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Which projects would have generated maximum controversy it produced?

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shin_getter

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You all know what they are, there are pieces of equipment that generates unending amounts of controversy whenever discussed. What has been commonly discussed is limited to things that the general public knows about, while huge number of lesser known projects were out of consideration.

So which cancelled projects would be placed at the right spot for maximum controversy (to the point of fueling entire sub-forums for years of discussion) if only tiny parts of procurement history changed.

We may have to figure out what is it that generate controversy and discussion and back pattern match it to existing history for this.
 

riggerrob

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Canadian Bobcat Armoured Personnel Carrier.
 

zen

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So the obvious big ticket items that generate controversy in the UK are:-

Nuclear weapons, any and all of them.

Nuclear Submarines, all of them but especially the SSBNs

CVA-01 in fact any power projection asset like this. But especially large aircraft carriers.

TSR.2, but really any long range nuclear delivery system. Including of course Missiles.

Deeper however and whatever you pick, wherever whenever, if the UK tried to do it itself
And I mean anything!
Then that is subject to controversy.

Pick it.
Guns
Radar
Missiles
Aircraft
Tanks
You name it
The only area that somehow sneaks past this reaction is jet engines.
 

sferrin

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Orion "battleships" would be my first choice. Project Pluto the second.
 

sferrin

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SLAM PLUTO indeed. An horror of doomsday weapon.
That was reasonably sane compared to the Soviet YaRD ICBM.
I'd argue the SLAM was the worst of the two. YaRD had one warhead and all the radioactive elements would come down in roughly the same area. SLAM had 16 warheads and could reach anywhere on the planet, spewing radioactivity all the way.
 

uk 75

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Foo Fighter

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The club, not the musical kind, it developed into every other weapon to follow. No idea why anyone would pick on anything the Brits do alone, we have done pretty bloody well in fairness.
 

riggerrob

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HMCS Bra d’Or HSE 400 hydrofoil sub-chaser.
 

Foo Fighter

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The British Atomic Demolition Munition kept warm by chickens would have upset us Brits. But this whole thread has deeply controversial weaponry that existed but was not well known except for Davy Crocket which indirectly caused a political scandal in West Germany.
For some reason I had a mind's eye picture of cartoon chickens from a certain stop motion film sitting on a clutch of these things. Properly weird, I must be missing something from my diet perhaps.
 

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Orionblamblam

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Pluto? Orion? Nuclear chickens? Bah! Mere pikers in the "controversy" game. You want *real* controversy, I give you... EATR.

Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot
The project elicited some internet and media rumors after news circulated that the robot would (or at least could) ingest human remains.

It was apparently intended to really only use vegetable matter to provide power. But dead bodies are a perfectly cromulent form of fuel, if utilized properly. So a hypothetical battlefield robot designed to pick up and consume dead humans *specifically* could have been produced.

Now, if you want to make it *really* controversial, design and build and program it to not just do normal battlefield robot jobs, but also... hmmm. "Desecrate the dead Reaver-style" or "do blasphemous things to religious sites." Other weapons mentioned hereabouts would blow stuff up or spread poison around, but a robot *could* be programmed - or could learn - to do actual war crimes/crimes against humanity for psy-ops. Or just because.

Heck, fit it with a bioreactor that allows the robot to generate an unending supply of smallpox or Trixie or Cap'n Trips as it uses corpses to fuel it's long, slow trudge across the surface of the world.
 

_Del_

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I came here to say Pluto, but Scott wins.
 

Archibald

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Pluto? Orion? Nuclear chickens? Bah! Mere pikers in the "controversy" game. You want *real* controversy, I give you... EATR.

Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot
The project elicited some internet and media rumors after news circulated that the robot would (or at least could) ingest human remains.

It was apparently intended to really only use vegetable matter to provide power. But dead bodies are a perfectly cromulent form of fuel, if utilized properly. So a hypothetical battlefield robot designed to pick up and consume dead humans *specifically* could have been produced.

Now, if you want to make it *really* controversial, design and build and program it to not just do normal battlefield robot jobs, but also... hmmm. "Desecrate the dead Reaver-style" or "do blasphemous things to religious sites." Other weapons mentioned hereabouts would blow stuff up or spread poison around, but a robot *could* be programmed - or could learn - to do actual war crimes/crimes against humanity for psy-ops. Or just because.

Heck, fit it with a bioreactor that allows the robot to generate an unending supply of smallpox or Trixie or Cap'n Trips as it uses corpses to fuel it's long, slow trudge across the surface of the world.
A solyent robot, kind of...
 

sferrin

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sferrin

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Pluto? Orion? Nuclear chickens? Bah! Mere pikers in the "controversy" game. You want *real* controversy, I give you... EATR.

Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot
The project elicited some internet and media rumors after news circulated that the robot would (or at least could) ingest human remains.

It was apparently intended to really only use vegetable matter to provide power. But dead bodies are a perfectly cromulent form of fuel, if utilized properly. So a hypothetical battlefield robot designed to pick up and consume dead humans *specifically* could have been produced.

Now, if you want to make it *really* controversial, design and build and program it to not just do normal battlefield robot jobs, but also... hmmm. "Desecrate the dead Reaver-style" or "do blasphemous things to religious sites." Other weapons mentioned hereabouts would blow stuff up or spread poison around, but a robot *could* be programmed - or could learn - to do actual war crimes/crimes against humanity for psy-ops. Or just because.

Heck, fit it with a bioreactor that allows the robot to generate an unending supply of smallpox or Trixie or Cap'n Trips as it uses corpses to fuel it's long, slow trudge across the surface of the world.
Heh, forgot about that one. :D Ever read the short story, "The Second Variety" by Philip K. Dick?
 

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Charlton Heston (later, NRA gunsmith) part-funded and starred in a sci-fi 1960s movie, Soylent Green, from George Stewart's novel, Earth Abides. Plague. No food...except little green lozenges made from....
 

uk 75

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Talking of Sci fi another bad idea seems to be working on a virus in lots of places all around the world at the same time with lots of scientists desperate to use it to develop something as quickly as possible and inject lots of people with it..... Too farfetched, I know.. I feel a bit like the Omega Man when I go out once a week to raid my local supermarket.
 
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Grey Havoc

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Talking of Sci fi another bad idea seems to be working on a virus in lots of places all around the world at the same time with lots of scientists desperate to use it to develop something as quickly as possible and inject lots of people with it..... Too farfetched, I know.. I feel a bit like the Omega Man when I go out once a week to raid my local supermarket.
Genetically engineered DNA targeted viruses are a concern, especially so-called 'Slatewipers' which are designed to wipe out entire ethnic groups and races.
 

Grey Havoc

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Speaking of genetic engineering projects, here is another one that is likely to be controversial:

1587988521968.png

:>

(Flees as the female members of the forum grab a stake and start gathering wood for a bonfire)
 
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pathology_doc

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a sci-fi 1960s movie, Soylent Green, from George Stewart's novel, Earth Abides.
I always thought it was from Harry Harrison's "Make Room! Make Room!" - which I read when I was young and found to be nothing like the movie.

Lastly, compared to nuclear-powered planes, missiles, and cars, it wasn't a danger to the public.
It doesn't need to be a danger to the public to be controversial. It just needs to be expensive in money, resources and manpower only to prove totally useless as some brilliant new discovery makes it obsolete very soon after it comes out, leaving the development and procurement team with egg on their faces.
 

sferrin

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It doesn't need to be a danger to the public to be controversial. It just needs to be expensive in money, resources and manpower only to prove totally useless as some brilliant new discovery makes it obsolete very soon after it comes out, leaving the development and procurement team with egg on their faces.
And what does that for the XB-70? SAMs? Please. The B-52 is still flying.
 

Fluff

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Project Orion for sure, as every rich nation would need their own.

I would suggest suicide weapons, perhaps paired to nukes again.

since footfall, I love rods from gods, but again the threat of weapons ‘dropping’ on us has been seen as extra bad, compared to say a nice ballistic missile....

ethnically targeted biological weapons, easy to get wrong, as we can all see at the moment.....

and somewhat related to blade runner, biological robots mimicking humans, would be controversial, you can watch the documentary called westworld to see what could happen......
 

riggerrob

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a sci-fi 1960s movie, Soylent Green, from George Stewart's novel, Earth Abides.
I always thought it was from Harry Harrison's "Make Room! Make Room!" - which I read when I was young and found to be nothing like the movie.

Lastly, compared to nuclear-powered planes, missiles, and cars, it wasn't a danger to the public.
It doesn't need to be a danger to the public to be controversial. It just needs to be expensive in money, resources and manpower only to prove totally useless as some brilliant new discovery makes it obsolete very soon after it comes out, leaving the development and procurement team with egg on their faces.
Are you talking about the Canadian Long Gun Registry?
 

riggerrob

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HMCS Bra d’Or HSE 400 hydrofoil sub-chaser.
Or this?
View attachment 630874
Funny how you mentioned that Saunders-Roe hydrofoil.
Bras d-Or started as a (British) Royal Navy, Coastal Command pipe-dream. Then it got handed to the National Research Council of Canada who fobbed off the project on the Royal Canadian Navy. Meanwhile, the RCN was struggling to keep their last aircraft carrier (HMCS Bonaventure) afloat while inventing the next generation of submarine-chasing destroyers.
Canadian admirals were slowly realizing that they could only do one mission well, and that mission was sub-chasing with helicopters launched from destroyers.
All these fancy hydrofoils were going to need a couple more decades worth of metalurgical advancement, etc.
 

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How about the sort of weapons that would destroy the planet, in one go.

blow up the moon, poison the oceans, Burn all the air.

weapons based upon sex?
Male/female sterilisation weapon?
Or indeed the opposite, every woman pregnant at the same time? Think of the resources burned up.

Blindness- ala mr Wyndham?

Would anyone count a device that stopped you dying from natural causes as a weapon?
 

zen

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The objective of war is to make the other side do what you want.
So ultimately a weapon system is a means to achieve that end.

The most controversial and yet the most potent weapon is.....language.

For through words, through communication, one can effect the mind of the enemy and persuade them to do your will.
So profoundly horrifying is this weapon, it can make your enemy do your will in complete conviction they are acting in their own interests.
 

Orionblamblam

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Genetically engineered DNA targeted viruses are a concern, especially so-called 'Slatewipers' which are designed to wipe out entire ethnic groups and races.
{Insert requisite virtue signalling about "Racism R Bad" and "Genocide No Gud" HERE. Moving on...}

The biggest problem with a disease intended to wipe out or incapacitate a particular ethnic group is... damn thing will mutate. You set out with the modest goal of eliminating the {REDACTED}, and before you know it the whole planet is bleeding from its eyeballs.
 

Orionblamblam

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Would anyone count a device that stopped you dying from natural causes as a weapon?
Quite possibly. Some sort of magical device that keeps a person alive after getting kerploded, losing arms and legs and whatnot, might *seem* like a good thing... but if it keeps said person not only alive but conscious and screaming? Yeah, that'd be one *hell* of a psyops weapon system. Fill the enemies hospitals with shrieking abominations begging for death, and, depending on your enemy, they will either:
1: Have their health care systems rapidly overloaded while their doctors and nurses run headlong into the looney bins
2: Have their crematoria packed to capacity, with a lot of people being tasked with the unenviable job of loading up the living.

#2 would be the most immediately pragmatic response by the enemy, but even that will quickly tax their resources *and* generate a bunch of people who will likely become sort of the New Untouchables. This could also play hell with their religious culture.

Something like this would of course fall into the "magic" category, and thus is likely fully impossible.

Something perhaps more possible would be a system that causes hallucinations of a directed variety on large masses of people, sort of technological telepathy. If you could project false images or scenarios into people heads, make them see what you want them to see, you can cause *all* kinds of havoc. Enemy has a single very important religion? Here's god telling them they're wrong and going to hell until they repent, change their ways and convert to Fill In The Blank. Has the twin advantages of being both effective *and* controversial.

But these are sci-fi, not really "secret projects."
 

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Genetically engineered DNA targeted viruses are a concern, especially so-called 'Slatewipers' which are designed to wipe out entire ethnic groups and races.
{Insert requisite virtue signalling about "Racism R Bad" and "Genocide No Gud" HERE. Moving on...}

The biggest problem with a disease intended to wipe out or incapacitate a particular ethnic group is... damn thing will mutate. You set out with the modest goal of eliminating the {REDACTED}, and before you know it the whole planet is bleeding from its eyeballs.
Indeed, spillover would be a major potential problem with such weapons.
 

kaiserd

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Genetically engineered DNA targeted viruses are a concern, especially so-called 'Slatewipers' which are designed to wipe out entire ethnic groups and races.
{Insert requisite virtue signalling about "Racism R Bad" and "Genocide No Gud" HERE. Moving on...}

The biggest problem with a disease intended to wipe out or incapacitate a particular ethnic group is... damn thing will mutate. You set out with the modest goal of eliminating the {REDACTED}, and before you know it the whole planet is bleeding from its eyeballs.
Indeed, spillover would be a major potential problem with such weapons.
The same weapons are impacted by the fact that in general different races and ethnic groups are artificial human concepts/ divisions with little genetic underpinnings.
Hence a stakeholders in racist Apartheid South Africa may have had fantasies about such weapons but the scientists asked to create them rubbed up with the fact that any such weapon would have also have targeted/ impacted large proportions of the minority “white” population.
The actual science doesn’t match up to racist fantasies.
 
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