• Maneuverable bullet to enhance sniper accuracy

    Snipers have to contend with disruptions such as changing winds, muzzle velocity dispersions, and round-to-round variations; Teledyne, with funding from DARPA, offers a solution in the form of the first-ever guided small-caliber .50 bullet

  • President Clinton lost nuclear "biscuit" for a couple of months

    The nuclear “football” is a heavy metal briefcase containing the communication information and nuclear release codes which allow the president to launch nuclear weapons against an adversary; the football is carried by a military aide who is never more than a few steps away from the president; before the order can be processed by the military, however, the president must be positively identified by using a special code issued on a plastic card, nicknamed the “biscuit”; the biscuit is often carried by the president himself — in his shirt or breast pocket; a new book charges that President Clinton misplaced the nuclear biscuit for a few months — and that the loss was discovered only when he was asked to produce it so it could be updated; President Carter, too, mishandled the biscuit: he left the card with the launch codes in a suit sent to the dry cleaner

  • Unease grows about China's rare Earth elements monopoly

    Rare Earth elements are quite abundant in the Earth’s crust, but environmental concerns and aggressive subsidies by China’s government to Chinese manufacturers have led to a Chinese near-monopoly: 90 percent of the world’s rare Earth elements are now being mined and processed in China; growing unease with this Chinese dominance has led to renewed efforts around the world to develop alternatives to rare Earth elements, and find environmentally sound ways to mine them

  • DARPA seeks self-aiming, one-shot sniper rifle

    Lockheed Martin awarded $6.9 million to develop a sniper rifle to operate over a range of visibilities, atmospheric turbulence, scintillation, and environmental conditions; the company’s objective is to deliver fifteen field-testable and hardened prototype systems by October 2011

  • Satellite images show Hezbollah training in Syria missile base

    Syria’s Assad has been presenting himself to Europe and the United States as a peace-seeker, but he continues to maintain his strategic alliance with Iran and Hezbollah; Google Earth photos show Scuds at base near Damascus, and also show Hezbollah militants being trained in maintaining and firing the missiles

  • Inverted prisms make ray guns practical

    Lasers can be powerful weapons — they can take down an aircraft at long ranges and in unstable conditions, for instance; they are hampered, though, by power and size limits, so they are not yet widely used by the military; Lockheed Martin says it has a solution

  • Cole's legacy: a different U.S. Navy

    The terrorist bomb attack on the destroyer Cole on 12 October 2000 was a watershed moment in modern Navy history; it was also a wake-up call on the need for better force protection, damage-control training, intelligence sharing, shipboard equipment, and mass-casualty response

  • Russia's inflatable military

    Russia is building inflatable weapons which, to an enemy radar or satellite imagery, appear like real weapons; they are easy to transport and quick to deploy — and they cost far less to produce then real weapons

  • USAF develops UAVs that fly themselves

    A U.S. Air Force project will allow UAVs to fly themselves — in multiple-aircraft formations — without colliding; the USAF is working to develop systems that unmanned aircraft can use to sense the presence of other aircraft and take action to prevent collisions that are safe enough so that UAVs can perform any Air Force mission

  • Giant blimps to ferry hospitals, buildings to disaster zones

    Giant airship will be able to lift up to 150 tons — more than seven times the weight that helicopters are able to carry; the airship, which will be able to move aid — or even portable hospitals and entire buildings — to remote areas or disaster zones, harnesses aerostatic lift, meaning it is able to fly using lighter-than-air (LTA) gases that keep it buoyant rather than aerodynamic lift

  • Skullduggery on a massive scale

    Stuxnet, the malware which attacked more than 30,000 computers used in industrial control systems in Iran, including that country’s nuclear weapons facilities, represents a new class and dimension of malware; it can reach into the physical world, allowing attackers to run motors so fast they burn out, to turn off alarms and safety cut-offs, open effluent valves and activate pumps — in the words of Paul Marks, it allows attackers to “carry out industrial sabotage and skullduggery on a massive scale”

  • The five fantastic flying machines from the Pentagon

    DARPA has given a Maryland-based company $3 million to develop a flying Humvee; the Pentagon’s restless research arm has an impressive track record when it comes to audacious flying machine ideas — some of which have never made it off the drawing board, while others are still being pursued

  • Raytheon engineers show Iron Man suit

    The new robotic suit enables the wearer easily to lift 200lb several hundred times without tiring and repeatedly punch through three inches of wood; yet, the suit, which was developed for the U.S. Army, is also agile and graceful enough to let its wearer kick a football, punch a speed bag, or climb stairs and ramps with ease

  • Norway bans testing of Israel-bound submarines

    Israel is buying additional submarines for two purposes: first, move some of its nuclear second-strike capabilities to sea in order to enhance its deterrence posture; second, have more cruise missile-carrying submarines available to position off the Iranian coast for possible attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities; Norway, which is critical of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, has informed the German builder of the Israel-bound submarines that Norway will no longer allow deep-water testing of these submarines in the Norwegian submarine base the German company had leased

  • Brazil uses chemical "fingerprints" to trace trafficked cocaine

    Brazilian federal police have used chemical profiling to determine that cocaine is being trafficked into the country via new routes; they are now compiling the most comprehensive database of the chemical fingerprints of illicit drugs in South America, which will be used to pinpoint where the cocaine is originally made