air force eyes energy shields & microwave bombs

air force eyes energy shields & microwave bombsfrom wired: Energy shields, microwave bombs, and laser-firing gunships – those are just a few of the ideas the Air Force has in mind for its future arsenal.

Susan Thornton, head of the Air Force Research Lab’s Directed Energy Directorate, laid out the sci-fi-style vision Air Armament 2020 Directed Energy (1.1mb PDF) at the 33rd Annual Air Armament Symposium, held earlier this month. In it, she touts a high-powered microwave munition, capable of destroying of everything from “WMD Production Facilities” to “Cyber War Targets.” The blasts from such a weapon “enables attack[s] on high value electronic targets with minimal collateral damage,” Thornton notes, “virtually eliminating high post-conflict reconstruction costs!!!!”

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