Navy SEAL team tech
As a former member of SEAL Teams 1, 2, and 6 and the author of six books, together with Ralph Pezzullo, about Navy SEALs, Don Mann says the one thing that makes Navy SEALs the most elite warriors on the planet is their equipment. "It’s literally the most high-tech, state-of-the art combat gear and equipment available."
Some of the SEAL teams' tech comes directly out of the developmental labs at DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency), which is responsible for the development of new technologies to keep the U.S. military technically ahead of our enemies. Examples of high-tech gadgets that real SEALs use are below. (I equipped my fictional SEAL team with this gear in my latest thriller, Hunt the Jackal)
NSW Invisio M4s. These in-ear conduction headsets are custom-fit, fully submersible, and are configured to work with both digital and analog radios. During the raid on Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound in May 2011, they allowed SEALs from Team 6 to whisper communications to one another as they carried out their mission.
Phoenix IR strobe beacons. These tiny devices issue an individual Combat Identification marker that’s not visible to the naked eye. With a flash rate designed to prevent confusion with small arms fire, they’re used to minimize fratricide, and have been carried by SEALs in theatres of operation such as Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Miniature Underwater GPS Receiver. This small 1.2 pound device provides position and navigational information for infil/exfil, fire support, direct action, and target location. Once it acquires a satellite fix, it can be taken to a depth of thirty-three feet.
Rescue Air Initiated Launch (RAIL). A pneumatically fired metal grappling hook launched from a black cannon about the size of a human arm. Used for getting its hook into a surface 100 feet high and towing a sturdy, nylon-jacketed line or ladder for someone to ascend.
You can bet that some of these items are currently being used by SEALs in hot spots across the globe.
Some other very cool DAPRA projects currently under development include:
• Big Dog Legged Squad Support System (LS3). A mule-sized robot that can run over rough terrain, while carrying 340 pound and responds to voice commands. Currently in the second year of a two-year testing phase.
• Vulture. A high-altitude unmanned vehicle powered by solar panels that can stay in the air for five years
• Proto 2. A thought-controlled prosthetic arm that can perform twenty-five joint functions. User will be able to play piano, pick up a ping pong ball, and sip coffee. Scheduled for use by 2015.
• Transformer (DARPA-TX). A 7,000 pound flying car. It fits four people and can hit a maximum speed of 230mph and a range of 250 miles. First demonstration flight scheduled for 2017.
Coming after improvements to Firefox and continued unease at Google’s life-pervading insight, this image is outperforming the ███████ ████ Virality Control Group today (via). It got me thinking about all the promises that were made. Here’s the earliest article in Google News to contain “Big browser” in its headline, published by Time Magazine on Nov. […]
The WiFi232 is a traditional old-timey old-schooley Hayes-compatible 300-115200 baud modem, no wider than its own parallel DB25 port. Automatically responds with a customizable busy message when already in a call. The killer app seems to be using it to get internet onto ancient retro portables like the TRS-80 Model 102, but it’s been put […]
Most tech-media takes on the iPhone’s 10th anniversary are bland and self-congratulatory, but I like Tom Warren’s at The Verge. He laments how Apple’s pocket computer killed his inner nerd. As a youngster, he’d be constantly tearing down and building computers, even in the sweltering heat of summer. But now… …All of that tinkering and […]
The Fader Stealth Quadcopter from TRNDlabs packs incredible flight performance into a package small enough to land on your phone screen, and it’s available now in the Boing Boing Store.The Fader’s six-axis gyroscope module gives it perfect balance in the air. This makes the onboard 720p HD camera all the better for shooting amazing flight […]
Although fully autonomous vehicles aren’t yet allowed on public streets, they are poised to dominate the roads in the not-too-distant future. But before that happens, Apple, Google, Uber, and other companies now investing in self-driving tech are going to need talented developers that can account for the dizzying array of factors at play when a […]
The PiCar-V learning kit comes with everything you need to build a Python-powered robot, and it’s currently being offered in the Boing Boing Store.