FORCE FIELDS THAT 'MATERIALISE' TO PROTECT SOLDIERS AND VEHICLES
WELCOME TO THE SCIENCE-FICTION TURNS-REALITY MILITARY
The New York Times reports : The Bush administration is seeking to develop a powerful ground-based laser weapon that would use beams of concentrated light to destroy enemy satellites in orbit.
The largely secret project....is part of a wide-ranging effort to develop space weapons, both defensive and offensive. No treaty or law forbids such work.The overall goal of the research...is to assess unique technologies for "high-energy laser weapons," in what engineers call a proof of concept. Previously, the laser work resided in a budget category that paid for a wide variety of space efforts....it has moved under the heading "Advanced Weapons Technology."
...the policy rationale for the arms research dated from a 1996 presidential directive in the Clinton administration that allows "countering, if necessary, space systems and services used for hostile purposes."
In 1997, the American military fired a ground-based laser in New Mexico at an American spacecraft, calling it a test of satellite vulnerability.
Little else happened until January 2001, when a commission led by Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the newly nominated defense secretary, warned that the American military faced a potential "Pearl Harbor" in space and called for a defensive arsenal of space weapons.The Sydney Morning Herald reports : The US Military is experimenting with an electronic shield defence system o neutralise rocket-propelled grenades.
The system creates a "force shield" aimed at protecting soldiers and military vehicles.
Military scientists described it as similar to the defensive shield seen in the Star Trek TV series and sci-fi movies.
The US Naval Surface Warfare Centre completed the first tests on the Trophy Active Protection System last month.
A Stryker combat vehicle equipped with the system underwent testing as part of a US program for developing force fields.
The scientists said Trophy detected, tracked and defeated an inert incoming grenade while the Stryker combat vehicle was on the move.
In less time than the blink of an eye, the system read and reacted to the threat, using an interceptor rocket to shoot the grenade down about 9.1 metres away.