A naval strategy to detonate 70 million mines calls for high-tech showers of darts
By Bjorn CareyPosted 04.23.2007 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Since 2001, more than 13,000 American soldiers have been killed or maimed by landmines or improvised explosive devices. Civilians included, landmines kill or injure an estimated 20,000 people around the world every year. To blaze safer trails, the U.S. Office of Naval Research is developing a system that uses thousands of chemical- and explosive-packed darts to snuff out landmines.
Picture this: A massive destroyer receives the location coordinates of an enemy headquarters more than 200 miles away. Instead of launching a million-dollar Tomahawk cruise missile, it points a gun barrel in the direction of the target, diverts electric power from the ship’s engine to the gun turret, and launches a 3-foot-long, 40-pound projectile up a set of superconducting rails.