• Mice genetically modified to detect landmines

    In another advancement in explosives detection, scientists have genetically modified mice to enable them to sniff out landmines; the GM mouse, known as MouSensor, may one day become a significant tool to help deal with the dangerous legacies of past wars

  • Sequestration-related defense budget cuts in 2013 to increase from $50.5 to $60.6 billion

    Defense contractors are already worried about $50 billion dollars which would be cut from the defense budget on 3 January 2013 if the White House and Congress fail to reach an agreement on a deficit reduction plan; budget analysts point out that due to a provision in the Budget Control Act, another $10 billion will be added to that amount, bringing the total in defense cuts in 2013 to $60.6 billion

  • Design competition for next generation ground vehicle opens

    DARPA is calling on innovators with expertise in designing and engineering drive train and mobility systems collaboratively to design elements of a new amphibious infantry vehicle, the Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle (FANG);the winning team will be awarded a $1,000,000 cash prize and will have its design built in the iFAB Foundry

  • New study challenges assumptions on wartime sexual violence

    A new study, released the other day at the UN headquarters in New York, finds that there is no compelling evidence to support a host of widely held beliefs regarding wartime sexual violence

  • GOP lawmakers advise defense contractors to issue sequestration-related layoff notices

    The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires that an employer who employs more than 100 employees must provide a 60-day advanced notice to employees of mass layoffs or the closing of a plant; if the act is not followed, employees can sue for back pay and benefits for up to sixty days; the Obama administration advised defense contractors that they should not comply with the act, even in the face of the 2 January 2013 $500 billion cut in the defense budget which would go into effect if no deficit reduction agreement is reached; if contracts are cancelled and mass lay-offs ensue, the administration said it would cover the defense contractors’ non-compliance-related legal costs; Republican lawmakers say they would block any payments to cover such non-compliance, and advised defense contractors that they should follow the law

  • U.S. Navy tests the second of two railgun prototypes

    The EM Railgun launcher is a long-range naval weapon that fires projectiles using electricity instead of traditional gun propellants such as explosive chemicals; magnetic fields created by high electrical currents accelerate a sliding metal conductor, or armature, between two rails to launch projectiles at 4,500-5,600 mph; the Office of Naval Research’s Electromagnetic (EM) Railgun program is evaluating the second of two industry railgun prototype launchers at a facility in Dahlgren, Virginia

  • New launch and recovery system for the Scan Eagle UAV

    A shipboard-capable system designed to support both the launch and recovery of the Scan Eagle UAV successfully completed final demonstration flight testing on 27 September at a testing range in eastern Oregon

  • Defense firms growing anxious about sequestration-related defense cuts

    Defense contractors are growing anxious as they still do not know whether $500 billion in defense cuts will take place on 1 January 2013 as a result of sequestration; many firms are hoping that the administration and Congress will come to a budget agreement once the election is over, but at the same time, it is something contractors cannot rely on; what complicates the issue is the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which requires employers with more than 100 employees to give employees a 60-day notice before mass lay-offs or plant closure

  • Fueling UAVs in flight

    DARPA completes close-proximity flight tests of two modified RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles, demonstrating technology enabling autonomous aerial refueling

  • Hezbollah drone shot down over Israel

    The Israel Air Force (IAF) planes shot down a UAV over the north Negev; the UAV entered Israeli air space from the west, but Israeli intelligence says the drone was launched by Hezbollah in Lebanon, then made its way south over the Mediterranean, then turned east when it reached the water off the Gaza Strip

  • Oshkosh Defense unveils new light vehicle for unconventional missions

    Using the occasion of the Modern Day Marine 2012 exposition, held 25-27 September in Quantico, Virginia, Oshkosh Defense unveiled its new Special Purpose All-Terrain Vehicle (S-ATV) designed for unconventional and reconnaissance missions, and also showed its Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV), which was selected for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase; the joint services are expected to replace tens of thousands of HMMWVs with the JLTV

  • U.K. military’s drone spending keep rising

    In an effort to boost its military, the United Kingdom, over the past five years, has spent more than two billion euros buying and developing unmanned drones; the U.K. has no intention of slowing down, as it is committed to spending another two billion euros on new unmanned aircraft

  • Former L-3 employee guilty of selling weapon secrets to China

    A federal court judge in Newark, New Jersey convicted Sixing Liu on six counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act as well as possessing stolen trade secrets, transporting stolen property, and lying to federal agents; Liu is was convicted of stealing thousands of electronic files detailing performance and design of guidance systems for missiles, rockets, target locators, and unmanned aerial vehicles in 2010

  • Explosives dumped into Gulf of Mexico pose big problems

    Millions of pounds of unexploded bombs and other military ordnance that were dumped decades ago in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as off the coasts of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, could now pose serious threats to shipping lanes and the 4,000 oil and gas rigs in the Gulf, warns two oceanographers

  • Technology soon to make drones deadlier, more autonomous

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have become America’s main weapon in the campaign against terrorists  — at the forefront are the Predator and the Reaper — and technological changes would soon make them even deadlier; in the next decade drones will be faster and carry more weapons than today’s versions; they will also have better sensors and more sophisticated computers, allowing them to plan and execute attacks with little human participation