• Update: South Korean corvette was sunk by conventional torpedoes

    On 26 March an explosion destroyed the South Korean corvette Cheonan, killing 46 of its crews of 104; the North Koreans were suspected to be behind the attack, and stories circulated about a midget submarine and “human torpedoes”; an examination of the ship wreckage leads South Korean naval investigators to conclude that it was destroyed by a conventional torpedo of advanced design — and that North Korea was indeed behind the attack; there is an outside possibility that the corvette ran into an old sea mine left floating in the water since the Korean War

  • Aeronautics readies Picador UAV for May first flight

    Aeronautics is moving forward — from September to May — the first autonomous flight of its Picador unmanned helicopter; the Picador is being aimed mainly for navies as a means of replacing their current, manned helicopters in delivering “over the horizon” intelligence and deploying long-range weapon systems

  • Specialty bomb for fighting terrorists in dense urban areas

    The war against terrorists require weapons that can destroy targets in densely populated urban areas — without causing unnecessary damage to the surrounding neighborhood; the U.S. military has developed the new FLM (Focused Lethality Munition) bomb which will use a composite (carbon fiber) casing and replace some of the normal 127.2 kg (280 pounds) of explosives with 93 kg of explosives surrounded by high density filler (fine tungsten powder)

  • Al Qaeda rockets aimed at Israel hit Jordanian port city

    Al Qaeda terrorists fire two Grad rockets from the Egyptian-controlled Sinai peninsula at the Israeli resort town of Eilat, at the northern tip of the Red Sea; the rocket miss Eilat — one hit the neighboring Jordanian port city of Aqaba, the second fell into the sea; in 2005 al Qaeda terrorists used the same area of the Sinai to fire Katyusha rockets at a U.S. warship docked in the port of Aqaba

  • North Korea uses human kamikaze torpedoes to sink South Korean ship

    The Japanese used aerial kamikaze during the Second World War in their war against the allies’ navies; it now appears that the North Koreans have embarked on a naval kamikaze tactics in its clandestine campaign against the South Korean navy and merchant marine. Not all the details are in, but here is what we know: a dozen or so North Korean special forces blew themselves up next to a South Koran ship, killing 46 of its 106 crew; the North Korean commandos approached the South Korean ship inside a midget submarine, and then blew themselves and the mini-sub when it neared the hull of the bigger ship; it is not clear yet whether the commandos activated the explosives, or whether the explosive was set off by a timer

  • Day of portable, brief-case size X-ray machine nears

    A California company is working on developing flat-panel image sensors which would enable it to make a briefcase-sized X-ray machine powered by a laptop battery; such a system might be used in the field by the military or instead of bulky bedside systems used in hospital intensive-care units

  • For want of a nail: errant cat disables global control system of U.S. UAVs

    A wandering cat found its way into the control room at Creech Air Force Base outside Las Vegas, Nevada; the base is the location from which U.S. Air Force Predator and Reaper UAVs are controlled during missions overseas; one of the officer explained that the cat “climbed into one of the electronic nodes and fried everything”

  • Thales's Watchkeeper makes maiden voyage

    Watchkeeper is a multi-sensor, all-weather unmanned air system (UAS) designed to remain airborne for more than sixteen hours in a single mission. It includes automatic take-off and landing (ATOL), along with a de-icing capability, expanding its ability to operate in all-weather environments

  • Preparing for climate wars

    Climate change is not only the concern of academics and left-leaning do-gooders; it has increasingly become the preoccupation of strategic planners, militaries, and the intelligence communities in all the leading industrial states; the national security establishments of the U.S. NATO, India, and others have been war-gaming climate change and how to cope with its predicted consequences; a new book details some of the frightening scenarios for which the U.S. and other militaries prepare

  • DARPA unveils details of Transformer TX flying car

    DARPA is inviting proposals for flying car and accompanying technologies; in addition to being a capable ground vehicle, the TX should be able to lift off and land “without forward motion” and thereafter climb at least one unit upward for every six moved forward at sea level, or a minimum of 1:10 at higher altitudes; it should cruise in forward flight mode at speeds “representative of a light single-engine aircraft” and be able to achieve altitudes of 10,000 feet

  • Underwear sensors to monitor soldiers' health

    Biomedical health sensors may soon be embedded in soldiers’ underpants; researchers find that printing sensors directly on the elastic waist of underwear offered the necessary tight direct contact with the skin, allowing for continuous monitoring of soldiers’ vital signs

  • India to build a hunter-killer UAV fleet; UAVs will come from Israel

    India is set to augment its fleet of reconnaissance UAVs with killer-hunter UAVs; the Indian military has been impressed with the effectiveness of the UAV campaign against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and wants to adopt the same approach to India’s problem with Muslim terrorists; Israel, which sold India the intelligence-gathering drones, will be the source of the attack UAVs as well

  • Better military technology does not lead to shorter wars

    Many assume that offensive military technology, such as armored cars and attack jets, makes it easier to shorten the duration of a war; it is also perceived that when the offensive technology is more effective than the defensive technology, it is more advantageous to start a war; new research finds that this is not the case — but the belief that it leads to too much confidence in offensive technology, thus increasing the likelihood of new wars

  • Russia builds stealth navy

    Russia is turning part of its navy into a stealth navy; the project uses stealth technology to reduce the ship’s secondary radar field, as well as its acoustic, infrared, magnetic, and visual signatures; two corvettes have already been floated, and Russia plans to have up to thirty vessels of this class

  • U.S. Navy interested in laser warfare

    A big attraction of the free-electron laser (FEL) is the ability to adjust its output wavelength to improve transmission through the thick, moist air at sea; other laser weapons emit at fixed wavelengths; also, the laser is electrically powered, so it can recharge quickly, potentially allowing for repeat bursts of fire