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For those unfamiliar with the concept of a railgun, it’s a dangerous weapon which uses a massive electrical pulse, instead of gunpowder or other chemical propellants to fire its ammo. The US Navy is showing off the latest iteration of its railgun, and it’s a beast.
We have talked about the awe-inspiring railgun that the US Navy has been working on before. The last time we mentioned it the gun was test fired at 32-megajoules and looked incredible doing it. The Navy wants to replace the giant deck guns on its ships and one day the railgun may do just that.
We’ve been making movies about soldiers, sailors, and airmen firing lasers at each other for a long time now. Now you can watch a video of what it actually looks like when the US Navy uses its new laser weapons system (LaWS) to take on two boats and a drone.
The U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Program began in the ’60s. The idea was that dolphins and sea lions would help defend harbors, retrieve sunken equipment and, even identify mines for deactivation. Now they have changed their mind and they want robots to do the dirty work.
It will come as no surprise that the U.S. Navy places a high value on its secrecy when it comes to its special operations soldiers. I wondered when the developer of the video game Medal of Honor: Warfighter was bragging that the game had been developed with help from actual U.S.
Fires on board vessels at sea are a pretty serious hazard. That’s why the U.S. Navy has been developing a firefighter for the fleet based on Virginia Tech’s CHARLI-L1 robot. The U.S. Naval Research Lab is in charge of the project and are working with the University of Penn as well.
Apparently, barnacles are a big problem for ships, which is why the Navy deployed their own version of an underwater Roomba to take care of the hulls of their ships. The Hull Bug is a robotic vacuum especially made for taking care of this problem.
For a moment, I thought this was a joke because I clearly remember dolphin soldiers from a few science-fiction settings (Johnny Mnemonic, Ghost in the Shell, etc), like Cyberpunk, but it looks like that there actually are dolphin soldiers.
Sharks with friggin’ laser beams it ain’t, but the Navy is proudly boasting that its laser program for a laser defense system mounted on it ships is ahead of schedule. The Navy is hard at work on its shipboard laser system that will be used for several things including the ability to swat enemy missiles out of the sky before they can strike.
The Office of Naval Research – not to be confused with the Office of Navel Research, a pet project of the previous president – recently awarded defense contractor Raytheon a year-long contract to develop laz0rb33mz. No seriously, the US Navy wants to have a 100-kilowatt Free Electron Laser as a weapon that will be installed on naval warships.