Wednesday, May 18, 2005

DREAD: Weapon of the (Near) Future?

Reader NoniNeil, a veteran of the 101st Airborne, sent me a link to this article about the DREAD Weapon System, an electrically powered centifugal projectile weapon. David Crane of Defense Review seems enthusiastic about DREAD's potential:
Imagine a gun with no recoil, no sound, no heat, no gunpowder, no visible firing signature (muzzle flash), and no stoppages or jams of any kind. Now imagine that this gun could fire .308 caliber and .50 caliber metal projectiles accurately at up to 8,000 fps (feet-per-second), featured an infinitely variable/programmable cyclic rate-of-fire (as high as 120,000 rounds-per-minute), and were capable of laying down a 360-degree field of fire. What if you could mount this weapon on any military Humvee (HMMWV), any helicopter/gunship, any armored personnel carrier (APC), and any other vehicle for which the technology were applicable?
The full article includes a link to a promotional video of the weapon. Several readers of Crane's column are skeptical of the claims being made for the DREAD system, and brought up possible problems with power required to operate the system and the accuracy of the round shot, but the versatility of the system would seem to make it worth investigating.