Thursday, January 18, 2007

I love technology

Wow, what a week.

There were 2 items that really caught my attention this week.

The first is commercial airplanes that have anti-missile systems on them. I first saw this article at CNN this week. Fed-Ex is flying the planes with this new system on them.
"An MD-10 cargo jet equipped with Northrop Grumman's Guardian anti-missile system took off from Los Angeles International Airport on a commercial flight Tuesday"
The article goes on to state that no passenger planes have ever been downed by shoulder-fired missiles outside of war zones. It will be a long time before this is on a lot of planes, not the least of which is cost associated since these systems will not be cheap. Still a cool idea.

The second is a rail gun that was tested Wednesday. You can read the whole article at fredericksburg.com.
The railgun works by sending electric current along parallel rails, creating an electromagnetic force so powerful it can fire a projectile at tremendous speed.
This is truly sci-fi come to life. From how I read this, it looks like the Navy may be planning on changing the big guns on their ships to rail guns.

We are talking about a 200 to 250 nautical mile range on these bad boys. The 5 inch guns have a range of about 20 nautical miles.

These rail gun, with a range of at least 200 nautical miles, can hit a target in about 6 minutes. It takes Tomahawk missiles 8 minutes to travel that distance.
And the cost of each rail gun round will start around $1000. Tomahawk cruise missiles cost nearly $1 Million each.

Sweet!
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