Saturday, June 14, 2003

A DIY Cruise Missile for under $5,000 (巡弋飛彈 DIY 只花五千美元)

A DIY Cruise Missile for under $5,000 (巡弋飛彈 DIY 只花五千美元)

A DIY Cruise Missile
Watch me build one for under $5,000

Some time ago I wrote an article in which I suggested that it would not be difficult for terrorists to build their own relatively sophisticated cruise missiles using off-the-shelf components and materials.

Included in this feedback, I've received quite a number of emails from former and currently serving US military personnel who acknowledge that the threat is one they are very much aware of and for which there is little in the way of an effective defense available.

However, there have also been a number of people who claim I'm overstating the case and that it's not possible to build a real cruise missile without access to sophisticated gear, specialist tools and information not readily available outside the military.

So, in order to prove my case, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and build a cruise missile in my own garage, on a budget of just US$5,000.

I like to think of this project as the military version of "Junkyard Wars".

Editor's Comments:

Personally, I suspect it's entirely possible for any reasonably well-educated civilian to build a cruise missile in one's garage workshop at astonishingly low cost. Whether it would actually be below the $5,000 figure the author cites is not important. A fully functional, massively lethal cruise missile could probably be built for less than the sticker price of an economy car.

This development has important implications for ordinary consumers in the modern world. It means that prohibitively expensive advanced technology could actually be made surprisingly affordable. The boundless creativity of individuals in the private sector could just as easily be applied to medical technology that would benefit mankind, not just to the proliferation of destructive weaponry. In a roundabout way, this is very good news indeed.

-- Bevin Chu

Explanation: A DIY Cruise Missile
Illustration(s): Bruce Simpson
Author(s): Bruce Simpson
Affiliation: Aardvark Daily
Publication Date: June 14, 2003
Original Language: English
Editor: Bevin Chu, Registered Architect

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