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Future Weapons - tv review

      Like most men, I’m fascinated by the development military weapons. Although I do not own any weapons, keeping up with new weapons technology is a hobby of mine. Discovery Channel’s Future Weapons is an adrenalin pumping, ultimate man-show for the weapons enthusiast. It’s a testosterone high watching as host, ex-Navy Seal, Richard “Mack” Machowicz tries out the latest in future weapons. Mack is eminently qualified to get special access to the companies making these weapons.

      As a Navy Seal, Mack participated in numerous tactical missions in many different war-time military operations. He has over twenty years experience in helping develop new weapons systems as a civilian consultant. His special status gets him invitations to the various company testing facilities to personally test these space-age weapons as host of this show.

      Mack makes Rambo look like a sissy. He’s a black belt in various martial arts such as kickboxing, aikido, jujitsu, savate, karate, and many others as well as being a certified combat fighting instructor. Hollywood’s central casting could not have come up with a guy like this. He’s sharp and entertaining. When he tests a weapon, viewers can see the joy in his fac, such as when he fired the new M40 semiautomatic grenade launcher. It puts major whup-ass on the target. Mack is the real deal. For weapons aficionados the new armaments being developed are awe inspiring.

      The show debuted January 18, 2007 and runs Monday nights at 9:00 pm CT, with frequent repeats during the week. In one episode, Mack travels to Israel to check out the new Israeli “Cornershot.” It combines a swivel barrel with a video sighting array. It allows the operator to fire around corners without exposing himself. The swivel moves in various increments up to 90 degrees and can be fitted with a variety of weapons, including a pistol, assault rifle, small machine gun, or a 40mm grenade launcher. The key to the gun’s viability is its video screen laser sighting system. The soldier can see what’s around the corner or over the top of a wall, sight a target, and fire without exposing his head or body. Fitted with an assault rifle, the soldier can click it back to straight, and use it like a normal weapon.

      In another sequence, Mack tests an Israeli close quarter assault rifle, like the M16 but shorter, for fighting inside buildings. It’s compact and comes with a built-in electronic sight. This gun is just the thing for urban warfare. It also packs a wallop and will take down an enemy at fifty yards. It features a semi or auto setting. American SWAT teams are buying these babies.

      The M82 Barrett 50 caliber sniper rifle has been the preferred sniper weapon for many years. It will take down a target a mile away. Now Mack tests the semiautomatic version M107 of the same weapon. In the past, going semiautomatic affected the gun’s accuracy. But the Barrett Company solved that problem. The targeting system compensates for the kick and keeps the gun locked on the target (like a tank gun) so the sniper can fire multiple rounds downrange, greatly increasing the gun’s effectiveness. No enemy would want to be on the receiving end of this killing machine sending a shower of large caliber bullets downrange. You wouldn’t even hear the gun’s report. You’d be dead before the sound got there.

      For many years a practical laser weapon was in the realm of science fiction. In an especially intriguing sequence, Mack shows the viewers the Air Force’s airborne laser (ABL). It’s a powerful chemical oxygen iodine laser mounted in the turret-like array on the nose of a specially modified Boeing 747-400 Air Freighter. The plane’s mission is to shoot down enemy ballistic missiles by heating up the missile’s metallic skin, which causes the missile to explode. And you thought Star Wars was a movie. The weapon has built-in infrared sensor targeting system that locks on to the incoming missile at distances which are classified. It has proven effective in a 100% of its testing. Of course, we are a long way from developing a personal sized laser weapon to replace projectile firing guns. Mack has many other cool weapons to show his audience.

      If this program doesn’t make you feel like a man, then you’re a hopeless weenie. Get a beer and check it out.

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