Feeds

USAF cops seek netflinger rifle to down ultralights, paragliders

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

High performance access to file storage

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?

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.