FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Marines 1, Building 0

US Marines in Iraq have reportedly begun using a new generation of shoulder-held urban combat weapons that use thermobaric principles. When launched, the warhead ignites the air around it, producing a shock wave capable of leveling an entire building.

The sheer destructive power of the NE ("novel explosive") weapons make them controversial, with critics citing the risk to surrounding noncombatants. Human rights groups took the Soviet Union to task for using thermobaric weapons in Afghanistan. Now, the Marines are remaining low-key about their NE warheads. However, supporters of the weapons claim that they are highly effective in extremely dangerous areas such as Fallujah, and ultimately help save Marine lives.

Sources: Boing Boing, Defensetech