National Security isn’t always about the flashy solutions. Not everything can be rail guns and one-winged drones. Sometimes you just need a sort of seedy-looking van that slowly, slowly turns into a climate-controlled guard tower.
That, at least, is the goal of defense researcher Terrahawk’s M.U.S.T. platform. That’s Mobile Utility Surveillance Tower if you must know. Check out this video of its deployment.
I have to say, it’s different in the movies and such where these things tend to exist. But I suppose in the interest of stability and durability they can’t have big feet that fire out like jackhammers, and a tower that pops up like a jack in the box.
Although it looks like something you can shoot out of, I don’t think that’s really recommended. It’s a fairly vulnerable target — a speeding car or RPG could easily topple it. Terrahawk recommends it for “emergency response, public event crowd control, [and] general surveillance.” It’s got lights, thermal cameras, and ground radar for monitoring borders, so drug runners beware.
They’re doing a big demonstration of the MUST for the House and Senate next Thursday, at which many Representatives will be overheard to say “couldn’t it go a little faster?” And Terrahawk will respond “well, right now your options are taking two days to build a guard tower, or two minutes to put one of our things up.” The Representative will nod and check his phone.