10 SciFi weapons in current use

By way of Wired, is this article on SciFi type weapons that exist today.

My favorites:

Just  to check up on how predictions have worked, here are some posts made to sci.military back in 1991 about the future of infantry battle systems.

US Special Forces gets the cool toys…

In this case, it’s a Plasma Knife!

According to this Popular Science article, it’s a medical tool, not a battlefield weapon.

The knife, whose blade consists of heated, ionized gas, cuts through flesh just as easily a steel scalpel, but also cauterizes the wound. By sealing off the damaged flesh, the plasma knife protects against infection, and stops the bleeding that imperils the wounded soldier.

This is too cool not to be turned into a close quarters combat weapon.  I expect some “field expedited” tests coming sooner rather than later.  Really, look at just whom these are being given to.

GPS system in danger

The U.S. Air Forces has dropped the ball on this one. It is reported that GPS satellites could start dropping next year, and the USAF, who maintains the system, may not have replacement satellites ready for launch. 

This is seriously bad project management on the part of the USAF.  This is a vital system that the entire US military, as well as millions of civilians, depend on.

‘blood pharming’ machine

Darpa is looking for a device to produce a steady supply of universal donor red blood cells.  They want to be able to produce ready-to-be-infused Red Blood Cell packets for use near the battlefield.

DARPA has awarded a $1.95 million contract to Arteriocyte, a Cleveland company that’s experimenting with a technology developed at Johns Hopkins that enables the rapid expansion of umbilical cord blood. The company wants to adapt it to a manufacturing technology that will feed the military’s thirst for universal donor red blood units. The technology, called Nanex, uses a nanofiber-based structure that mimics bone marrow in which blood cells multiply, according to the company.

Flying Cars!

Ok, ok…flying cars has been around since the 1960s. 

This time, Darpa is getting involved.  They want one that is useful for military needs,  a two-to-four passenger vehicle that can “drive on roads” one minute, and take off like a helicopter the next. 

This project is the very early, looking for proposals, stage.  So don’t expect your flying car soon. Personally, I operating on the theory that this is the 21st Century, and I want my flying cars, moonbase and all the other cool toys were supposed have by now!

At least we have Flaming Rocket Balls!

Medical sensor chip in development

First customers would be US military personnel.  From the MIT Tech Review:

The majority of deaths on the battlefield occur within half an hour after injury–often too quickly for a soldier to get to a medic, let alone a hospital. But a collaboration between researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Clarkson University, in New York, aims to change all that with a chip that could detect injuries and treat them almost instantly.

“We want to build a smart, intelligent sensor that can distinguish between different injuries, make the decision to treat, and, once it recognizes the injury, treat appropriately,”

U.S.S. Independence

The Navy is rolling out it’s new littoral combat ship, the U.S.S. Independence.  The 127 meter long trimaran hull will pull 60 knots (that the Navy will admit publicly to), with a crew of 40.  In addition to the advanced sensor package, it carries a configurable mix of guns, missiles and helicopters.  It can even carry Strykers and Humvees to put ashore after it softens things up with missiles and it’s Bofors 57mm gun.

Plus it just looks cool.

U.S.S. Independence

U.S.S. Independence