To the American military's growing menagerie of high-tech, bomb-battling oddities, add this little creature: a microwave ray gun, designed to wipe out Iraqi insurgents' explosives.Last fall, engineers from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Alliant Techsystems put together the "Scorpion," a prototype microwave generator, for an exercise at the Yuma Proving Grounds. It was the "first-ever high-power microwave system that was built tough enough for transport," according to Defense Daily. And during that Yuma test -- meant to simulate conditions in Iraq -- the Scorpion "blew up... more than 75% of the improvised explosive devices it encountered in operationally realistic scenarios," AFRL spokesman Rich Garcia writes.The Scorpion's development "was done under a cooperative research and development agreement that began mid-last year... and slated to run until June 1, 2006," he adds. "No money was involved in the CRADA. Rather, we shared expertise, information and facilities."What's the next step for ray gun? There's no word, yet. But if the system continues to work the way it did at Yuma, there are a whole lot of soldiers right now that could use a Scorpion in Iraq.
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