Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:36 pm
Warning - Thread Drift - amusing & true story re projectile tracking systems.
In the mid 80’s I worked for a large UK based Defense electronics manufacturer. They had a system designed to be installed on military vehicles, VIP cars or even aircraft - which would track projectiles ranging from RPG’s and Bullets through to Anti- tank and cruise missiles.
I needed to give a demonstration of this system to a Middle Eastern Head of State. I explained to him that to demo the system, I needed to have one of my team fire an air pistol pellet across the detectors, and that it would then track the projectile, give avoidance advice and instantaneously compute the point of origin (which could then be used to direct retaliatory fire).
The H-O-S was an extremely intelligent man (Sandhurst Graduate and prizewinner) and fully understood what was involved in the demo - and was happy to participate. However he somehow failed to brief his personal bodyguards on what would happen.
At the appropriate point in the demo, I confirmed with the VIP that I could proceed to fire the air pistol, and then nodded to my colleague some feet away, to fire the pellet. As he reached into his jacket pocket to withdraw the air pistol, he was pummelled to the ground and sat upon by 4-5 (extremely large) Royal Bodyguards. He was only hospitalised for 48 hours - Oops!
But the point is that these type of systems were in service 35 years ago.