It looks as though computer game designers and the military have started working hand-in-hand with some of these new futuristic gadgets of mayhem. People of Afghanistan take note – some of these sizzling Unreal Tournament style weapons may just be being unwrapped by a squaddie near you!
1. XM-25 grenade launcher
What could be deadlier than a gun? A pissed off rhino on steroids, perhaps? Well how about the new XM-25 grenade launcher? With an on-board computer AND laser targeting system, it is repeatedly 300% more effective than normal ammo (which, lets face it, already has pretty high mess-you-up capabilities). It can be programmed to explode when passing its target, so the old tactic of “crap, there’s a guy with a gun lets hide” may now be rendered obsolete.
2. Insect Cyborgs
Ever fancied being a “fly-on-the-wall”? Well, in a few years, the expression may have an entirely new meaning, as scientists are now able to create their own Terminator Flies! The process is very easy, simply take some larvae, add a dash of electrical wiring, and let it simmer till the fly is an adult. The insect grows healthily around the implants, and scientists are soon able to send signals to the fly, turning it into a living zombie. This is, however, bad news for any 007 enthusiasts, as they will soon have to compete with the much smaller 00Buzz.
3. Power Armour
This one conjures up images of soldiers in the middle of a fire-fight, suddenly getting sluggish and calling out for more Duracell. (Maybe before battle the army will plant power packs, which can be picked up like in any first-person shooter?) The HULC, or Human Universal Load Carrier, could be just about to undergo some serious biochemical tests to see whether it is fit for battle. With a brand new battery, this could be the military’s answer to the continual problem of “How do I get these puny humans to carry in excess of 200lbs (90kg), and still be an effective killing machine?”
At last! A gun for the 21st Century.it is, literally, a lean, green, killing machine. Although it could do with a lick of cammo paint, it is primarily green due to its ability to send a bullet so fast it sets the air on fire, whilst not producing any carbon emissions. It works by electrically generated magnetic repulsion, so there are no toxic chemicals or propellants involved, which is quite lucky really, considering it is fired with an electric charge of 10.6 megajoules– that’s a one second pulse of 10.6 million watts, or enough electricity to power the average American household for a year. For all you computer nerds out there, slavering away at just the word “railgun”, these should be ready within the next 10 years on America’s new, electrical battleships.
5. Lethal Frisbees
This is the bigger, badder, meaner brother of the popular sport Extreme Frisbee. The Lethal Frisbee UAVs, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, are designed for high manoeuvrability, so that they can be fired into an open window, or to sneak up behind unsuspecting enemy infantry, then detonate, firing death and pointy, armour-piercing shrapnel in all directions. If you don’t have any infantry nearby to slice ‘n’ dice, then you can also use the single-targeted explosion version, for any nasty tanks or vehicles that happen to be passing your way.
6. Fighting Robots
Why hire an expensive soldier who needs training, paying, feeding and (potentially) burying, when you can have a little robot that fires 40mm grenades at a rate of 4,000 a second? Well, that’s exactly what you get with Warrior, a droid soldier fitted with a state-of-the-art Firestorm Weapons System. Brought to you by iRobot (not to be confused with your iPod), itbasically eliminates the need for soldiers, as these things are much closer to the Trade Federation’s Droid Army from Star Wars than your shiny music player.
7. Pain Ray
This does exactly what it says on the tin … sometimes. The thoughtfully named Active Denial System fires beams of millimetre-wave radiation, making your skin feel like it’s on fire without the refreshing smell of burning flesh. Although a good start down the non-lethal weapon route, it does have its drawbacks.
One being that water droplets, the kind found in rain, disperse the beam. Instead of putting the receiver in pant-shitting agony, it makes them feel warm and refreshed. On a hot day, the cooling system may give out. Both these problems, however, can be fixed by uttering the Unforgivable Curse Crucio. Maybe.
Unfortunately, it’s also incredibly large and bulky, meaning that the military is looking for a stronger, lighter weapon, despite calls for it to be used in battle. In the Middle-East. Where it hardly rains.
8. Taser Mine
This is a somewhat more ‘friendly’ mine than its daddy the Claymore. Shooting out 24 electrical probes at the push of a button to incapacitate intruders, this is a toy that will make anyone, no matter how pissed off they are, think more than twice about crossing into your designated “personal space”.
9. Rods From God
Using the principle of “sharp pointy things falling from space hurt”, the military has designed just that – sharp pointy things that they can drop on you from space. Using, presumably, the same technology that allows them to read a registration plate from space, the US Space Command has two satellites in orbit. One to aim at an unfortunate target, and one to drop the telephone-pole sized tungsten rods.
Using only gravity to reach 7,000mph, they can generate the same force as a nuclear bomb, sans the radioactive fallout and disapproving tuts from other countries. These are ideal for penetrating any and everything, from squishy humans, to underground bunkers and hardened missile silos. The ability to play at being Zeus should be ready from around 2025 – after that, make sure you wear a hard-hat.
10. Laser Cannon
Similar to the Pain Ray, only slightly more deadly. The Laser Avenger fires out a 1-kilowatt beam, that has been able to shoot aircraft out of the sky, despite its low power rating. This seems quite counterproductive for Boeing, a company usually associated with keeping planes in the air. But hey. Northrop Grumman is hard at work creating a super killing laser fridge.
At 100-killowatts, it is much more powerful (read: deadly) than the current Laser Avenger. Despite being fully operational, it looks just like a refrigerator, rather than a deadly killing machine.
11. Gun That Shoots Round Corners
This seems a bit obsolete, what with death Frisbees, droid robots and the ability to stick your arm around a corner yourself, but whatever – this thing seems pretty cool. It allows the user to fix any handgun and shoot safely round corners. Using a camera on the gun barrel, it allows you to accurately fire at your target, who was under the distinct impression you had to at least show a little bit of yourself.
The cost of eliminating any sense of fairness? Somewhere between a staggering $3,000 – $5,000 each. This tidy bit of Israeli kit is to only be sold to official government agencies, including the US, Russia and several European armies.
12. Invisibility Shield
Hold on James Bond! The spy fly hasn’t rendered you obsolete just yet. It seems that as well as video game developers, the movie franchise is also getting into designing military devices. Using the same technology as Bond’s Jaguar in Die Another Day, British defence researchers have been able to effectively cloak tanks, as long as you stand at a certain angle.
The premise is that a camera films the background, which is then projected upon a special surface applied to something in the foreground – in this case, a tank. Now not only do we have big scary battle tanks capable of blowing you sky high, they have now also added the previously hard to do element of surprise.
You can see the similar technology in the following video that has gained a lot of popularity on the internet