back to article USAF cops seek netflinger rifle to down ultralights, paragliders

The US Air Force security police have issued a requirement for a portable net-throwing gun able to bring down parachutists or people in motorised hang-gliders - apparently without killing them. The Security Forces Center, responsible for equipping the USAF's security police, refers to the proposed tangler-gun as a Counter …


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  1. Joe K
    Black Helicopters

    Tech from 1000BC

    How about a flaming arrow?

    That'd certainly convince the floating miscreants to get the hell down to the deck ASAP when their chute is being engulfed by flames.

  2. jon


    Like bean bag guns? Tennis ball launchers? Or maybe expanding foam pellets from a pb gun?

    Cow poo launcher?

    Or if the person is endanger lives or about to... shoot them.

  3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    Presumably, the design is expected to incorporate a balistic recovery parachute system, like the one increasingly used on small GA airplanes.

    However, in that case such BRS (parachute, rocket motor, activation system) will have to travel to the target together with the net, and it weighs about 40kg.

    If a 40kg projectile will hit you (or you will hit a 40kg projectile) while flying at, what, 60kt, you will likely not need any recovery system at all, whether at 500ft or 5ft above ground.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    extremist sports?

    Put be down for target shoeing.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Aerial Raider Stopping Equipment surely?

  6. Richard


    Best not - it might remind ne'er-do-wells that the nets were most commonly fought with Tridents. Britain's so called Indepedent Nuclear deterrent would then have to be put to rather more entertaining use.

    Flames, well because...

  7. Ru


    is the finest acronym the reg has yet suggested. Contrived yet appropriate; you've put the professionals to shame with that one. Outstanding!

  8. Robert Grant Silver badge


    Your suggestion endangers lives.

  9. Paul Murphy

    Other approaches..

    A number of rapid firing guns that fired (biodegradable) sticky balls around an inch or two in diameter. Fire enough of these (dependent on target) to immobilize/ bring them down, say 20 or 30 for a parachutist, 200 for an ultralight.

    Better for simply covering a large area, may not be so good in cold/wet environments.

    A series of nets tied to the ground at one end, and rockets at the other end, that detect a target and shoot up in front of target at an appropriate time. Better for long-term installations and larger targets, though expensive for large installations.

    Blimps or balloons with booms dangling many chains underneath (or something).

    Optimus Prime?


  10. Anonymous Coward

    Air fishing...?

    If you want to arrest somebody that happens to be on a parachute, forcing the said chute not to fulfill its desired function of lifting would be fatal, yes?

    How about some anchoring method, like a grappling hook (preferably hurling it at his trousers, for everybody amusement) or some fly fishing hooks /barbels?

    In this fashion, he would still have some buoyancy, while at the same time he could be reeled in like a fat fish.

    The scene would pretty much look like a amazingly large kid's fly kite, which would be comical, in the least.

    Mine is the one floating the wind.

  11. Inachu

    Military is just paranoid.

    Military is paranoid about people visiting Area 52 now that area 51 fad has died.

  12. Damn Yank

    able... to... bring... down... parachutists...

    Or, just wait a few moments.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Acme Equipment?

    A comedy sink plunger attached to a long rope, possibly fired from a crossbow would enable the troops on the ground to reel the intruder in quite effectively.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    A net?

    Can't see a net working, as everyone else has mentioned it will stop what lift they have and they'll come down rather rapidly and no doubt messily. Maybe they need to think beyond a net and use some kind of expanding foam solution which solidifys quickly in the air. Either deployed from a hose pipe (squirt the annoyance in the air), or maybe some kind of foam grenade. Fire at whomever, and a big ass foam snowball falls to earth with a thud, but less damaging to the occupant than hitting the ground as a pizza.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    As someone who has done skydiving - both tandem and solo - when you are at <500ft, you are already preparing to land (unless something has gone terribly wrong), so their requirement of "able to bring down parachutists" is like a cow's opinion (a moo point).

    My thinking is that they should have the net attached to a lookout tower in such a way that once entangled, the perp can be reeled in (faster than 9.8m/s/s!) and left to dangle until such time as people can be bothered to recover the net.

    An alternative, for a mobile installation, would be to monitor the height of the entangled perp and launch a suitably sized rocket to provide adequate (but not excessive) lift when the perp is <50ft from impact, giving them a nice soft landing (the net being on elasticated string attached to said rocket).


    Or fire shards of glass at the perp, then blame it on the locals throwing bottles over the fence, but it may only work in rough areas.

  16. druck Silver badge

    Blow hard

    Just get a big fan and blow them back the way they came!

  17. TeeCee Gold badge
    Black Helicopters


    CULAPS? I see what they did there. By engineering it so that the "U" and "L" both come from the same word "UltraLight", they've ensured that nobody can insert additional words for "N", "T" and "F" in-between.......

    Humourless bastards. I reckon they've been reading El Reg and wised up to us.

  18. Goatan
    Thumb Up


    Lewis, a joy to read as always.

    PS I have some of what your having ><

  19. Luther Blissett

    It's all very puzzling

    Have the USAF cops not heard of black helicopters?

    Just fly one over the alien intruding whatnot and the downdraught from the rotors should do the business. Heck, if they flew it at angle, they could even force the whatnot to come down beside the mess hut or whatever location was most convenient.

  20. Frank Bough
    Thumb Up

    What's wrong with

    ...a harpoon gun? If they can handle whales, they must be able to deal with a ULM.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Net based aerial combat

    Whilst holidaying in New Zealand a few years ago I remember being shown a device used to capture wild animals. It was a net launcher fired from a helicopter!

    There was also a photograph of a fool who had fired the net into his own rotor blades with entirely predictable (non leathal I might add!) results!

    Perhaps these people could learn something from the Kiwis, they seem to have a handle on net launching technology!

    And if any 'tards want to start squealing 'we have net launchers here in wiscon-tah already' I dont give a f*ck. I saw them in NZ, thats where they are prom AFAIK. That is the end of this matter.


    Black helicopter....well a helicopter that shoots nets to catch miscreants....what else was I going to put?

  22. Pierre

    Lethal or not

    As you noted, the "non-lethal" thing is to avoid criticism from the wooly-gilet goat rearers, so it just needs to look like it's not been designed to kill. The fact that it will cause death at every use is, well, how do they say? A regrettable side-effect?

    Anyway, I think the non-lethal aspect was not especially wanted in the first place. Sticking a bullet in the head of a ultralight-mounted kamikaze bomber, at a 500 ft altitude, is a _bad_ idea. Trapping him in a net (Which will make him fall right where he is, or that you can subsequently drag anywhere you want with a wire) is much better for obvious reasons.

  23. JC

    Quite Unnecessary

    All they really need is a huge can of silly string.

  24. Bounty

    same tech used to take down whales

    Why not just use a spear gun with a cable? If it tears the airframe, it'll come down the same way as the net approach. If it just passes through the framework, then you can reel them in alive. If it hits a person, whoops. If they are in some kind of flying car it should penetrate it and stick to it, and you can once again reel it in.

    <----U-----....................... ME

    They say the thing should be light... but that wouldn't necesarily take down a flying car then. unless it was tethered. A spear would fly better than a net. Gravity will take care of a parachute.

  25. Elmer Phud

    Having just watched . . .

    Spiderman 1and 2 - along with a few spliffs - the designers came up with a new idea for trapping miscreants in flight.

    Could have been worse, if they'd been watching The Fly it would have been a fly-swat the size of half a football pitch (U.K. pitch that is. I'm unsure of the same area in micro-Wales' )

  26. Sam
    Thumb Up

    Use old technology

    Use a water cannon.

    The ammunition is cheap & it's an established means of 'non-lethal crowd control'.

    If your target then falls to his death that is then a matter for regret - but the method has a long track record of use in detering demonstrators on the ground, and it's not your fault the guy was flying high.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    non-lethel? Until you hit te ground, or the fence, or a tree...

    Until you hit the ground. Your stripping away control as well as lift and a fall from 30 feet can kill you quite easily.

    That the problem with these systems which are more correctly called "reduced lethality" weapons. If they weren't potentially lethal they'd let Joe/Jane Average carry them concealed.

  28. Alasdair Russell

    Appropriate Acronym

    Surely a better name would be -












  29. Steve

    "net-throwing gun able to bring down parachutists "

    Because, without use of this new gun, those clever parachutists would forever remain suspended in the air.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    why not just use that heat-gun thingy?

    as above.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Non-lethal my ass

    As the owner of an ultralight trike, let me assure you that causing me to lose all lift at 500 feet is a death sentence. Not instantly, I'd probably get to live for a few minutes after impact... I believe it possible that I could be doing faster than terminal velocity...

    So please, if you want me out of your airspace, be a man and just shoot my ass down. I knew I wasn't supposed to be there.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    I liked the PLUMMET acronym...

    Since we can't call the launcher a Spider-Man (tm) anyways...

    Black Chopper, because I would fly very close to this 'tard and blow him away with my silent rotors!

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