The University of Texas Connection

Well out of ear-shot of dissenting voices, researchers at UT's J.J. Pickle Research Center in Northwest Austin, develop weapons systems that play directly into the Pentagon's plans for the domination of land, air, sea and space. The University presently operates the Applied Research Laboratories (ARL:UT), one of six Department of Defense managed University Affiliated Research Centers in the country. In addition to ARL:UT, the neighboring Institute for Advanced Technology , the Center for Aeromechanics, the Center for Electromechanics , and the Robotics Research Group receive substantial funding from various branches of the armed services.

ARL:UT carries out research, development, engineering, and testing on an exclusive basis for the Department of Defense. ARL:UT is actually five separate labs working in distinct areas: The Advanced Technology Laboratory develops Navy surveillance systems, while the Environmental Science Laboratory develops technologies to enhance Naval Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilities. The Information Systems Laboratory specializes in Electronic Warfare and the Signal Physics Laboratory's focus is Undersea Warfare. The Space and Geophysics Laboratory is developing sensing systems to support U.S. ballistic missile targeting as well as research in Ultra-Wideband technology to allow for real-time monitoring capabilities necessary for National Missile Defense.

Some of the most insidious research is done at IAT and the Center for Electromechanics (UT-CEM.) Since 1986 UT-CEM has been developing a variety of technologies that make use of the UT-CEM's knowledge of electromagnetic principles including an Electromagnetic Gun system. The IAT got in the act in 1990 and, like the Applied Research Laboratories works exclusively for the military. Formerly a Federally Funded Research and Development Center, IAT was reclassified in 1994 as the Army's only University laboratory in the nation.

Both UT-CEM and IAT specialize in electronic armaments using electromagnetic propulsion. Electromagnetic propulsion is based on the concept that identical magnetic poles repel and opposite poles attract. When the principle is applied to super-powerful electromagnets it can be used to create a tremendous amount of propulsion power, firing projectiles (missiles and other forms of ammunition) at very high speeds.

One such project, the Cannon Caliber Electromagnetic Launcher (or EM gun for short) uses electromagnetic pulses to propel ammunition at a much faster speed than current weapons. The full-scale version of the system could be sent into space to fire upon the earth below. At the time the initial contract of 6.1 million dollars was awarded, John Bender aide to then Texas Representative J.J. "Jake" Pickle, touted the gun's potential as part of Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative or "Star Wars" (the precursor to National Missile Defense) and commented that the Center for Electromechanics was looking into "placing one of these guns on a platform in space to fire at missiles."

Not much has changed in that respect, according to Russian news agency ITAR-TASS; it is precisely this type of weapon the U.S. is considering for use in space as part on its National Missile Defense program. "The U.S. missile defense concept presupposes the use of modern space-based weapons…the Pentagon does not hide the fact that the deployment of the missile defense system will use modern, the so-called breakthrough, technologies and weapons based on new physical principles. To this end, various laser systems have been designed, beam and microwave weapons, and electromagnetic guns. The deployment of these exotic weapons in outer space is prevented by the 1972 ABM treaty."

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