• Drone security questions raised years ago

    Questions about the security of drone communications were raised years ago; in 2004, U.S. officials raised concerns about Russia and China intercepting and manipulating video from drone aircraft, but the military believed it was facing more pressing issues; officers at the time were not concerned about communications being intercepted in Iraq or Afghanistan because they believed militants were technically unsophisticated.

  • U.S. Army working to encrypt UAV video feeds

    The Army is scrambling to secure the live video feeds from its UAVs from being intercepted by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan; Raven drones will be retrofitted with encryption technology as early as this month; the U.S. Air Force has known for more than a decade that the live video feeds from its unmanned aerial vehicles can be intercepted by the enemy but opted not to do anything about it until this year.

  • Safer ride: Lockheed ,A-V deliver vehicle-mounted anti-IED devices

    IEDs kill more U.S. and coalition soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan than any other weapon used by militants; Lockheed Martin received a $940 million contract to produce a counter-IED jamming device, and the first of these vehicle-mounted systems are being delivered to the theater.

  • IDF aims for quieter, sturdier UAVs

    The IDF has issues an RFP for a stealthy UAV; the quiet UAV will be attached to battalions in the theater to provide surveillance on a tactical, pinpointed level; also, in an effort to increase its intelligence-gathering capabilities, the IAF will in the coming months establish a new squadron of Heron TP UAVs, called the Eitan, manufactured by IAI

  • Russia wants more Israeli spy UAVs

    Russia tried, but failed, to develop its own fleet of advanced UAVs; it has purchased a dozen UAVs from Israel already, and now wants Israel to sell it the most advanced UAVs in Israel’s arsenal; the Russian publicly say that they will reverse-engineer the technology, and Israel is going along because this the price the Russians demanded for not supplying Iran with advanced S-300 air defense systems

  • Battlefield walker machines received $3 million for more studies

    DARPA wants a robotic walker – in fact, a robotic pack mule — to help soldiers in the field by carrying their heavy gear; Boston Dynamics, the company developing the robot, has spoken previously of using the same walker technology in urban environments or indoors, and it has already developed a fairly advanced two-legged machine.

  • U.S. Air Force offers more details on stealth UAV

    After much speculation and many rumors, the USFA reveals that it has been using a new-design UAV — deep, fat centerbody blended into the outer wings – for surveillance missions in Afghanistan; observers note that with its low-observable design, the aircraft could be useful for flying the borders of Iran and peering into China, India, and Pakistan for useful data about missile tests and telemetry, as well as gathering signals and multi-spectral intelligence

  • Napolitano details DHS counter-IEDs measures

    Terrorists are trying to import IED technology and methods from Iraq and Afghanistan into the United States; Napolitano said that effective defending against IED attacks means American collective responsibility: Individual citizens need to say something when they see something suspicious and everyone needs to do their part to strengthen the preparedness of their families, their communities, and their businesses.

  • Market for counter-IED technologies growing

    Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are a significant threat in many conflict zones, most notably in Afghanistan and Iraq; the United States has spent billions of dollars on IED countermeasures, but still IEDs are a number one threat to U.S. military personnel in the theater; there is a large market for IED countermeasures and defense, with leading and developing countries worldwide investing steadily in those products

  • U.S. Air Force looking for miniature weapons for UAVs

    Currently, UAVs in combat overseas mostly use standard air weapons; the lightest, most delicate option available to a prowling UAVs is the Hellfire missile, a hefty hundred-pound laser guided rocket which was originally developed for the purpose of taking out heavily-armored main battle tanks; the U.S. Air Force tasks Boeing’s Phantom Works with developing a smaller, lighter missile more suitable for fighting terrorists

  • DARPA looking to equip MRAPs with autonomous guns to engage enemy

    DARPA’s Counter Rocket-Propelled Grenade and Shooter System with Highly Accurate Immediate Responses, or CROSSHAIRS, project will engage enemy soldiers autonomously, or remotely operated, while simultaneously shooting rockets out of the air

  • U.S. will not arm drones flying reconnaissance missions over Gulf of Aden -- yet

    The governments of the United States and the Seychelles agreed to use Mahé regional airport as a base for U.S. UAVs flying over the Gulf of Aden in an effort to gather intelligence on Somali pirates; the U.S. says it is not currently considering arming the UAVs

  • DARPA looking for methods to freeze soldiers with brain injuries

    Traumatic brain injuries are caused by repeated exposure to blasts, specifically the “supersonic wave” of highly-pressurized air they emit; within a fraction of a second after impact, brain cells, tissues, and blood vessels are stretched, torn, and distorted; over the hours, days, and months that follow, altered brain processes create a snowball effect of damage — which is why symptoms often don’t show up until troops come home; in its solicitation, DARPA notes that a portable brain-cooling unit, deployed in the field, could “extend the golden hour of patient survivability and increase the chances for full recovery”

  • U.S. Navy set to replace trained sea mammals with robots

    Since the 1960s, the U.S. Navy has trained hundreds of sea mammals — dolphins, sea lions, and seals – for various under water missions, including detecting explosives, interceding hostile swimmers, helping locate underwater cables, and general reconnaissance tasks; as these torpedo size underwater robots get cheaper and more capable, the sea mammal program will be phased out

  • Afghan insurgents have found ways to destroy MRAPs

    The Pentagon has spent more than $26.8 billion to develop and build three versions of the largest Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles, or MRAPs, totaling some 16,000 vehicles, mostly for the Army and Marine Corps; another $5.4 billion is being spent to produce 5,244 M-ATVs, the smaller version that U.S. defense officials contend offers as much protection as the large models do, but is more maneuverable and better suited to Afghanistan’s dirt tracks and narrow mountain roads; insurgents in Afghanistan have found ways to cripple, and even destroy, the vehicle