Ambitious Military Techno-Failures: Top 10 Amazing Weapons That Never Made ItPosted: October 31, 2013
Erik Schechter reports: Making a list of failed weapons systems, the temptation is to trot out the infamous ice-and-sawdust ship, the giant tricycle tank, or some other ridiculous doohickey. But the world of military programs is not neatly divided between the sublime and the stupid. There are a lot in-between cases.
In the 1960s, MB Associates developed the Gyrojet, a family of experimental guns that fired tiny rockets instead of bullets and did so in near silence. Despite making a cameo in the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice, though, the Gyrojet ran into plenty of problems. The rocket-bullet picked up speed only once it left the barrel, so the gun was useless at close range. It also jammed frequently and was not very accurate.
Nevertheless, alternatives to the conventional bullet still pop up now and again. Just last year, Sandia National Laboratories researchers developed a laser-guided, dart-like bullet that can hit a bull’s-eye a mile away.