• DARPA looking for VTOL UAV to plant covert spy devices

    The Pentagon is looking for a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) UAV/UASs - or V-Bat - which will autonomously plant such surveillance devices as remote cameras/bugs, communications relays, marker beacons, small battery powered ground-crawler, or inside-buildings flying robots

  • Second test of U.S. jumbo-mounted raygun delayed by technical problem

    The current chemical laser technology uses hazardous fuels to generate the beam (and generates equally hazardous exhausts) and is nowadays seen as unacceptably cumbersome, but it remains the only way right now to generate a truly powerful ray; the likely operational war rayguns of the future will use new electrically powered solid-state technologies which have been going from strength to strength in recent times

  • U.S. swarm satellites will scatter to avoid space-war strikes

    Many aspects of active space warfare — including attack on another nation’s spacecraft — is strictly forbidden by international law and treaty, but the United States intends to be ready for it anyway; new “fractionated” swarm satellites will see groups of small wirelessly linked modules in orbit replacing today’s large spacecraft; the swarm will be able to scatter to avoid enemy attacks and then reform into operational clusters

  • Detecting fertilizer-based IEDs

    Since 2008, IEDs have accounted for more than half of all fatalities incurred by NATO forces in Afghanistan; last year, 275 NATO soldiers died in IED attacks, and that number will likely be surpassed this year; already 228 NATO soldiers have died due to homemade bombs this year; the U.S. military continues to search for IED countermeasures

  • Distinguishing friend from foe: Afghani biometrics database expanded

    In 2009 there were more than 200,000 biometric enrollments put into the biometric identification system operated by Coalition forces in Afghanistan — a system aiming to determine whether members of the Afghan population are insurgents or innocent; 210,000 have been added already in 2010; the military’s goal is to get to 1.65 million enrollments; the Coalition is currently in the process of contracting out an Afghan company to provide Afghan enrollers to go around the country and work at border crossing points, international airports, district headquarters and district jails

  • Evidence shows Turkish use of chemical weapons against Kurdish fighters

    German medical experts have confirmed the authenticity of photographs showing eight dead Kurdish PKK fighters — and that the photos prove that they were killed by “chemical substances”; Turkey has been suspected for a while now of using chemical weapons against Kurdish militants, and German politicians across the political spectrum, as well as human rights organizations, have called on Turkey to explain the findings; Turkey denies the charges, calling them “PKK propaganda”

  • Surge in counterfeit items in Pentagon's supplies

    The U.S. Defense Department’s supply chain is vulnerable to the infiltration of counterfeit parts, potentially jeopardizing the lives of American soldiers; government investigators examined 387 companies and organizations which supply the U.S. Department of Defense, and found 39 percent of these companies and organizations encountered counterfeit electronics during the four-year period 2005-8; the number of counterfeit incidents grew from 3,868 in 2005 to 9,356 in 2008

  • B-2 Stealth bomber engineer convicted of selling stealth technology to China

    A federal jury convicted a former B-2 stealth bomber engineer of helping China design a stealth cruise missile; the case is one of a series of major prosecutions targeting Chinese spying on the United States; in March, Chinese-born engineer Dongfan “Greg” Chung was sentenced to more than fifteen years in prison after he was convicted of six counts of economic espionage; investigators learned about Chung while probing Chi Mak, a defense contractor engineer convicted in 2007 of conspiracy to export U.S. defense technology to China; Mak was sentenced to twenty-four years in prison in 2008

  • Russian researcher: Moscow's heat wave the result of secret U.S. "climate weapon"

    It has been unusually hot in Russia this summer, and a Russian researcher asks whether this heat wave is the result of a secret U.S.“climate weapon”; the author writes that “climate weapons may be reaching their target capacity and may be used to provoke droughts, erase crops, and induce various anomalous phenomena in certain countries”

  • Huge jump in IED attacks in Afghanistan

    Monthly IED “incidents” in Afghanistan — incidents are defined as IEDs placed by insurgents and either found or detonated — from January 2004 to April 2010 has risen dramatically; data shows that an astounding jump in IED incidents occurred beginning summer 2009 — coinciding with the Marine offensive in the Helmand River Valley — and IED attacks have steadily mounted; there were more than 1,000 IED incidents during March, April, and May of this year; one expert says: data shows “that IEDs have become the equivalent of the Stinger [during the mujahedin war against the USSR in the 1980s] in allowing irregular forces to pose a major threat even to the most advanced military forces in the world”

  • UAVs fail to penetrate India's dense forests to track Maoist militants

    Indian security forces, battling the militants of the Naxals Maoist group, say that UAVs which perform well in the deserts of Iraq and the barren mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan, are useless in the densely forested areas of eastern India; Indian security experts say that issues concerning internal security in the country have now reached the board room of Indian business companies and that the new technology these companies produce should be able to meet the specific needs of Indian security forces rather than offer something which is not applicable to Indian conditions

  • Snake-like robots dispose of IEDs

    Snakes are flexible, and they can crawl, slither, swim, climb, or shimmy through narrow spaces; the U.S. military wants to emulate these characteristics in snake-like robots that can replace soldiers in dangerous search and rescue missions, surveillance operations, and IED disposal

  • Wikileaks case exposes security vulnerabilities of the digital age

    Massive leak of documents to Wikileaks highlights the security challenges of the digital age, when gigabytes of stolen data can be shared in one click; the digital communications revolution, while bringing huge benefits to society overall, also raised security concerns; the proliferation of digital media and social software is going to increase the risks of similar leaks happening; one expert says: the Pentagon, like any organization, is going to have “bad actors” — insiders who turn against their employer — “but now it’s a lot easier for them to do things like this”

  • Stealth overcoat hides military equipment

    BAE developed “stealth coating” for military vehicles; the coating makes vehicles and equipment in the field much harder to spot not only visually, but also offers vehicles and equipment protection against detection by radar and thermal imaging devices

  • Sending power wirelessly through inches of steel

    Submarines are made of very thick steel; this keeps them safe, but makes communication and data collection from sensors difficult; currently, 300 holes have to be drilled in a submarine hull to accommodate the sensors and communications technology the vessel requires; researchers develop a way to transmit power wirelessly through several inches of steel — which will allow submarines to communicate without an expensive hole-and-valve system; the technology will also be useful for the nuclear and oil industries