Weapons Technology.

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Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on March 9th, 2018, 3:52 pm 

Hi. Since prehistoric times mankind has developed and use weapons on each other for whatever reason. I was thinking that weapons technology might have a place here due to the ingenuity, research and novel technology appearing in modern weapons. The military have developed a 10KW laser for shooting down missiles, The Rail-Gun is not very far from being perfected, and soon we will be sending AI equipped weapon systems to war. Already we are facing the possibility of drone-swarms that can locate and identify their own targets.
Cyber warfare is already a reality. I was wondering whether to start a thread on this, or if it should be in a discreet category of its own. It's a huge area to cover, but an important one I think.
I would be happy to hear peoples' thoughts on this. EH.
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on March 9th, 2018, 9:40 pm 

A colossal amount of hi-grade manpower and stupid amounts are invested every year into developing these technologies. I've seen a lot of footage that is truly remarkable. I am ex-army, and in my free time do a lot of combat analysis. I am not advocating making these weapons, but they're going to come anyway. The tech and innovation, control systems, types of charge, rocket and cruise engines. Naval RADAR and missile systems. It just goes on and on. But it's also really interesting. I'm not just being psychotic or anything! Where should I post such a thread anyway?
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby zetreque on March 9th, 2018, 11:17 pm 

Event Horizon » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:52 am wrote:I would be happy to hear peoples' thoughts on this. [In reference to weapons tech]


Have you ever watched any of the Star Trek series? Throughout the TV series they come across many planets of alien civilizations that have evolved differently. There are a multitude of factors that push them to evolve valuing certain things over others.

Some value spirituality or religion.
Some become paranoid for various reasons.
Some have circumstances forcing them to develop weapons and wage war.
Some that develop under more peaceful safe conditions without predators or enemies go after science and technology.

Of course this oversimplifies it and let's us explore singled out features but there is some truth to it.

I am not advocating making these weapons, but they're going to come anyway.


When you say that, it makes me think that they are going to come anyway only if that's what we value and/or it's from necessity. If we create a world in which we must think in those terms, then that's what we are going to create. It perpetuates off of itself.

To use Star Trek again. They don't watch television in this future scenario. It was mentioned a couple times how people started to value exploration and self improvement over money or watching mindless things others do. Again that's simplified but thinking about it, to come to that revolution you need to have enough technology to take care of your basic needs and safety.

Whether you live in a dictatorship or democracy, propaganda can be another contributing factor to steer the direction of society.

Anyway, those are some of my thoughts. I didn't see a very clear question, specific point or direction to your thread so I contributed what came to my mind.

If we continue to pursue weapons technologies, it shows something about the human race. Where they came from and where they are going. Has history been cause for it? If we united into a global country rather than so many different cultures with some having a history of domination would we instead invest our time, labor, and resources into other aspects of life instead of weapons technologies?

When we populate the Earth so much, are we going to go to war over the resources developing and using weapons technologies or are we going to unite and instead invest resources into solving the problems together?

Another thought regarding what I said. splitting the atom = Energy technology or weapons technology?
Which came first, Which would come first given a different scenario, Does it matter, Why does it matter?

piece of string: Used to strangle someone, or used to fasten a shoe on your foot?

I could come up with many more.
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on March 10th, 2018, 11:29 am 

Hi Zetreque.

Unless humanity takes a major lurch forbidding warfare everywhere, all the weapons projects being researched by DEPRA, Israel, Britain and everyone else are going to continue to be rolled out.
The weapons I am interested in are legion. I think it's sad we still go about warring with each other in this supposed age of reason. I think this is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, and a sorry indictment to lay on the human race. But it is what it is, and weapons technology goes on apace.
The time, the tech, the breakthroughs, the money in weapons research is phenomenal. You might care to know that Phase weapons are being researched a la Star trek.
The military have already deployed some of this stuff such as ~10KW lazers. We now have lazer weapons that were just science fiction until relatively recently.

If we ignore these portents and the science and technology that is lavished on these projects, we will be ignoring a vast amount of cutting edge technology. Things like bootlaces can be a weapon. Jackie Chan famously said "Anything can be a weapon", but a shoelace has not been developed as a weapon or driving research and development.

Splitting the atom was both energy tech and weapons tech, some things have more than one practical use. Firearms are similar. You can go hunting or go to war, it makes little difference to the weapon except that weapons for hunting or warfare tend to be specialised, though either could be used for either application. Remember that Oppenheimer said "I am now become the killer of worlds" or something very similar. His bombs were fairly small at about 100KT. Now we have ballistic and cruise nukes, nuclear torpedoes and hydrogen bombs like the famous Russian Czar bomb which produced the biggest man-made explosion in history, weighing in at something like 50MT.

But for many, warfare and arms sales and tech, and a fear of foreign states developing their own tech is hugely profitable, and a forceful driver of weapons tech. The old Gatling gun is now a bushmaster minigun. artillery, armour types go from plate armour to Chobham laminated armour to explosive reactive armour.

Even new bullets have been developed. They have a plastic casing that is concertinaed that weighs 30% less than conventional bullets. This means soldiers can carry more ammunition. Interestingly, the best calibre for this munition is 6.5mm, which is unusual. The rifles also have to be re-engineered to accommodate a shorter bullet and new magazines.

There is so much in this area to explore it won't come under any one heading, it's too expansive. I would like to start a thread on this if there is any apatite for it, and where to post it? It's a bit nebulous.

I know this a massive area, but there is some fascinating stuff going on that can be explored.
The purpose of these posts is to see if there is any apatite
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby zetreque on March 10th, 2018, 12:39 pm 

I have no apatite for it. One concerning thing to me is the govt turning some of these technologies onto it's citizens to control protesters.

Then you also get a rise in conspiracy theorists and with the rise in mental illness there are all sorts of claims that may or may not be true.

I also have no apatite for it for the reasons my response laid out. I'd rather put my efforts into valuing other technologies.
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on March 10th, 2018, 2:01 pm 

I very much understand and respect your concerns. They are not unfounded. There is microwave technology for area denial for police use that came from military research. Kevlar body armor. We wouldn't even have our beloved internet. The first computer built by Alan Turing was a military project. These few examples are tech we really can't do without anymore. I think perhaps military tech ought to be scrutinized by non-partisan discussion. It's here to stay, I wonder if we would be negligent by ignoring military tech. Not liking it, and wishing there was no warring anymore is not going to influence the trajectory we are on one iota, and 3rd party applications are going to continue to be feeding the civilian tech industry for the foreseeable future.
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Braininvat on March 10th, 2018, 8:18 pm 

Ask almost any economist and they'll tell you that peaceful relations with other nations promote prosperity, and that arms races tend to drain wealth and brainpower from a nation. As someone who's spent a good portion of my life involved in biology and healing, I don't see war as anything but a blunt instrument of foreign policy that tends to impoverish all concerned. I know scientists and engineers need to pay their bills, and some will compromise their morals to do so. It's politics that is broken and needs fixing, so that we can become civilized and get out from under the shadow of WMDs and weapons generally that kill indiscriminately (i. e. noncombatants).

We CAN influence the trajectory we are on by getting involved in politics, by engaging with our representatives, and asking for more money to go to helping other nations and making friends around the globe rather than creating new generations of terrorists by raining down destruction on civilians.

A new arms race with Russia (check out Putin's latest speeches on the matter) is the last thing this world needs. Diplomacy, not saber rattling is needed. I am a US citizen and I don't want my country to be a macho World Cop swinging its big baton. We can be far more influential by promoting healthy trade and giving economic support to fledgling democracies.
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on March 10th, 2018, 9:35 pm 

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not promoting these technologies. What I am saying is this; The breadth and depth of military research and development is worth taking note of, much of it being cutting edge with a history of civilian spin-offs. I think some of this could be well worth exploring both to develop new applications (not weapons) and of course gauge better what to expect in the future.

I'd like to pose this as an example of what I mean. Ok. Railguns are a reality. They exist. In time history suggests they will become increasingly powerful. At present, the projectile speeds are about 10 miles/second or thereabouts and is immensely destructive. You can watch test firings on youtube. BUT we are now entering an age of micro-satellites. So I would suggest the tech may be adapted to launch micro-satellites without the perilous and wasteful rockets used now.

During the 20th century I believe there were only about 8 days of peace in the world. We are going to have to do much better than that if we want to end the need for military R&D. As sad as it is, there is nothing to suggest the 21st century will be any better. Look at what's happened already..Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, Crimea, Iraq, North Korea and the rest. We can choose to look away if we want to, but it doesn't help or change anything, and that is a whole other debate. Most people agree the Internet has been life-changing - thanks mainly to the US military. Should these technologies be explored or ignored? The military would probably argue that weapons development in particular has kept us all safe for nearly 70 years, but I don't speak for them.
I understand there is a moral dimension to this, but I think that is yet another debate to be had.

Thankyou for your valuable feedback.
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Braininvat on March 11th, 2018, 11:58 am 

I was just hoping we could sharpen distinctions between tech that is specifically designed to kill, like WMDs, and military tech that, like the DARPA early network, had other uses like communication and better sharing of information, or battlefield medicine, which may lead to better medicine generally, e.g. prosthetics. There is not a strong equivalence between the former and the latter, which is why there are continual efforts to have international treaties to reduce WMDs and limit research there, but not treaties to ban medical tech or information tech. And I would add that promoting democracy in a peaceful way is hard work and does not constitute "ignoring" areas of conflict and danger. I was hardly proposing that we abandon defensive measures and technologies. Railguns may have a place in an arsenal. But the capacity to nuke or gas billions of people, or unleash weaponized pathogens, does not make the world safer or secure peace. Nations need to continue to come together on ways to stop development of weapons that can never be used, and forge treaties and enforcement structures that will express the will of mankind not to annihilate itself. Otherwise there will be few of us left to enjoy the Internet or nanotechnology or bionics or microsatellites or what have you. There is a line of demarcation between purely destructive technology and the kind with peacetime spinoffs, right?
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on March 11th, 2018, 2:09 pm 

I agree that WMD's need removing from the planet one way or another, they are entirely destructive . The START treaties have helped limit some nukes, but not enough for practical purposes. It's worth noting though that because of Oppenheimer's work we now have civilian nuclear power. He built the world's first "Pile" or reactor for the Manhattan project among other things. It's a but difficult where to draw the demarcation lines. Other tech seem to have no use at all outside of the military like nerve agents. There is no civilian application whatsoever.

The military have been developing microwave weapons that basically cook someones' internals. It seems there is no civilian use for this tech, but what if we could re-engineer it for medical use such as cauterizing internal bleeding without the need for surgery and the risks that holds. Not all applications are immediately obvious. I worry we might end up chucking the baby out with the bathwater.

This is why I'm asking folks here to think about this and perhaps help develop whatever parameters we feel necessary.

Again, thankyou for your thoughts. There are genuine moral concerns, and genuine civilian uses, and steering a path between them is difficult.
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby someguy1 on March 11th, 2018, 3:59 pm 

Event Horizon » March 11th, 2018, 12:09 pm wrote:I agree that WMD's need removing from the planet one way or another, they are entirely destructive .


Counterexample.

Consider a world with two countries. One has a nuke, the other doesn't. The country without the nuke lives in constant fear of attack. And the country with the nuke has an incentive to use it, before the country without a nuke gets one.

Solution: The country without the nuke builds one. Now neither country can attack the other for fear of being destroyed themselves.

Conclusion: Sometimes ADDING nukes actually DECREASES the probability of war.

In fact the problem with nukes is not that they exist. They do exist and you can't wish them away. The problem is tactical asymmetry. The stronger side always has an incentive to attack before the weaker side catches up. You want balance. Balance of terror is the phrase that gets used a lot.

These kinds of game-theoretic scenarios were a big area of study in the 1960's. See for example Herman Kahn, Thinking About the Unthinkible; and On Thermonuclear War.

https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-about-U ... 067160449X

https://www.amazon.com/Thermonuclear-Wa ... 141280664X
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on March 11th, 2018, 5:31 pm 

https://twitter.com/RT_Shephard/status/ ... 7083085824

High power LASER gun showcased.

Unilateral disarmament has never been very popular, and I do not advocate it. Perhaps it's time the START and START II treaties were revisited, they had some success, but there have been numerous ways to circumvent it especially with submarines being able to get close enough to fire ballistic missiles. Non-proliferation appears to be optional to some countries. Disarmament is probably more a political than science problem tho.
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Braininvat on March 12th, 2018, 10:00 am 

Science has a role, too. Remember when Carl Sagan and Richard Turco (and a handful of other scientists) collaborated on the "TTAPS" paper? It brought together some solid findings on climate science and related fields to show how even a fairly limited exchange could result in a lethal nuclear winter from which humanity would not emerge. Many people, including tactical policymakers, were influenced by the paper. It drove home the point that there are no winners if nukes start flying. Politics and peer reviewed science need to get back together.
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on March 12th, 2018, 10:33 am 

Most politicians are reasonably intelligent I think, but they are not as smart as scientists so we have translate in laymans terms much of the time. Brian Cox is brilliant at this. Politicians tend to relegate things to a soundbyte, so the population is even less well informed than they should be. This is a terrible state of affairs.

I don't know how much nukes you need to kill the planet. There must be a threshold, but I don't know if anybody knows what that is.

Maybe more scientists should go into politics. we are still adhering to MAD - Mutually Assured Destruction as a deterrent. Can it really be beyond the wit of man to sort it out?

<: Is "Political Science" an oxymoron?
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on March 25th, 2018, 3:47 pm 

http://defence-blog.com/news/russia-dev ... ystem.html

RUSSIA unveils its new hi-power lazer weapon, and perhaps more interestingly, a new intercontinental cruise missile they claim has a nuclear powered engine. The US is apparently researching something similar.

https://t.co/VAI3u0mcz2

Nuclear powered aircraft are also being looked into.

I would be very interested in learning these engines, they would seem outside of my experience.
It sounds like a work of fiction, but this source has a trustworthy reputation.

I'm already thinking of civilian applications and somewhat concerned about nuclear debris in and around the target area.

"The key element of the cruise missile is a nuclear power unit which allegedly provides an intercontinental range"

I'll try and get a schematic, but its likely still classified.
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on March 25th, 2018, 11:10 pm 

Too many designs to choose from. If you would indulge me, some designs are more practical than others, and i'm going to suggest the most likely package.

Most folks have heard of good old-fashioned Ramjets. Then we had the advent of the Scram jets which in English means super-compressed ramjet. it has all the attributes of a powerful supersonic engine.
Compressed air is mixed with kerosene, the hot gases providing the thrust.

A nuclear scram-jet does much the same thing, only instead of kerosene there is a small, unshielded nuclear reactor. the heat of fission is so great that new materials, mostly ceramic, had to be designed. The reaction heat would melt most standard components already in use.

Once triggered, the engine contaminates its route with Gamma and neutron radiation. the reactor now becomes a dirty bomb with nearly 50kg of hot Uranium and other irradiated debris plus the primary explosions. It is thought to carry multiple designated warheads.

I also read Hydrogen is being injected into system to help produce even higher energies, though they are not as durable, with a range of only 10,000-20,000 km.

https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/ ... mited-rang

I know people are averse to such tech. I totally sympathise. But these things, all the things in this thread, exist now.
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on March 26th, 2018, 12:08 am 

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/wp-conten ... png?x71037

I think this schematic is fairly representative of the motor i have described. It seems that hydrogen can be used as a coolant, and also reaction mass.

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/08/c ... xties.html
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on April 17th, 2018, 4:33 pm 

This is an amazing technology. It's RoboSquid, a pliable replica of octopus like things for military applications.

In our hands though, we could adapt them to do so many positive things. You just print them on a 3D printer.

I want one!

Check it out, it's worth a little peep.
https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/17/the-a ... ft-robots/
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby edy420 on April 19th, 2018, 2:35 am 

The more advanced our weapons become, the highest the chances are that we blow up our planet.

War would be much more civilised if we only stuck to hand to hand combat.
First, we just need to blow up everyone who disagrees!
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on April 19th, 2018, 6:23 am 

Destroying the planet is not a problem as is. We have enough nuclear and conventional weaponry already to wipe out all life on Earth around 18 times over. Maybe more if Kim Jung Un manages to miniaturize his warheads to fit in ICBM's.

I am not glorifying modern weapons at all, but a lot of civilian tech and applications result from military research. Your computer being just one. I post these advances, and postulate as to what non-military applications can be derived from them. RoboSquid being a more unusual one. You could maybe use them for checking leaks in water mains for example..The leakage of treated water is a big problem.
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Re: Weapons Technology.

Postby Event Horizon on May 14th, 2018, 10:23 am 

As predicted, Russian drone armour has now been tested in Syria..

https://t.co/goWW9PJzJF
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