Tag Archives: Military

Military Technology of the Future – Modern Weapons

Thermobaric Weapon – Explosive Fuel-Air Bombs

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There are many different types of Thermobaric weapons, it is the destructive concept that renders Thermobarics different than conventional high explosives.  Rather than a simple bomb with high explosives in the warhead, thermobaric weapons, or fuel-air bombs, are predominantly filled with either an aerosol or powder of a high explosive mixture.  The bomb has 2 charges, the first to blow away the casing and release the aerosol cloud, and the second to detonate the cloud.  This 2 stage method renders the size of the blast to be drastically larger in diameter than conventional high explosives, which dramatically increases the shockwave and heat created by the explosion.  These weapons are the most powerful bombs besides nuclear weapons, common examples are the MOAB and “Daisy Cutter” bomb, the latter is popularly displayed twice in the awesome movie Outbreak starring Dustin Hoffman and Morgan Freeman (in the opening scene and ending scenes).  Also known as vacuum bombs, they are also used on building and caves because of their ability to collapse structures.  The shockwave and subsequent dramatic overpressure created by the intense heat of the explosion draws in oxygen so fast that it literally sucks in anything in its radius, be it cave walls or walls of a structure.  Thermobarics have seen widespread use in the caves of Afghanistan, and smaller versions are also becoming more widespread with applications from hand grenades to rocket launchers. 

Chinese Type 99 Tank – Newest Armor of China

Type 99Western forces beware, the Chinese have fielded the most advanced tank yet! Well, only the most advanced in China that is. Following in the ancient Chinese tradition of quantity over quality and cheap products, the Chinese have developed their own 3rd generation battle tank that they believe is the answer to the Western nations’ superior tank designs. Likewise, they also used their other ancient tradition of ripping off western designs to compensate for their lack of engineering ability in the design of this tank. Yes, the Type 99 tank does possess many up-to-date gimmicks like a laser awareness system to locate the direction of shots fired at it (hmmm….) assuming they don’t destroy it first I guess, and it can also be used to scramble an enemy tank’s optics, I guess again under the assumption that the enemy tank’s optics weren’t used to target and then subsequently destroy it. Among other criticisms laid down by numerous armor enthusiasts, observe the area located directly under the turret, how the armor is concave rather than convex, this design renders this area a “shot trap”, which is a serious design blunder that increases vulnerability to frontal fire, the most common in a tank-on-tank battle. A shot could also jam the turret in this area even if it didn’t destroy the tank or kill it’s occupants. All in all, the Chinese have successfully developed a tank that rivals the western designs in speed, electronics, and almost there with the armor, but they still fall short in the overall design having not had any modern experience with tanks in battle.[youtube VMDue1n1TEM]

The Military Channel – Army, Navy, Airforce TV

For all those military buffs out there, wink wink, I would like to take a moment to commend one of the greatest programming achievements in the history of television. The Discovery Communications company, the parent of the Military Channel, converted the older Discovery Wings channel into the Military Channel in July of 1998, and has rapidly increased it’s program listing since then. If you like what you see here on Future Firepower, definitely take the time to check out some of the awesome shows they have on the Military Channel. Just to name a few of the best: Future Weapons, Weaponology, Top Ten, Alpha Company, Size it Up, and the list goes on. I personally am watching from the Southeast, Comcast channel 220. So like I said, if you really want to “go behind the lines”, tune in to the Military Channel, or just DVR all the good stuff like I do. Be well.

German Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank

German Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank

Manufacturer:  Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW)

Leopard 2 Main Battle TankSo the Germans have a tank that is comparable to the American Abrams line of tanks.  Big deal right?  Of course not!  The Leopard is fighting side by side with the American Abrams in Afghanistan and Iraq right now!  The Canadians in particular have deployed many Leopards to Afghanistan for combat roles, and the opinions on which tank is better are mixed.  It basically goes both ways, each tank has its pros and cons, and in the end; they both are equally as effective against the threats they face there.  The similarities in the American Abrams and the German Leopard 2 are due to the fact that they are both based on the same design.  In the mid-70s the Germans and Americans teamed up to build a tank together, but couldn’t agree on certain points.  They both took the existing design they had come up with and then went their own directions.  But how would they stack up against a more modern force than Afghani goat herders?  Chinese tanks, Russian tanks?  Only time will tell on that one.  Unless we could steal a tank…

No doubt, the German Leopard 2 is a formidable machine.

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CheyTac Intervention M200 Sniper Rifle – .408 Caliber

ShooterIf you haven’t seen the movie Shooter yet, then you probably aren’t really familiar with the longest range sniper rifle in the world. That’s right, this rifle, the CheyTac M200 Intervention has beaten out the Barrett M107 and Accuracy International AS50 (whose longest ranges were negligably similar at approximately 1 mile) as the longest consitent accuracy rifle to date. Of course it takes more than just the .408 caliber rifle and a trained sniper to achieve hits at its max range, 2500 yards or 1.42 miles. You must also have all the compenents of the so-called CheyTac “Long Range Rifle System”, LRRS. This package includes the CheyTac ballistic computer (a PDA with ballistic software installed on it), a Vector IV laser rangefinder, and a Kestrel 4000 (a device that monitors wind, temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure), all linked to the PDA and the OPS Inc muzzle brake and suppressor.

Quite a mouthful, right? Of course it is, but its all worth it when you can reach out and touch someone at ranges that would impress upon the victim as having just suffered an act of god.

This opening scene of Shooter is way better than the Future Weapons video I was about to post. Ok, in the opening scene of the movie, Marky Mark wipes out a ton of Africans with the .308 M40A3 of the US Marine Corp. He also takes out a Kiowa Warrior helicopter with a Barrett M107, what badass scene! Later in the film, he demonstrates the extreme range capabilities of the M200 Cheytac Intervention, with a direct hit on a tin can from over a mile in distance.

Note, the rifle that he is firing is actually not the CheyTac, but a good scene sniper scene none-the-less.

The Presidential SUV

This SUV is how the President and other important diplomats stay safe when they are traveling through hostile territory. A mini-gun pops out of the top of the vehicle filling the air with up to 4000 rounds per minute. The mini-gun on the GMC vehicle is located on a turret to allow for a 360 field of view. Check out the video of the presidential SUV below.

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Future Weapons

Richard MackRichard Machowicz, the host of The Military Channel’s Future Weapons, probably has the best job on the planet. I mean, after 10 years in the Navy SEALS he probably got bored with all the intense training and bad ass weapons right? I guess not. Now he gets to enjoy augmented civilian status as he still has access to top secret facilities and weapons technology, which he proudly displays with cold precision on his Military/Discovery Channel show Future Weapons. Basically, “Mack” is our hero here at Future Firepower. Its not like he has a show where he just narrates while soldiers shoot all the guns and show off, he actually gets to get into the tanks and drive them, pick up the brand new machine gun prototype and unload as many clips as he wants; and he does it all with perfectly honed form and skill. Probably the best moment was when Mack competed against a US soldier in a cold-bore sniper rifle competition, and Mack out shot the soldier with a perfect headshot with the 1st round. Obviously, he has extreme weapons training. It’s been a long time coming that Discovery Networks finally launched the Military Channel, and it was long enough that they finally came out with Future Weapons. Richard Machowicz 2Discovery Networks has always been very respectfully patriotic, and they have also done a good job keeping up with the times by gradually increasing their military-related broadcasting. I remember as a child the best show that I could find was Wings on the regular discovery channel. I guess they could tell that I watched it all day long, and made the military channel with robust programming just for me. Now all the Military Channel needs to do is quit showing so many reruns and kick their production engine into high gear. They need to have a million different shows with a million different weapons, hell, they should just start inventing weapons. Long live the military channel, the embodiment of my inspiration for this humble website, FutureFirepower.com.

Mack is also the author of a book: Unleashing the Warrior Within, and also founder of the Bukido Institute.

Read Mack’s Wikipedia Bio here.

UAV Cockpit or Video Game?

Cockpit for UAVs

Although the image on the left might look like a tricked out video game setup, it actually represents Raytheon’s new approach to the UAV cockpit for the “chairforce”. Thats right, these cockpits will be constructed by the hundreds and filled with eager video game nerds turned Air Force Commandos. From within these cockpits, recruits will guide advanced aircraft with a variety of munitions into unfriendly territory to monitor and track enemy activity.

It would seem that one would be under much less pressure during a mission than if there were an actual pilot on site pulling G’s and making split second decisions. These Universal Control Systems as they are known will be used in just about every conflict keeping our most valuable assets, the troops, out of harms way. Think you could fly one of these bad boys?

Fire Scout – UAV Helicopter

Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman [NYSE: NOC]
Fire Scout DisplayResearch and development dollars are obviously not an object for Northrop Grumman.  From behind closed doors emerges a UAV helicopter attack ship; no doubt the product of an intense development program.  The Fire Scout UAV is capable of autonomous take-off, landing, and flight; but of course it can be controlled remotely as well.  Likewise, I have no doubt that there has also been some engineering man hours put into enabling it for preprogrammed strike missions.  Of course they’ve already equipped some with the Metal Storm weapon, the highest round-per-second gun ever built, mounted on the weapons pylons.  Technically, the Fire Scout can be equipped with a multitude of different equipment, from the most deadly weapons to even peaceful observational equipment.
Fire Scout LandThis bad boy has already been procured by the US Army, whose interest in turn spurred a purchase by the US Navy.  Apparently, it’s also impressive that the Fire Scout  landed on a moving ship, autonomously, during its testing phase, which demonstrated it’s computerized navigation system compensating for the movement of the landing pad.  Deployment plans schedule the Fire Scout to be used at the brigade level, and I’m sure that they are looking forward to having such a weapon added to their already omnipotently superior arsenal.  On a final note, the Fire Scout is also designed to operate as one of the many cogs in the network-centric weapons development program known as Future Combat Systems.
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Bomb Iran Plan

Air PowerIn recent days, the Bush Administration has revealed that it has began to draw up plans to bomb Iran. With a target list of up to 1200 facilities, the Pentagon estimates that it would take around 3 days of continuous day and night bombing raids to accomplish the task. The raids though, are not intended to solely focus on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Iranian military must go too. This hard decision was made because, not so ironically, of the US presence in Iraq. With American bombs falling every minute across the country, the Iranian’s best course of retaliation would be to attempt an attack into Iraq against the Americans, which the US is simply not postured to deal with. Of course they would get ready before the bombing began, but dealing with the insurgents and the Iranian military would be a little bit too much on the US military’s plate.
ahmadinejadEven if the bombing doesn’t actually happen, I believe that the very announcement of the plan constitutes a psychological attack on the portion of Iran’s population involved with their nuclear program and military. Each one of those people knows good and well that the Americans are very capable of pulling off the complete attack, and that George Bush is likely not bluffing. These facts combined essentially means that they now must fear for their lives, and any day that they go to work may be their last. Hopefully this extreme pressure on them might make them question the collision course that their dear leader Ahmadinejad has set for their nation. The Iranians are a sophisticated people, and the youth of the nation respect the technological advances of the west that are constantly denied to them by their disconnected and backwards leaders. Ideally, they will recognize the bleakness of their future if they decide not to change with the times, and hopefully the US won’t have to punish them for not seeing straight.

Just a little reminder…
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