We are changing the rules of the game
April 7, 2006 4:35 PM   Subscribe

One upping the bad guys
posted by Postroad (65 comments total)
 
This is a really bad link to a Fox news broadcast via digg. There's much better text information from Defense Tech (sigh, also via digg) here.
posted by onalark at 4:42 PM on April 7, 2006


And the Fox broadcast is horribly sensationalized to make it look like some secret force field technology is protecting the tank, really it's just a computer-controlled shotgun blast, like a Phalanx.
posted by onalark at 4:43 PM on April 7, 2006


Whoa. Israeli-designed "top secret countermeasure" goodness. If it weren't on Fox News it would almost be believable.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:44 PM on April 7, 2006


Force field. heh. You know what would be a great force field? A strategically placed Uhaul piled 10 high and six deep with every neocon that continues to stump for this stupid fucking war.
posted by tkchrist at 4:49 PM on April 7, 2006


Its a really cool technology, but I was under the impression that the main things killing our guys are IEDs and snipers. And if your friggin tank can't take an RPG as it is, you've got problems bigger than a force field can solve.
posted by gsteff at 4:59 PM on April 7, 2006


Heh. They had these on the US tanks in C&C Generals.
posted by dazed_one at 4:59 PM on April 7, 2006


Hm, if the vehicle is moving and the target is moving, what are the chances that a targeted blast is going to detonate the grenade?

Maybe pretty good, I don't know. Or maybe this is another Patriot Missile. Where the pyschological effect will outstrip the tactical one.

Whatever, defense projects are a money hole.
posted by lumpenprole at 5:01 PM on April 7, 2006


posted by tkchrist Force field. heh. You know what would be a great force field? A strategically placed Uhaul piled 10 high and six deep with every neocon that continues to stump for this stupid fucking war.

Indeed. Right now the force field we have is made entirely from the hot air coming out of their mouths.
posted by fandango_matt at 5:01 PM on April 7, 2006


From onalark's link, the best named department in any organization ever: " the Pentagon's Office of Force Transformation".
posted by Bugbread at 5:13 PM on April 7, 2006


I've heard the Office of Force Transformation is working on new robots that are in disguise.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:14 PM on April 7, 2006


I especially like how they point out how it won't protect us from the Iranian super-torpedo... like that's somehow on-topic
posted by davidnin at 5:19 PM on April 7, 2006


I kind of hate this kind of stuff, because I can predict what the next move by the weapon industry will be : develop a multiheaded weapon. After that an AEGIS tank :) and so on. It only excalates.

For fuck shake why don't people understand they are going to be the victims of the superweapons they make ? Didn't Fermi teach anything to anybody ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:20 PM on April 7, 2006


Right now the force field we have is made entirely from the hot air coming out of their mouths.

IT'S NOT WORKING! PLZ SEND MORE HOT AIR!
posted by pokermonk at 5:20 PM on April 7, 2006


One upping the bad other guys.
posted by pompomtom at 5:27 PM on April 7, 2006


Who else though it was a force-field based on the artis'st concept video? Until the last actual shots I thought they were using some sort of boundary EMP shield or something (which would be cool).

Instead it is a roofmount projectile tracking radar and guidance system for a "top secret" shotgun blast (still cool but what does the wingnut remember?).
posted by HyperBlue at 5:28 PM on April 7, 2006


Was it the video quality, or did they purposely pixellate the top-secret force-field generator?
posted by greatgefilte at 5:31 PM on April 7, 2006


Hang on. Wouldn't two separate RPGs fired in brief succession beat the Trophy system? Although, I suppose, being able to eliminate one is going to be better than nothing.

I can predict what the next move by the weapon industry will be : develop a multiheaded weapon... For fuck shake why don't people understand they are going to be the victims of the superweapons they make ?

Yeah, but you're less likely to get blown up by a multi-headed weapon than an RPG. I think the issue with RPGs is that they've become the modern combat equivalent of a rock. They're relatively common, cheap, and simple to use. Plus, there's no real protection against them (YET). Anything you can put between yourself and an RPG is going to be a good thing.
posted by pokermonk at 5:38 PM on April 7, 2006


It's not even vaguely a forcefield... that's pure propaganda. "Patriot writ small" might be a better description. It's a good idea, and probably can be pretty effective, but it's NOT a forcefield.

Faux News, once again.
posted by Malor at 5:40 PM on April 7, 2006


Oh, I just saw the thread title: "We are changing the rules of the game".

No, we're not. This is just more of the same old shit. Changing the rules of the game would mean doing something _fundamentally_ different. Even if it WERE a real forcefield, it STILL wouldn't change the rules of the game.

The game, as it is:

Our soldiers patrol Iraq;
Some of them die from insurgent attacks;
Some Iraqis, both insurgent and innocent, die from counterattacks;
More Iraqis turn into insurgents;
Repeat.

That's the game. 'Force fields' don't change it in any way.
posted by Malor at 5:45 PM on April 7, 2006


lumpenprole: if the vehicle is moving and the target is moving, what are the chances that a targeted blast is going to detonate the grenade?

Pretty good. From here: "Trophy detected, tracked and defeated an inert incoming RPG while the Stryker combat vehicle was on the move"

pokermonk: Wouldn't two separate RPGs fired in brief succession beat the Trophy system?

Apparently not. "The system can simultaneously engage several threats, arriving from different directions, is effective on stationary or moving platforms, and is effective against short and long range threats."
posted by matthewr at 5:48 PM on April 7, 2006


I wonder what the failure rate is (and what the radius/range of the projectiles are, collateral friendly fire)? Rate of false positive detection?

As for personel on the outside of the vehicle - I can just see soldiers getting shot in the back.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 5:48 PM on April 7, 2006


As much as I at least warily support anything that saves lives, I worry that this will a) be as successful as the patriot missile was, since it's the same tech basically b) have false positives and hit innocent people with the "top secret" step three technology or most likely c) cause insurgents to come up with a newer way to defeat technology.
posted by illovich at 5:56 PM on April 7, 2006


"The system can simultaneously engage several threats, arriving from different directions, is effective on stationary or moving platforms, and is effective against short and long range threats."

Yes , but does it handle all of them ? I don't care if it can, I care if it does.
posted by elpapacito at 6:07 PM on April 7, 2006


"This is exactly the kind of high-tech nonsense that never, ever worked when we tried it in Vietnam."
- Uncle Enzo, Snow Crash
posted by PsychoKick at 6:09 PM on April 7, 2006


have to agree with onalark. it's more akin to the Phalanx system than the Patriot. what's really going to change things i think will be those electrical, centrifugal force guns: no recoil, no gunpowder, higher velocity, lots more (cheaper) ammo.

so, who thinks China's going to wait until *after* Iran to start some shit?
posted by raygun21 at 6:17 PM on April 7, 2006


These force fields are cool and all...until the enemy discovers Kenobi tactics.
posted by ColdChef at 6:19 PM on April 7, 2006


I'm impressed. Last time I saw Fox News they were waaay more obviously batshit-demented and bullshit-strewing than that. Force fields! Fan-fucking-tastic! They should give the soldiers light sabres too.
posted by Decani at 6:25 PM on April 7, 2006


So just fire two RPGs, preferable from diffrent directions at the same time. I bet doubling the RPGs would cost less then a hundredth of the cost of this goofy system.
posted by delmoi at 6:27 PM on April 7, 2006


Hang on. Wouldn't two separate RPGs fired in brief succession beat the Trophy system? Although, I suppose, being able to eliminate one is going to be better than nothing.

Possibly. Another Israeli armor technique, Reactive Armor was developed as a countermeasure against the first generation of RPGs. The solution was to develop Tandem Charge RPGs.

Reactive armor is essentially explosive armor plating placed around a tank. When an RPG strikes the armor, it explodes, pushing the RPG away, defocusing the force otherwise imparted by the RPG. A tandem charge is an RPG that explodes twice. Once to take out the reactive armor, and a second time to take out the tank.

If the "Trophy" system is a radar combined with an automatic shotgun, it could be significantly better than the reactive system. As long as the shotgun can shoot fast enough, it should be able to destroy more RPG rounds than Reactive Armor would. More importantly, it should be much lighter and more compact. This would enable it to be used on light vehicles like HMMWVs.

Computers are much faster and much cheaper than they were 20 years ago, so this system should be significantly better than the patriot system.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:29 PM on April 7, 2006


PsychoKick: Hah. I just finished re-reading Snow Crash, and couldn't help but think of the Raft and the battle with Hiro armed with Reason against the Phlanx guns.
posted by loquacious at 6:32 PM on April 7, 2006


Hey, know what else protects soldiers from RPGs?

Not being anywhere fucking near them.
posted by Mikey-San at 6:39 PM on April 7, 2006


So, basically this thing is an "autonomous 20mm gatling gun capable of firing up to 4,500 rounds per minute".

Sounds like just the thing to use in what is often a densely populated urban combat environment.
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:01 PM on April 7, 2006


If I throw an empty beer can at the tank will it blow up the can?

I wonder how many times they'll forget to turn it off and destroy a fellow soldier who runs uo to the tank.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:19 PM on April 7, 2006


Yeah, leave the shooting to the computer. That's a great idea. Not.
posted by furtive at 7:19 PM on April 7, 2006


I’m guided by a signal in the heavens
I’m guided by this birthmark on my skin
I’m guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take manhattan, then we take berlin
Leonard Cohen
posted by hortense at 7:20 PM on April 7, 2006


Liquidwolf: I'm assuming the radar can tell the difference between an RPG travelling at a couple of hundred mph, and some guy running.
posted by matthewr at 7:24 PM on April 7, 2006


"We are changing the rules of the game"

Attack method. Countermeasure. Better attack method. How is this *not* the rule of the game?

Meanwhile, "the game" has turned Iraq from a place which didn't have terrorism into a place that has become a training and breeding ground for the next generation of jihadists. How about a nice game of chess instead?

According to all the soldiers I've talked to lately, the only things that have kept casualties down lately is that they've been hunkered down on fewer bases, are doing fewer patrols, and that the Iraqis have been too busy trying to kill each other to concentrate on the Coalition forces.

Wake me up when our soldiers with their multimillion dollar training/weapons stop getting killed by snipers and cheap improvised explosive devices triggered by inexpensive civilian technology, will ya?
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:32 PM on April 7, 2006


matthewr: I was joking but yeah yer probably right.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:33 PM on April 7, 2006


So, basically this thing is an "autonomous 20mm gatling gun capable of firing up to 4,500 rounds per minute".

Sounds like just the thing to use in what is often a densely populated urban combat environment.


That is, of course, completely wrong, but extra points for your usual dishonest turd. Sadly, you only get second place this time around.

Force field. heh. You know what would be a great force field? A strategically placed Uhaul piled 10 high and six deep with every neocon that continues to stump for this stupid fucking war.

And here's our winner!
posted by Krrrlson at 7:35 PM on April 7, 2006


On lack of preview, you're still going. Good effort.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:37 PM on April 7, 2006


Meanwhile, an Iraqi army soldier on a Coalition base near al Qaim took the opportunity to kill a US Marine yesterday.

Want a chance to kill US soldiers? Join the Iraqi Army today!
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:03 PM on April 7, 2006


"That is, of course, completely wrong..."

...and yet, you do not say how it is wrong, exactly. The details about the ordinance being used against the incoming RPGs is sketchy at best, and is described as a "beam of fragments".

How is that much different than suggesting that the device is some kind of low-caliber machine gun array that sprays out a shitload of shotgun-style ordinance? How can you realistically describe something like that as "non-lethal" to civilians who happen to be nearby?

As Cheney might say, maybe it doesn't shoot the RPG out of the sky... maybe it just "peppers" it a bit.
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:13 PM on April 7, 2006


so ... would it be triggered by someone shooting an arrow at it? ... 8 to 16 rounds ... so the enemy shoots 8 to 16 arrows ... and THEN shoots the RPG
posted by pyramid termite at 8:22 PM on April 7, 2006


Truth is, the article says nothing about the ordinance used being safe for civilians. The ordinance used is classified, as indicated by the article, but we can pretty much infer the following:

- It fires very rapidly (like a machine gun, for instance...)

- It reloads automatically, very rapidly (like a machine gun, for instance...)

- It fragments.

It may be designed to only go so far before fragmenting, as many AA rounds are designed, thereby not punching holes through buildings and hopefully minimizing the potential for damage, but that's still a long way from such a device being safe.
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:23 PM on April 7, 2006


Yeah, leave the shooting to the computer.

See: Robocop.
posted by fungible at 8:37 PM on April 7, 2006


As with space, the Russians appear to have gotten there first. They have also gotten it to work.
posted by Binliner at 8:40 PM on April 7, 2006


Woops. This is the real 'first' link.
posted by Binliner at 8:43 PM on April 7, 2006


I want to be careful how I say this, as I wish no harm on our armed forces, and have friends over there... but doesn't a solution like this significantly increase the risk to bystanders? In a normal scenario, the RPG would explode against armoured vehicle, and pose a risk to the military personell in and around the vehicle. In this scenario, the countermeasure appears to cause the RPG to expode outside of the normal buffer area you would expect to surround a military vehicle in an urban environment -- thus potentially triggering the exposion at the closest distance bystanders might be from the vehicle. Perhaps they're only considering it for more open, less densely populated areas?
posted by VulcanMike at 9:33 PM on April 7, 2006


How is that much different than suggesting that the device is some kind of low-caliber machine gun array that sprays out a shitload of shotgun-style ordinance?

From the link: The precision-launched weapon employs a technique called "soft launch," whereby it launches vertically from the vehicle, pitches over, and is propelled by its rocket motor to the point of intercept with the RPG, at which point it fires its warhead.

How can you realistically describe something like that as "non-lethal" to civilians who happen to be nearby? ... still a long way from such a device being safe.

Since you read my comment just as carefully as you read the linked article, I'll let you point out where I described this as "non-lethal." It's designed to detonate a fucking RPG. What do you want it to do, throw cherry pies?
posted by Krrrlson at 9:48 PM on April 7, 2006


Tank=$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Foreign civilian=?

I don't think the army has any problems with the word "lethal" and if one is to look back at the numerous bombing campaigns, that have taken place with little regard for civilian casualties, then this particular system can be considered a rather benign version of what "lethal" can be.
posted by Binliner at 10:33 PM on April 7, 2006


"From the link..."

The FPP link does not provide this information, nor did the one I checked. Apparently, the ordinance being used is different than the ordinance cited for the similar Phalanx system, as suggested earlier.

You also misinterpreted my context. I never meant to suggest that you said the weapon was "non-lethal", which you clearly did not do. Rather, I meant to suggest that the concept "non-lethal" (read: "so called non-lethal) clearly did not apply to this weapon.
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:46 PM on April 7, 2006




The "bad guys"? You're talking about the Iraqi resistance fighters who are trying to remove an illegal foreign occupying force?
posted by salmacis at 12:50 AM on April 8, 2006


salmacis, please don't stir the pot. Let it fester and decay, as per usual.
posted by gsb at 1:52 AM on April 8, 2006


Want a chance to kill US soldiers? Join the Iraqi Army today!

Hey, you can do that by joining the US Army. Ask Pat Tillman's folks.
posted by Decani at 5:14 AM on April 8, 2006


I think we learned from the movie Dune that these force fields can be bypassed with the proper training.
posted by craniac at 6:32 AM on April 8, 2006


Upon preview: what Balisong wrote. erk.
posted by craniac at 6:42 AM on April 8, 2006


8 to 16 rounds? Isn't it just a shotgun, of sorts? Can't they carry a few more rounds than that?

Here I was anticipating a few guns going crazy and killing a bunch of people, but I'm not scared of a computer-controlled gun with only 8 rounds.
posted by graventy at 7:13 AM on April 8, 2006


I especially like how they point out how it won't protect us from the Iranian super-torpedo... like that's somehow on-topic

I feel confident that our tanks and armored personnel carriers are not going to be destroyed by Iranian torpedos.

Unless they are driven into the ocean first or something.
posted by beth at 8:47 AM on April 8, 2006


According to all the soldiers I've talked to lately, the only things that have kept casualties down lately is that they've been hunkered down on fewer bases, are doing fewer patrols

This sounds like the strategy of a force that is getting its ass kicked, and is merely postponing the inevitable. Or is "hide in the base" some elite offensive technique whose nuances elude me?
posted by beth at 8:49 AM on April 8, 2006


This will win the war.
posted by cell divide at 8:56 AM on April 8, 2006


Liquidwolf: I'm assuming the radar can tell the difference between an RPG travelling at a couple of hundred mph, and some guy running.

What I'm interested in is how well it can differentiate between an RPG and, say, an ordinary bullet.
posted by c13 at 10:35 AM on April 8, 2006



See? We don't need diplomacy or planning to spread democracy. All we need is better weapons.
posted by surplus at 11:12 AM on April 8, 2006


People, it's ORDNANCE you're talking about, not ordinance.
posted by etaoin at 5:33 AM on April 9, 2006


Metafilter to Slashdot lag time: 5 days.

Significantly more than the usual 2 days for some reason.
posted by intermod at 7:28 PM on April 12, 2006


« Older Hoppy Brew Year's Eve!   |   Clubbing a baby seal with a dead queen is murder... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments