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That Time The Army Nearly Replaced The M16 With The Pulse Rifle From ‘Demolition Man’
Decades before the U.S. military transitioned away from the M16 assault rifle in favor of the lightweight M4 carbine, the Army eyed an unusual-looking replacement for the Vietnam-era rifle: The boxy Heckler & Koch G11, the very same weapon that would appear years later as a futuristic energy rifle in the batshit crazy 1993 sci-fi action comedy Demolition Man.
Well, not the exact same weapon. The H&K; G11, in development by NATO partners since the late 1960s, was one of four submissions tested in the late ‘80s by U.S. officials as part of the Advanced Combat Rifle (ACR) program that sought a rifle with a superior hit probability to the M16 of “spray and pray” fame.
Heckler & KochThe Heckler & Koch G11 assault rifle
The sleek gas-operated G11 was particularly noteworthy for chambering 4.72x33mm caseless ammunition and a bullpup design intended to eliminate the ejection cycle. A 1990 Army video on the ACR program claimed the rifle could fire in burst at an eye-popping rate of 2,100 rounds per minute (with a full-auto option at 400 rounds per minute).
U.S. Army video
Unfortunately, none of the submissions to the ACR program proved a compelling replacement for the M16A2 currently in use, and the program ended in 1990 after $300 million spent. H&K; attempted to tailor the unusual G11 to military planners in its home country of Germany, but the end of the Cold War and reunification of the nation forced the G11 into obscurity with only 1,000 rifles ever produced.
Until 1993, that is. The rifle would see sort-of combat in an unusual new form as the “Magnetic Accelerator” 1X.31A particle weapons pilfered from a museum armory exhibit in 2032 by insane convict Simon Phoenix (Wesley Snipes) in Demolition Man.
The rifle itself was just a mockup cast of the G11, loaned to the production team by H&K; and outfitted with a bunch of embellishments and accessories fit for a Hollywood blockbuster.
According to the Internet Movie Firearms Database (the greatest website in the history of mankind), Demolition Man is the only movie that has featured the G11 in all its futuristic glory (although it’s appeared in military gaming franchises like Fallout and Call of Duty). And frankly, that’s a damn shame, because when T&P; staff first stumbled across the Army’s 1990 ACR video pitching the G11, we had the same thought as Phoenix: “Wait a minute, this is the future. Where are all the phaser guns?"
Warner Brothers/Internet Movie Firearms DatabaseThe “Magnetic Accelerator” 1X.31A particle weapon based on the Heckler & Koch G11 assault rifle in 1993's 'Demolition Man'
There’s still a chance, maybe! Way back in 2004, the Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) program borrowed technology from the G11 to explore the integration of the rifle’s caseless ammo system into a new Army light machine gun prototype — a move that suggests maybe, just maybe, some element of this boxy cannon could feel the ninja grip of combat troops some day.
Of course, that was 15 years ago, so it seems like a longshot. Until then, I’ll just be watching the museum shootout sequence on repeat — and wondering how to use those three seashells.
A group of vets are raising money to pay for a medal the Iraqi government awarded them, but never delivered
In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.
The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.
A small group of veterans hopes to change that.
For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.
The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.
A doctor who treated accident victims has a radioactive isotope in his body. Russia says it came from his diet
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian authorities said on Friday that a doctor who treated those injured in a mysterious accident this month had the radioactive isotope Caesium-137 in his body, but said it was probably put there by his diet.
The deadly accident at a military site in northern Russia took place on Aug. 8 and caused a brief spurt of radiation. Russian President Vladimir Putin later said it occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.
Groundwater at the Air Force Academy is contaminated with the same toxic chemicals polluting a southern El Paso County aquifer, expanding a problem that has cost tens of millions of dollars to address in the Pikes Peak region.
Plans are underway to begin testing drinking water wells south of the academy in the Woodmen Valley area after unsafe levels of the chemicals were found at four locations on base, the academy said Thursday.