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US Depart of Defense developing X-ray bomb that can knock out chemical and biological weapon sites


The US Department of Defense is building a radical X-ray bomb that could knock out chemical and biological weapon sites without speading the chemicals over a large area.

The secretive project has been under development since at least 2015.

The DoD  has contracted specialist electronics company Hyperion Technology Group to develop a prototype, which would fit inside an existing warhead casing, and could also be used in close combat.

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The DoD is working with Hyperion Technology Group to develop a prototype, which would fit inside an existing warhead casing. Pictured, the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) launches a Tomahawk cruise missile

The DoD is working with Hyperion Technology Group to develop a prototype, which would fit inside an existing warhead casing. Pictured, the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) launches a Tomahawk cruise missile

HOW WOULD AN X-RAY BOMB WORK? 

At high enough exposure levels, X-rays destroy bacteria, spores and other biological agents. 

X-rays would also be able to break down complex molecules like organophosphate nerve gases, such as sarin.

However, a simple gas like chlorine would be unaffected. 

It would use a strong burst of X-rays to render chemical and biological weapons useless, without damaging the vessels containing them.

The Department of Defense has contracted specialist electronics company Hyperion Technology Group to develop a prototype. 

Last year the firm received $980,745.00 for what appears to be phase two of the project, to ‘develop a second generation X-ray system and conduct a series of static arena test against targets of interest to demonstrate the utility of a fully developed weaponized X-ray source for use as a Directed Energy Weapon.’

The award states ‘Traditional weapon systems often fail to meet the requirements of close combat typical of the previously discussed engagement, where insurgents often blend in or store weapon amongst friendly or non-combatant forces, to shield them from precision strike munitions of a technologically superior force.’   

Although most details of the project are secret, a 2015 document called ‘High Power X-ray Munition to Attack and Defeat Weapons of Mass Destruction’ reveals the beginnings of the programme.

The $149,583.00 award for Phase one of the project was to ‘determine the feasibility of defeating CBW production facilities via an X-ray source that would fit within the volume constraints of a munition platform.’ 

‘The Phase I program will provide the basis for experimental design that will guide the Phase II program, and allow demonstration of an X-ray munition at a benchtop/subscale level against representative CBW samples in a relevant scenario,’ the procurement document says.

However, the development also raises fears the technology could be used by terrorists. 

‘This technology… could be utilised against human beings to cause injuries and fatalities stemming from its radiation sickness effects,’ Robert Bunker at the US Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute, in Pennsylvania, told New Scientist. 

It says work on the project will commence in July and run for two years. 

However, Bunker says the bomb would probably be designed so that the technology powering it incinerated on impact, to avoid others getting hold of it.

Under international law, a weapon is legal if it does not cause any unnecessary suffering. 

THE 2016 TERROR PLOT TO BUILT A ‘DEATH RAY’

Glendon Scott Crawford was convicted in 2016 of attempting to build an X-ray weapon to expose people to lethal doses of radiation from a truck.

Crawford planned to turn an industrial-grade X-ray machine into a remote-controlled laser gun.

X-ray gun: Crawford's alleged plot involved remotely firing a death ray that would kill victims with radiation poisoning weeks later, a plot officials say may have worked

X-ray gun: Crawford’s alleged plot involved remotely firing a death ray that would kill victims with radiation poisoning weeks later, a plot officials say may have worked

Glendon Scott Crawford was convicted in 2016 of attempting to build an X-ray weapon to expose people to lethal doses of radiation from a truck.

Glendon Scott Crawford was convicted in 2016 of attempting to build an X-ray weapon to expose people to lethal doses of radiation from a truck.

The laser gun would be mounted in a truck and driven to an area near the intended victims.

After parking the truck, the driver would leave the scene and activate the laser via a remote control from about half a mile away.

Everyone near the truck would receive a lethal dose of radiation and die within two weeks of the attack.

The FBI says the device would have worked if it had been completed. 

Investigators began tracking Crawford in 2012 after he approached two local Jewish groups with a proposal for destroying Israel’s enemies. 

Prosecutors said Crawford also sought support for the device in 2013 from a Ku Klux Klan grand wizard in North Carolina who was an FBI informant.

Co-defendant Eric Feight, of Hudson, pleaded guilty in 2014 to providing material support to terrorists. He admitted building a remote control for the X-ray device. Feight, a control systems engineer, was sentenced to eight years in prison a year ago.

Crawford, an industrial mechanic who worked with Feight at General Electric in Schenectady, was convicted  of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and distributing information about weapons of mass destruction in August.

A jury that rejected his lawyer’s argument that he was entrapped by the FBI.

 

 



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