BAE System’s Mk 38 chain gun was already a formidable opponent: a 250millimeter cannon capable of putting 180 rounds per minute into the air from the deck of a naval ship, strongly urging those without clearance to keep a safe distance (of about 2,000 yards). But in a tip of the hat toward what the U.S. Navy considers the future of shipboard defense, BAE and Boeing have teamed up to accessorize the Mk 38 with a laser death ray. You know, just in case.
A new long-range laser weapon takes a page from Greek antiquity to thwart marauding pirates at sea. It won’t set their ships on fire, but it can let pirates know they have been spotted and might make them wish for an eye patch, as New Scientist reports.
A British unmanned combat aircraft unveiled Monday could become the first autonomous plane to strike targets at long range, even on another continent. Named Taranis, for the Celtic god of thunder, the prototype aircraft will test the possibility of a long-distance striker controlled by ground crews, the Ministry of Defence says.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.