This article was originally published on January 25, 2017. It has not been updated or revised since then, but we are seeing the same ad from Dr. Moors circulating heavily again (still with a January 2017 date), so re-post it here for your information. The stock teased has been quite volatile but currently is up about 40% since this story first ran, beating the S&P 500’s 18% return.
The latest bit of promotional bloviation from Dr. Kent Moors is all about national defense, and about how the US Navy can protect itself from Chinese attacks in the South China Sea.
Which is a bit of a change of focus for Moors — he has generally positioned himself as an energy industry expert, following his days studying energy policy and consulting with governments while a professor a Duquesne (he’s retired from that now, but was still working there when his first newsletters were launched a few years ago by Money Map). So he pulls out lots of claims about being a national security and intelligence insider, with medals from the government and personal experience on the ground during the Vietnam war as his bona fides.
I have no idea whether he has real expertise or unique “secret” contacts within the intelligence community or not, of, frankly, whether or not he’s really an expert on defense technology… so you’ll have to make your own call on that.
But what we can do is identify what Moors says is the Pentagon’s plan to counter China’s anti-aircraft-carrier missiles and deter China from attacking US carrier groups as the fight over borders in the South China Sea heats up (with lots of US mutual-defense-pact allies, including South Korea and the Philippines, claiming the same territory as China… partly because of the oil and gas in the area).
The big fear factor that Moors pulls out is the Chinese DF-21D missile, which is a “carrier killer” missile that Moors says is too fast to be defended by current missile defense systems like Aegis. And he says that money is pouring into small defense contractors who can provide different or better defenses. Here’s a bit from the ad:
“… behind the scenes, the Pentagon has been secretly placing big bets on a new generation of defense contractors.
“These small firms have been working with DARPA, our top-secret weapons maker, hunting for a way to obliterate the ‘carrier killer’ missile.
“And one of these defense contractors has cracked the code.
“It’s developed something that looks like it comes straight from the pages of a science fiction novel.
“And I’ve been cleared to show you simulated footage of it in action that has never been seen before.”
That “simulated footage that has never been seen before” is, of course, on YouTube for all to see, and it’s from a few years ago. It’s also not from the “secret little company” Moors is pitching, so we’ll have to see what the connection might be.
Here’s the video courtesy of YouTube, in case you missed it:
And here’s a story about it in more detail, it’s one of the latest versions of an electromagnetic railgun… which does indeed send a projectile out of the muzzle at Mach 7 and reach targets at 200+ miles. The one that was written about here, with sea testing planned for 2016, was from BAE Systems, and General Atomics was working on delivering similar projects at least as long ago as 2011 (R&D on these weapons goes back much further than that, though interest has been rekindled in the past decade or so) — it could be that the two companies are working together, I don’t know. General Atomics describes their program here (GA is a private company, just FYI), and BAE Systems here.
The original prototype was getting people excited a decade ago, and phase II of the program from the Office of Naval Research started in 2012, with the goal of demonstrating a reasonable firing rate and improving the practical application of the technology. There seem to be some physical and electrical constraints that prevent it from being a deployable weapon just yet, though I am certainly not an expert on that — you can check out a piece from Popular Mechanics from last Summer here for a better explanation than I can provide (in addition to BAE Systems and General Atomics, that article throws Raytheon into the mix as yet another mega-contractor working on some aspect of these pulsed power systems), and it has also been covered in the past year by the Wall Street Journal, and there has even been speculation from the Motley Fool that speeding up the deployment of railguns would maybe lead to a windfall for General Dynamics, particularly if it increases the number of orders for their new Zumwalt destroyer.
But Kent Moors is not, of course, pitching General Dynamics — that’s a $50 billion defense contractor, and he’s talking up a company that he says has a market cap of $380 million. So we can conclude, quite obviously, that Moors’ claims that this tiny company has some sort of monopoly on this railgun technology fall under the category of “poppycock,” since certainly the company would have had something to do with the testing to date, or been mentioned as a key contractor by someone along the way, if it were the one contractor with a hold on this program.
But perhaps there’s something real under the copywriter’s hype. So what is the actual company being teased?
“Today, the Pentagon Is Fast-Tracking Billions into a Series of Top-Secret Weapons Programs to Defeat the Chinese
“They’re being run through the Strategic Capabilities Office, or SCO.Are you getting our free Daily Update
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“This new unit is the action arm of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Re