Here’s one for you. Being non theoretical, experimentation is currently underway for the successful application of the "hyper-cavitating torpedo", which envelope the torpedo in a gaseous envelope so that the device may travel at supersonic speeds underwater. This weapon will destroy another submarine or ship at a distance of 20 miles in just under 2 minutes. Stop and think about that speed for a moment. In comparison, commercial airliners traveling from North America to Europe can not travel that fast with the exception of the mothballed Air France/British Airways “SST Concord”. What in the world would we need with such a device? Is this advancement? And that is what our scientists and governments are spending billions of dollars trying to perfect. How many months of free Health Care would this pay for? How many American lives would be saved? How many Americans could be saved from bankruptcy instead of paying tremendous costs for their operations?
Next. The YAL-1 Airborne Laser weapons system is a megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser mounted inside a modified Boeing 747-400F. It is primarily designed as a missile defense system to destroy tactical ballistic missiles while in boost phase. The low-power lasers have been test-fired in flight, aimed at an airborne target board. It could destroy liquid-fueled ICBM's up to 600 km away but, tougher solid-fueled ICBM destruction range would likely be limited to 300 km, too short to be useful in many scenarios. What a shame. The US Air Force says the YAL-1 aircraft holds the world's largest turret assembly housing the lead and firing end of the laser. Isn’t that wonderful? Why isn’t that statistic in the Guiness Book of World Records? Maybe I should check.
Should we be concerned about the following? We are interested about Iran and their initiative to have nuclear power. That also means weapons grade plutonium to run nuclear power stations. And conversely, the possibility of nuclear weapons. But not Israel. Why is that? You decide. Although no official statistics exist, it has been estimated that Israel possesses between 60 to 400 thermonuclear weapons, believed to be of Teller-Ulam design, with each one in the megaton-range. The Teller-Ulam design is the most efficient nuclear bomb design yet conceived and is used by all countries with nuclear bomb capabilities. Of coarse, you knew that didn’t you? The Israeli government maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity on whether it has nuclear weapons, saying only that it would not be the first to "introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East". The International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed El Baradei regards Israel as a state possessing nuclear weapons. What is truly interesting is the fact everyone knows Israel has nuclear bombs and nobody will admit to that fact. The F-18s and F-16s the Americans sold them are equipped with the firing and arming mechanisms to hold and guide the missiles that carry nuclear devices. Does Iran have the right to defend itself against such aggressors if needed?
Israel has signed, but get this, “Not Ratified” the Chemical Weapons Convention. There are speculations that a chemical weapons program might be located at the Israel Institute for Biological Research in Ness Ziona. 190 liters of dimethyl methylphosphonate, a CWC schedule 2 chemical used in the synthesis of Sarin nerve gas, was discovered in the cargo of El Al Flight 1862 after it crashed in 1992 en route to Tel Aviv. Israel insisted the material was non-toxic, was to have been used to test filters that protect against chemical weapons, and that it had been clearly listed on the cargo manifest in accordance with international regulations. The shipment was from a U.S. chemical plant to the IIBR under a U.S. Department of Commerce license. In 1993, the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment WMD proliferation assessment recorded Israel as a country generally reported as having undeclared offensive chemical warfare capabilities. Former US deputy assistant secretary of defense Bill Richardson, responsible for chemical and biological defense, said in 1998 "I have no doubt that Israel has worked on both chemical and biological offensive things for a long time ... There's no doubt they've had stuff for years".
For those of you who are Star Wars fans, this is definitely your niche. “Future Force Warrior” is a United States military advanced technology demonstration project that is part of the Future Combat Systems project. The FFW project seeks to create a lightweight, fully integrated infantryman combat system. It is one technology demonstration project in a series of network-centric, next-generation infantry combat projects the U.S. military have developed over the past decade, such as the Soldier Integrated Protective Ensemble technology demonstration program, Land Warrior, and Transformation of the United States Army.
The Future Force Warrior concept envisions the radical use of technologies such as nano technology, powered exoskeleton's, and magnetorheological fluid-based body armor to provide the infantry with significantly higher force multiplier than the opposing force. However, the stated concept is not U.S. Army doctrine, and is not intended to answer every situation that Army After Next (the Army's buzzword for future fighting forces) would face; rather, the concept is meant to serve as an end goal to strive to reach or to compromise with current technologies and to stir imagination and dialogue on how these technologies and concepts can help soldiers in the near future.
The first phase of the project involves a development of the technologies to help reduce the soldier's fighting load and power requirements and improving the soldier's protection, lethality, and environmental and situational awareness, with planned deployment in 2010, to serve the Army's short-term needs. The Army's plan is to introduce the subsystems in "spirals" every two years, instead of one large rollout every ten years. The U.S. military hopes to develop a fully realized end product sometime in 2032, incorporating research from U.C. Berkeley's “BLEEX” exoskeleton project and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies into a final design.
Shiva Star, is a high-powered pulsed-power research device located at the Air Force Research Laboratory on the Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The device was originally built in the 1970s for high-power X-ray research, was later re-directed to studies for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), and is now being used for magnetized target fusion research.
Research at Princeton University in using Z-Pinch devices as a potential space propulsion device led to the exploration of the resulting x-ray production. In these experiments a thin foil of a "high-z" metal (lead, uranium, etc.) was rapidly compressed magnetically by dumping the output of capacitor banks into magnetic coils. As it was first built in 1974, SHIVA I consisted of four banks of capacitors arranged in a cross shape with the experimental chamber in the middle. The capacitors held 1 MJ at 100 kV, able to discharge them in 1 μs. Early experiments were hampered by problems with the implosion, but by 1976 successful implosions were being carried out. The capacitor banks were then upgraded to 1.9 MJ at 120 kV between 1979, becoming Shiva II. Another upgrade followed in 1982, adding two more capacitor banks. Shiva Star was also used as a dense plasma focus driver in the mid-80s, and as an experimental magnetic driver for conventional projectiles in the late-80s.
Shiva Star was also used to develop an experimental weapon for the SDI effort between 1989 and 1995. The idea appears to have been to create "compact toroids" of high-density plasma that would be ejected from the device using a massive magnetic pulse. The plasma projectiles would be shot at a speed expected to be 3000 kms. per second in 1995 and 10,000 kms per second, which relates to 3% of the speed of light, by 2000. A shot has the energy of 5 pounds of TNT exploding; although it caused little or no physical damage, the energy would shower the interior of the target with high-energy x-rays that would potentially destroy the electronics inside. The tests cost a few million dollars a year. The project was scrapped at some time after 1995 because of problems keeping the plasma projectiles stable for the distances required by orbital weaponry.
Shiva Star was most recently revived for work in fusion research. A relatively new technique, magnetized target fusion, compresses a small plasma load with an imploding metal foil. Shiva Star's 10 MJ capacitor banks were perfect for this role, and starting in 2007 the new FRCHX experiment has been using Shiva Star with 1 mm thick aluminum foil that is accelerated to about 5 kms per second. I have solemnly wondered what would be created if the “hyper-cavitating torpedo” and the “Shiva Star” were married. Now that would be a destructive force of galactic magnification. Comments are welcomed.