Feeds

USAF cops seek netflinger rifle to down ultralights, paragliders

'Non-lethal' - until you hit the ground, anyway

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The US Air Force security police have issued a requirement for a portable net-throwing gun able to bring down parachutists or people in motorised hang-gliders - apparently without killing them.

The Security Forces Center, responsible for equipping the USAF's security police, refers to the proposed tangler-gun as a Counter UltraLight Aircraft/Paratrooper System (CULAPS)*. The American airbase plods, often responsible for perimeter guard duties, describe the weapon thus:

This is a non-lethal weapon utilizing net launching technology ... The CULAPS system is envisaged as a lightweight net aimed and fired from the ground that envelopes the target and thereby removes the target's lift bringing it to the ground. The system should be lightweight (man/vehicle portable) and have an effective vertical range of greater than 500 feet. An attribute of the system should include the potential for linking the firing system to a sensor system for automated remote operation.

Likely targets would seem to include intruders trying to get over airbase fences using ultralights (basically motorised hang gliders) and parachutes, or perhaps paramotors (where a person hanging beneath a paraglider canopy is propelled by a motorised backpack airscrew). Indeed, it may be that the USAF coppers are worried about miscreants mounted in dunebuggy/paramotor combo "flying cars", of the sort now being used in an expedition to Timbuctoo (Timbuktu, Tombouctou, potayto, potahto).

Of course, one might simply blast such an unwelcome visitor out of the sky with antiaircraft cannon, frikkin laser beam or some such robust response. However, beard'n'sandal granola-wing protest groups in America or allied nations are probably at least as significant a threat here as bomb-hurling or kamikaze missions by extreme-sports aficionado (extremist sports?) terrorists. Hence the obvious desire for a "non-lethal" option.

What isn't clear, of course, is whether non-lethal is meant simply in the sense "we didn't kill him, Isaac Newton did". It seems unlikely that an ultralight/paramotor-mounted opponent, with canopy or wings collapsed by a tightening net, would survive the subsequent plunge from 500 feet.

It's all very puzzling. ®

*Dreadful. Rapid-Ejection Tangler Interdiction versus Aerial Raiding Undesirables System (RETIARUS), shurely?

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.