initiating the destruction sequence. First, the laser on the hood fires, calculating the course and speed of the missile, then a series of three other lasers on the aircraft’s nose calculate the trajectory of the missile and the atmospheric turbulence it causes. All of this data is fed back to the ABL. Once changes are made, the COIL laser fires from the nose heating the missile and causing it to crack and explode. The whole process takes 8 to 12 seconds.
Why war needs it: Boeing’s YAL-1 Airborne Laser can shoot down missiles infinitely faster and more accurately than any other anti-ballistic weapon. Its classified range is somewhere outside hundreds of miles, so it can destroy missiles before they ever leave enemy territory, and can probably never be shot down.
Active duty: The ABL took its first test flight in 2002 and was scheduled to be ready for 2008, but it was delayed for further testing. It’s now $6.3 billion over budget with an uncertain future.
Dragon Skin Body ArmorDeveloper: Pinnacle Armor (U.S.)
What it is: The traditional body armor of the U.S. armed forces consists of a ceramic plate that can take a few well-placed rifle shots, but the more hits it takes in the same place, the more it cracks. On today’s battlefields, soldiers don’t stand a chance. Enter Dragon Skin: the future of body armor that can protect a soldier lying down on a grenade without even busting a seam.
What it does: The secret behind Dragon Skin’s unparalleled strength and flexibility lies in its scales. They’re made from ceramic carbide discs that interlock and overlap like chain mail. It can not only take more damage, but it can also spread the brunt of the impact over a greater surface area.
Why war needs it: It is more effective than the Interceptor vests currently used in the U.S. and it offers greater range of motion for the soldier wearing it. In test after test, Dragon Skin has taken punishment from all sides and come out unscathed, while the competition cracked and left unquestionably fatal holes in its design.
Active duty: Dragon Skin has been purchased for use by many SWAT teams across the country, but will never see active duty on the battlefield until U.S. Forces reverse their controversial and disputed claims that Dragon Skin did not meet army testing requirements. The results of what the army says were failed tests have been released to the public, but Pinnacle Armor still maintains that the shots fired did not penetrate the actual ceramic disks.
SWORDS Weaponized RobotDeveloper: TALON Robotics at Foster-Miller (U.S.)
What it is: Imagine a soldier that doesn’t eat, doesn’t sleep and as it lines you up for a kill, you can't even look into its eyes and plead for mercy. This is SWORDS: The world’s first weaponized robot and what Time magazine called, “One of the greatest inventions of the 21st century. ... It can be outfitted with everything from a machine gun to a rocket or grenade launcher, seriously violating Asimov’s three laws of robotics."
What it does: The three-foot 100-pound robot can climb stairs, go underwater at a depth of 100 feet and navigate through snow, sand and rock at the same pace as a running soldier. It can see in the dark, has infrared vision and its two zoom cameras are so detailed they can pick up the name on your nametag and see whether your weapon is cocked from 1,000 feet away. The SWORDS is operated from a computer remote control posted at a distance of 15 football fields.
Why war needs it: Even though it’s not smart enough to replace soldiers on the battlefield completely, since it is still operated by remote control, SWORDS can execute missions too dangerous for humans with its operator at a safe and undetectable distance from the action.
Active duty: In 2007, three TALON SWORDS robots were deployed on missions in Iraq.
8 Megajoule Electromagnetic RailgunDeveloper: U.S. Navy
What it is: It may not look like much now, but it is actually the first working step in the U.S. Navy’s quest to develop a weapon that can expel a projectile at nearly Mach 8 -- eight times the speed of sound. It doesn't use explosive energy, instead it creates an electromagnetic field that currently creates an eight-megajoule force, and by 2017 the operational power will be an awe-inspiring 5,000 mph. You could cover the range of an entire battlefield with one offshore weapon. These weapons don’t even need warheads in some cases.
What it does: Electrical magnetic energy is generated by the high voltage in a giant bank of flux capacitors that send electrical energy across upper and lower rails of pre-stressed steel bolts, creating a charge that has enough kinetic energy power to reach unbelievable speeds.
Why war needs it: The Navy’s new Electromagnetic rail gun could potentially end wars faster without delivering as lethal a payload as a nuclear bomb. It could also protect more soldiers on the ground without spreading resources too thin, since it can cover such a wide area of land.
Active duty: The Navy will begin testing a working prototype that is four times faster than the current eight-megajoule model. The navy plans to equip their next generation of electrically powered ships with these rail guns by 2020.