• Northrop Grumman successfully demonstrates VADER dismount detection

    Northrop Grumman’s Vehicle and Dismount Exploitation Radar (VADER) capable of tracking vehicles and foot traffic over a wide area; it is used with medium altitude, long endurance UAVs and smaller manned aircraft; it should help U.S. and Coalition forces better detect militants as they try to plant IEDs

  • U.S. Navy SEALs receive new airlock mini-sub

    The U.S. Special Operations Command wants to replace the standard “wet” Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) with a new and enlarged pocket submarine; a mini-sub with a proper pressure hull and an airlock would allow attacking frogmen to travel dry to their target

  • BAE Systems completes first flight test of persistent surveillance

    The ARGUS-IS offer a new real-time persistent surveillance capability for U.S. combat forces to detect, locate, track, and monitor events on battlefields and in urban areas — providing significantly greater video coverage over current airborne capabilities

  • U.S. losing ground in the global defense industry

    The U.S. global dominance of the defense industry is eroding; Russia and China encroach on formerly assured markets, while South Korea, Australia, Pakistan, and India will emerge as strong competitors in the industry

  • DARPA looking to edit soldiers’ DNA to boost performance

    DARPA has budgeted $7.5 million in hopes of “increas[ing] by several decades the speed with which we sequence, analyze and functionally edit cellular genomes”; the agency is also looking for a cybersecurity system which will not rely on technicians to patch security holes once they are found, but will instead have the instincts to go it alone

  • Afghan government bans explosive fertilizer

    Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai has banned ammonium nitrate fertilizers in Afghanistan in order to curtail the Taliban’s ability to produce explosive devices

  • Exoskeleton to be equipped with a 3-day fuel cell powerpack

    The Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC) powered suit runs on lithium-ion batteries at present; it allows a soldier to march easily with a load of 200 lb, but it normally runs flat after just a few hours — significantly less if any jogging or running is done; a new powerpack will correct that

  • Israeli ducted-fan sky-jeep in flight trials

    Fancraft technology is different from hovercraft technology, because hovercrafts cannot actually fly; fancraft technology involves the use of a basic idea: ducted fans, which are essentially enclosed helicopter rotor discs; until now, the technology faced two problems: small thrust discs mean very low efficiency, leading to aircraft with unacceptably poor fuel endurance and payload even in the context of helicopters; secondly, in the past, the ducted-fan machines were almost impossible to control; an Israeli company says it has solved at least the second problem

  • China and India pursue anti-satellite kill technology

    The space arms race accelerates, as China and India announced the development of hit-to-kill anti-satellite weapons; the United States has been developing this technology for years – but since the U.S. military and economy are much more dependent on satellites, the United States becomes more vulnerable as more countries acquire anti-satellite capabilities

  • Collecting – and interpreting -- sensor data

    The U.S. military is relying an ever-greater number of cameras and sensors to collect information; there is a need to turn this mountain of data feeds into usable information for soldiers; Virginia-based Samoff offers its TerraSight product as a solution

  • Robotic cockroaches to help military, law enforcement

    Cockroaches can run fast, turn on a dime, move easily over rough terrain, and react to perturbations faster than a nerve impulse can travel; running cockroach robots could serve valuable roles in difficult jobs, such as military operations, law enforcement, or space exploration. Related technology might also be applied to improve the function of prosthetic limbs for amputees, or serve other needs

  • U.S. Army emphasizes new body armor

    The U.S. Army wants better armor for its soldiers; weight has long been an issue with the body armor the Pentagon issues to troops, and the Pentagon has signed an $18.6-million contract with KDH Defense Systems to send 57,000 new, lighter plate carriers to Afghanistan to decrease the load soldiers carry

  • Israel's military avatar: Robots on the battlefield, II

    With self-detonating grenades, thinking bullets and robot warriors, humans on the frontline could soon be a thing of the past; Israel’s military industries develop robotic systems to aid soldiers in the field, but also to ward off threats from afar

  • Israel's military avatar: Robots on the battlefield, I

    With self-detonating grenades, thinking bullets and robot warriors, humans on the frontline could soon be a thing of the past When armies clash in the not-too-distant future, remotely operated robotic weapons will fight the enemy on land, in the air, and at sea, without a human soldier anywhere on the battlefield. The first robotic systems are already being used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and other armies across the world, and only budgetary constraints seem to be keeping science fiction from becoming reality.

  • Delays in delivery of bunker-busting weapons to U.S. Air Force

    The 14-ton steel pencil – aka God’s Rods — is the ideal weapon for destroying Iran’s underground nuclear weapons facilities; marrying the bunker-busting ordnance to the bat-winged B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber would mean a smaller strike force and fewer casualties in the event of a military action against Iran; it is reported that there are delays in delivering the bombs