The MP7 is a German submachine gun manufactured by Heckler & Koch (H&K) and chambered for the 4.6x30mm cartridge. It was designed in conjunction with the new cartridge to meet NATO requirements published in 1989 calling for a personal defense weapon (PDW) class firearm with a greater ability to defeat body armor than current weapons, which are limited due to the use of conventional pistol cartridges. The MP7 went into production in 2001. It is a direct rival to the FN P90 also developed in response to NATO’s requirement. The weapon has been revised since its introduction and the current production version is the MP7A1.
The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It is primarily an air superiority fighter, but has multiple capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles. The United States Air Force considers the F-22 a critical component of the U.S. strike force.
Faced with a protracted and costly development period, the aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 during the three years before formally entering US Air Force service in December 2005, as the F-22A. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22. Program partner Boeing Integrated Defense Systems provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and all of the pilot and maintenance training systems.
One modern military weapon that is being more frequently used is the robot soldier. Yes, robots are taking over the roles that humans once had. Some of these jobs, such as getting rid of bombs or walking through minefields, have the potential to save many human lives. However, there’s a sinister side to all of this. Some of these robots are equipped with weapons.
Currently, a human being controls the armed robot soldiers. Disturbingly, scientists and engineers are talking about the possibility of a future where these robots become “unmanned” and operate on their own.
The Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser (ABL) weapons system is a megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL) mounted inside a modified Boeing 747-400F. It is primarily designed to destroy tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs), similar to the Scud, while in boost phase. The low-power lasers have been test-fired in flight, aimed at an airborne target board. The aircraft was designated YAL-1A in 2004 by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Airborne Laser Laboratory, a less-powerful prototype installed in a Boeing NKC-135A, shot down several missiles in the 1980s.
The ABL does not burn through or disintegrate its target. It heats the missile skin, weakening it, causing failure from high speed flight stress. If proven successful, seven ABL-armed 747s will be built and assigned to two combat theaters. The aircraft were originally slated to enter service in 2008, but development has been slower and costlier than planned. The current plan calls for a prototype ABL to attempt to shoot down a test missile in 2009. Data acquired in the test will shape the final production design, which is now expected to enter service several years from now.