The US Navy's Office Of Naval Research has announced the development of a cruise missile that costs only $40,000 to build.
A small turbojet engine, basically a modified automotive supercharger, gives the Affordable Weapon a range of several hundred miles, said John Petrik, an ONR spokesman. Commercial GPS sets generate the guidance information, with onboard processors available to accept retargeting or loitering commands from a remote observer via satellite or direct radio links.
Note the use of widely available commercial technology. This article quotes an analyst who dismisses the idea that this cheap design approach could easily be reproduced by rogue states or terrorist groups. But once some group has shown that a particular approach is possible it allows other groups to know where to focus their efforts. As cheap technology becomes increasingly more advanced the difficulty of developing weapons of mass destruction and delivery vehicles for WMD becomes increasingly easier. This trend looks set to run indefinitely into the future. The world going forward is going to become a more dangerous place as more potent weapons spread into the hands of smaller nations and non-governmental groups.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 December 12 02:22 PM US Foreign Preemption, Deterrence, Containment|