We've always known that the wars of the future would be fought with laser weapons and,well,here we are in the future.The militaries of all three of the world's superpowers–China,Russia,and the US–are busy developing laser weaponspresumably capable of zapping a human being into dust in mere seconds.Or at least causing an excruciatingly painful burn.I mean,it's 2019 after all.If we can't have flying cars we might as well have giant death ray lasers,right?
Or tiny handheld laser pistols,I'm not picky.
This week,government and technology watchdog site Nextgov spotted a curious document published by the Naval Surface Warfare Center at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.The weapons research facility published a solicitation for contractors to bid on destruction services,a fairly common occurrence in top-secret research circles.However,the nature of the materials to be destroyed is somewhat conspicuous:the Navy needs someone to destroy 4,000 pounds of hard disks and other digital media related to its laser weapons research and to do so with the utmost secrecy and security.What does this mean for the US military's research into directed energy weapons?
本周，政府和技术监督网站 Nextgov 发现了一份奇怪的文件，这份文件由位于新墨西哥州的白沙导弹靶场海军水面作战中心公布。该武器研究机构发布了一份邀请承包商参与销毁服务招标的文件，这在绝密研究领域相当普遍。然而，要销毁的材料的性质有点明显:海军需要有人销毁4000磅的硬盘和其他与激光武器研究有关的数字媒体，并且要以最高的保密性和安全性进行销毁。这对美国军方研究定向能武器意味着什么？
It's hard to say,as all of the materials slated for destruction are classified.The call for bids states that for an incineration facility to be considered for the contract,it must be within ten driving hours of White Sands Missile Range,be capable of destroying the materials down to ash within eight to ten hours,and have"at the minimum,secure entry,24-hour armed guards and 24/7 camera surveillance with recordable date and time capabilities."What could be stored in these media that's so sensitive?
The US Navy has for some time been looking into using"directed energy weapons"like lasers to shoot down drones and missiles.
According to Nextgov,the Navy's call for bids disappeared within hours.Has someone won the contract to destroy all of this secret weapons research?What does this revelation mean for the Navy's development of directed energy weapons?Have they perfected a design and no longer need all of the prototypes and test data produced along the way?As with all things related to secret weapons research,we'll likely never know–until the laser beams start flying.
据 Nextgov 称，海军的招标电话在几小时内就消失了。有人赢得了销毁所有这些秘密武器研究的合同吗？这一发现对海军定向能武器的发展意味着什么？他们是否已经完善了设计，不再需要沿途产生的所有原型和测试数据？就像所有与秘密武器研究有关的事情一样，我们可能永远不会知道——直到激光束开始飞行。