Navy Railgun and Other Futuristic Military Technology [PHOTOS]

on March 01 2012 10:59 AM
  • Railgun
    The U.S. Navy is testing a prototype of a railgun – a weapon that uses a magnetic field and an electric current to fire a 40-pound metal projectile more than seven times the speed of sound. The weapon has been in development since 2005 and has cost approximately $240 million, according to The Associated Press. The railgun is expected to be fully operational by 2017 and put onto warships a few years after. The weapon can shoot rounds more than 100 miles away, much further than the 15 miles current warship guns can shoot. The Navy anticipates that it will help destroy enemy ships as well as provide support for soldiers on the ground U.S. Department of Defense
  • Active Denial System
    The Active Denial System (ADS), also known as the heat ray, is a non-lethal weapon designed by the military for crowd control. It works like a microwave, firing a high-powered beam of electromagnetic radiation at a target. The radiation waves penetrate the top layer of skin and cause intense pain that dissipates as soon as the weapon is switched off. Tests have shown no long-term damage from exposure to the weapon. Cancer is very unlikely because the waves cannot penetrate deep into the skin, according to a Penn State advisory panel. The only side effect seen was a small blister in less than 0.1 percent of exposures. The ADS was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 but was not used. Most recently, a smaller version of the unit was installed in a Los Angeles County jail as a method of breaking up prison fights. U.S. Department of Defense
  • Dragon Runner
    This 9 pound (4 kg) robot is designed to be carried in a backpack and is currently in use by the British military. It can provide video and audio reconnaissance back to the operator and can detect motion up to 30 feet (9 meters) away. It can be thrown up or down stairs, over fences or even from a moving vehicle. British soldiers have been using it since January 2010 to detect and defuse roadside bombs. Robot Reviews
  • Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response Rifle
    Better known as a PHaSR, this rifle was created by the U.S. Department of Defense and is intended to temporarily blind targets with a green laser. A second infrared laser can be used to heat skin much like the ADS. The U.S. has developed blinding weapons in the past but had to scrap them. Permanent blinding weapons are banned under the 1995 UN Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons, but that regulation does not affect the PHaSR. U.S. Air Force
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The U.S. Navy is testing a railgun that it hopes to deploy in the not-too-distant future. The high-tech gun can shoot rounds from 100 miles away that will travel at 5,600 miles per hour.

But that's not the only futuristic weapon in the military's arsenel. Some military weapons look like they were lifted straight from the pages of a sci-fi novel. Robots, railguns and other futuristic technology are constantly being developed to keep soldiers a few steps ahead of the enemy. Here are a few currently in the works.

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