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Everything posted by eddo36

  1. (RT) - Sukhoi PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter jet is finalizing tests of its versatile arsenal before deployment next year. Russia’s Air Force chief says there will be no such target on the scene of operations that the fighter would not be able to engage. When compared to American F-22 or F-35 5G fighter jets, Sukhoi PAK-FA (T-50) is going to “outperform them in all technical aspects,†the commander of the Russian Air Forces, Lieutenant General Viktor Bondarev said on Thursday. The PAK-FA fighter jet is going to be truly multirole, being able to equally engage targets “on the ground, in the air and on the sea,†he said, confirming that in 2016 the Air Force will first get the aircraft, then in 2017 the PAK-FA will go into serial production. With the cutting-edge equipment installed on already manufactured machines, there are more features in development to be integrated into the fighter’s systems on later stages, said Bondarev, mentioning “practical stealth†program being applied in the PAK-FA’s development. Earlier this week Vladimir Mikheev, an advisor to the deputy head of the Radioelectronic Technologies Concern [KRET], said that the Sukhoi PAK-FA fighter jet is “already to some degree a flying robot,†where “the reaction of the aviator is a part of the control loop.†He also said that PAK-FA is going to be less observable on radars than generally recognized American stealth trendsetter, the F-22 fighter jet. “The T-50 is now ahead of not only all other fighters of the Russian Army, but also foreign models. For example, the visibility of the American fifth-generation F-22 fighter is 0.3-0.4 square meters," the developer stressed. The Sukhoi PAK FA’s visibility stands at between 0.1 and 1 square meters, KRET added. The US military officials have expressed a certain concern in regards of the upcoming Russian 5G fighter jet. “Performance-wise it certainly looks to compete with the Raptor,†The National Interest cited senior US military official comparing the F-22 and PAK-FA. Last year, former US Air Force intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula commented to the National Interest that PAK-FA has “pretty sophisticated design that is at least equal to, and some have said even superior to US fifth-generation aircraft.†The National Interest named PAK-FA “an air superiority fighter, rather than a multi-role aircraft like the F-35,†putting the capability to cruise supersonically ahead other features. According to Bondarev, which mentioned that PAK-FA’s top speed exceeds Mach 2.0, other features are decisive for modern fighter jet, which are “low-signature, [wide variety of] armament and [super]maneuverability.†The Russian Air Force plans to purchase 55 T-50 fighter jets between 2016 and 2020, was reported in December.
  2. (DefenseNews) — The Sikorsky S-97 Raider hit an important milestone Friday with the successful first flight of its experimental rotorcraft. The S-97, with two pilots, took off at the company's West Palm Beach, Fla., facility about 7 a.m. and performed all of its proscribed movements over roughly an hour. The flight test took on the basics — among them three take-offs and landings, and movements in all cardinal directions at 10 knots — before more advanced tests over the year. "This was, we feel, a really spectacular day for Sikorsky and aviation in general," said Mark Miller, Sikorsky's vice president for research and engineering. "It's not every day you have a first flight, and when you add on top of that a very differentiated, new and compelling product like the S-97 Raider, it makes it even more special. "We're very excited, it was everything we wanted it to be and more, and it's the start of a new generation of helicopters and capabilities that we're really excited about," Miller said. With the platform, Sikorsky officials said the company was firmly planting its flag for the Army's future vertical lift - light concept and armed aerial scout requirement. The S-97 was envisioned at one point as a contender replacement for the US Army's OH-58 Kiowa Scout, but the Army changed plans and scuttled the armed aerial scout for budgetary reasons, using the AH-64 Apache on an interim basis. Company officials touted Raider's usefulness for special operations missions and as a demonstrator for a larger aircraft that would fit the Army's Joint Multi-Role helicopter replacement program for the service's Black Hawk fleet. The Raider is also queued up, should the Army seek a new armed aerial scout again. Confident in the Raider, Miller said the platform cannot be viewed as a replacement for a helicopter because it can do things helicopters, "cannot even dream of doing in the future," fly faster, higher, hotter and heavier. "This is a fundamentally different capability than what an Apache will give you," he said. Miller said the company had "really placed a big bet here." Sikorsky is funding 75 percent of the Raider program out of pocket, with the remaining 25 percent coming from 54 principal suppliers. "This industry has been criticized for not being creative and innovative and we think, and everything we've seen today reaffirms, that this is a game-changing technology," Miller said. "It is fundamentally twice the speed of a helicopter, with some attributes better than a helicopter." The Raider is based on the X-2 technology that Sikorsky developed in the late 2000s, but double the size at 11,000 pounds, with room for six troops for combat assault missions or extra equipment or ammunition. Sikorsky pilot Bill Fell said the S-97 was "rock solid," noting how little vibration or sound it produced, and how responsive it was. He and co-pilot Kevin Bredenbeck, who had been chief pilot for the X-2, spoke confidently about how different the S-97 is from a conventional helicopter and how impressed they are with its performance. Its rigid rotor system provided a "phenomenal amount of control," Fell said. "You very quickly make inputs in roll and in pitch and there's no lag like a typical articulated rotor system. The aircraft responds immediately to your control input." The program was originally scheduled to take place 48 months after its clean-sheet design, a much faster pace than the defense industry normally sees, but the schedule slipped by a few months. Miller said the use of additive manufacturing and other new approaches took longer than advertised, but they expect to recoup some of the delay across the one-year controlled test program. That program will see the pilots take the aircraft to its full speed, 220 knots with stub wings and ordnance, and faster when stripped down, said Andy Bernhard, the program's chief engineer. The tests will expand methodically to include the speed objective and high-G maneuvers. The test program includes two aircraft, one to demonstrate its full capability and another for customer demonstrations and for exploring the integration of mission systems and weapons. "We think it is a game-changing capability, and we are going to tee it up to the customers, and over the coming months put them in the seat with us and see what this can do," Miller said. "We're hoping that's going to open some eyes and change some thoughts about how soon they're going to introduce this into the inventory."
  3. Boeing Phantom Badger (DefenseNews) — Several offerings in the developing market for ultralight vehicles showed up at the US special operations community's annual industry conference, including three hopefuls for an expected Army tender. The Boeing Phantom Badger, GD Flyer 72 and Polaris Dagor appeared at the convention in Tampa as respondents to the US Army's presolicitation for the ultralight combat vehicle (ULCV), which closed earlier this month. Though not at the show, Hendrick Dynamics' Commando Jeep and Vyper Adamas' Vyper have also reportedly responded Congress has taken an interest in the effort, and language proposed for the 2016 defense authorization bill would require the secretary of the Army to brief the House Armed Services Committee on the ULCV. The Army is seeking approval for its requirement for the ULCV, but the idea is to quickly field light infantry squads in a light, air-droppable vehicle that would be unarmored but speed troops and their equipment to an objective. Polaris Dagor Mark McCormick, director of US government sales for Polaris, said there appeared to be a growing capability gap in the military as it shifted toward heavier vehicles to protect against roadside bombs during the last two wars. US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) first recognized its need to go lighter, he said, and conventional forces are following suit. "The Army and Marine Corps are following a logical pattern as they're trying to get more expeditionary, how do they take advantage of tactical airlift," McCormick said. "Yet the constraint in being able to move people and equipment, it can only be a certain size and a certain weight to take advantage of tactical lift." Showing there are tiers within the ultralight category, Polaris displayed the Dagor as well as its lighter two- and four-seat MRZR vehicles, which SOCOM uses as its light all-terrain vehicle. Defense News reported in April that the 82nd Airborne Division bought 33 four-seat MRZRs for proof-of-principle tests. Polaris' core business is commercial recreational vehicles, and McCormick touted the company's off-road capabilities on the commercial side, its large production capacity and its relationship with SOCOM through the MRZR. The challenge for the Army, he said, is whether it will be able to execute a rapid acquisition and fielding. Though the ULCV would be a nine-person vehicle for a squad, the 82nd is evaluating the four-passenger MRZR for carrying teams, McCormick said. Its tests are expected to develop a concept of operations for the vehicles' use. General Dynamics Flyer 72 in the GMV 1.1 configuration. At the entrance of the show, GD — for the first time — publicly displayed a production model of the Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 (GMV), its Flyer 72. GD touted its status in a formal SOCOM program and said a stripped-down version of the Flyer 72 would be its entrant for the ULCV. Sean Ridley, the program director at General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, suggested the Army could easily purchase the vehicles in connection with the GMV 1.1 program at a competitive price. SOCOM is testing the GMV 1.1 ahead of a low-rate initial production decision due next month. GD also displayed its lighter, more narrow Flyer 60, which SOCOM was using in a year-long proof-of-concept test for a vehicle to be transported inside a CV-22 Osprey. The vehicles were due for flight testing with CV-22 at Hurlburt Field, Fla. According to Ridley, the vehicles have been "very successful" in land testing, which put more than 8,000 miles on three of them. The company also plans to participate in Marine Corps tests of Osprey-carried vehicles this summer. RP Nightstrike-M Maverick At the show, RP Advanced Mobile Systems displayed two flashy all-terrain vehicles, a customized Can-Am Commander and Maverick, at 86 horsepower and 101 horsepower respectively. On the Can-Am chassis, the company makes bolt-on modifications that could include a front-push bumper, various run-flat tires, treads and an extended bed. "They're not cookie-cutter vehicles," said General Manager Nick Moores. "They're very unique, very specialized, so we usually sell in quantities under 10." Company officials said they consider their vehicles lighter than the Army's ULCV concept but believe they could be a fit for an Osprey-carried vehicle for Marine Corps or SOCOM. SOCOM's program office for special operations vehicles has fielded a fleet of more than 2,000 vehicles, from the light to heavily armored, most of them in response to urgent requests from Iraq and Afghanistan. The idea now is to modernize longer-lived vehicles through tech insertions and replace shorter-lived small vehicles. SOCOM's vehicle program office, which buys non-standard commercial vehicles, is considering vehicles in the class that blend into their surroundings, wherever they may be in the world. Duke Dunnigan, the deputy program manager, told Defense News a single chassis that can carry multiple bodies at an affordable price might be the answer. Navistar SOTV-B Along these lines Navistar displayed its chameleon-like Special Operations Tactical Vehicle-Blendable (SOTV-B), its salvaged entrant into the 2013 GMV 1.1 competition — with a twist. The truck has several bolt-on bodies, and at the show resembled a Toyota, with a Cummins engine, an off-road racing suspension and an alternator meant to power military hardware. Mike Hawn, a Navistar business development manager, said the SOTV-B is more durable and longer-lived than up-armored commercial vehicles, with more space and carrying capacity. "Right now it kind of looks like a Toyota HiLux," Hawn said of the SOTV-B. "We can make it look like a Ford Ranger, we can make it look like a Mitsubishi LS-200, so it really gives SOCOM and other customers a three-for-one vehicle."
  4. (DefenseNews) — US military scientists have invented a miniature drone that fits in the palm of a hand, ready to be dropped from the sky like a mobile phone with wings. The "micro air vehicle" is named after the insect that inspired its invention, the Cicada, which spends years underground before appearing in great swarms, reproducing and then dropping to the ground dead. "The idea was why can't we make UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that have the same sort of profile," Aaron Kahn of the Naval Research Laboratory told AFP. "We will put so many out there, it will be impossible for the enemy to pick them all up." The "Cicada," short for Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft, was designed to be smaller, cheaper and simpler than any other robotic aircraft — but still able to carry out a mission in a remote battlefield. The prototype cost just a thousand dollars, and the cost could come down to as little as $250 apiece, said Kahn, a flight controls engineer at the naval lab. With no motor and only about 10 parts, the Cicada resembles a paper airplane with a circuit board. It is designed to glide to programmed GPS coordinates after being dropped from an aircraft, a balloon or a larger drone, researchers said. In a test about three years ago in Yuma, Arizona, Cicada drones were released from 57,600 feet (17,500 meters). The little drone flew — or fell — 11 miles, landing within 15 feet of its target. The Cicada drone can fly at about 46 miles (74 kilometers) per hour and are virtually silent, with no engine or propulsion system. "It looks like a bird flying down," said Daniel Edwards, an aerospace engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory. But, he said, "it's very difficult to see." Robotic Carrier Pigeons In the flight test, the Cicada had sensors that could send back weather readings for temperature, air pressure and humidity. But researchers said the mini-drones could be used for a myriad of missions, and outfitted with a range of light-weight sensors, including microphones. "They are robotic carrier pigeons. You tell them where to go, and they will go there," Edwards said. One possible scenario could be using the drones to monitor traffic on a remote road behind enemy lines. "You equip these with a microphone or a seismic detector, drop them on that road, and it will tell you 'I heard a truck or a car travel along that road.' You know how fast and which direction they're traveling," Kahn said. The micro-planes could be outfitted with magnetic sensors to pick up enemy submarines, or to eavesdrop on troops or operatives. For the moment, equipping it with a video feed poses a technical challenge, because extracting the video requires too much bandwidth, researchers said. Although the drones have yet to be deployed, the first use may come outside the battlefield, for weather forecasters. Meteorologists trying to predict tornadoes have to rely on temperature readings from the ground. But the Cicada drone offers the prospect of numerous temperature readings from the air, providing enough data to build a truly three-dimensional model for forecasting tornadoes. And despite their toy-like appearance, the Cicada drones are surprisingly robust, Edwards said. "You can thrown them out of a Cessna or a C-130," he said. "They've flown through trees. They've hit asphalt runways. They have tumbled in gravel. They've had sand in them. They only thing that we found that killed them was desert shrubbery," he said. Edwards had the Cicadas on display at the Pentagon's "lab day" this week, as part of a bid by US defense officials to promote technological innovation. Academics and just about every branch of government have expressed an interest in the Cicada program, including some intelligence agencies. "Everyone is interested. Everyone," Edwards said.
  5. eddo36

    New Rolling Spy-Bot Can Even Swim Upstream

    If a moderator says so I will. I don't think it is, since I only post once a day or less- each time an entirely different subject which pertains to the military theme here. Any moderators agree it's spammy?
  6. Meet GuardBot, a spherical surveillance vehicle that can swim upstream. CNN's Thom Patterson explains how the military hopes to use it.
  7. (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian army has successfully tested a new Ukrainian-made defensive shelter MVS-2, which could protect soldiers from artillery fire, the military said Wednesday. "The new armored object is the know-how of domestic military science and it has no analogues in the world," the press service of the government military operation in eastern regions said in a statement. The MVS-2, a vertical defensive structure with a hexagonal shape, is made of strong metal, the statement said, without specifying the metal type and the size of the bunker. During the test, which was conducted near the government-controlled southern port city of Mariupol in the restive Donetsk region, the defensive shelter has shown resistance against small arms and artillery fire, the statement said. Mass production of the shelter will begin in the coming days and the structure will be used to protect Ukrainian soldiers in fight against pro-independence insurgents in eastern regions, it said. In April 2014, Ukraine's military launched offensives against insurgents to regain control over the seized cities and towns in Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Since then, more than 6,100 people, including at least 1,675 Ukrainian servicemen, have been killed in the confrontation.
  8. eddo36

    Ukraine develops defensive shelter

    This isn't about Ukraine, it's about the shelter.
  9. The Washington Post For decades they have been an effective and lethal pair, the explosives behind so many of the military’s grenades, mortars and bombs. But TNT and Composition B can also be sensitive devils that detonate when they are not supposed to. And that can have devastating effects. A fire aboard the USS Forrestal set off a chain reaction of explosions that killed 134 sailors in 1967. In 1991, an ammunition carrier loaded with 155mm artillery shells caught fire at Camp Doha in Kuwait, setting off massive explosions that left three dead and dozens wounded. But now the Army is involved in a massive effort that would eventually replace those weapons with what are called “insensitive munitions,†which are less susceptible to exploding inadvertently. The technology, developed by BAE Systems, the large defense contractor, uses an explosive that is far more chemically stable and able to withstand extreme heat and outside interference, including getting hit by bullets or shrapnel. TNT and Composition B “are generally stable,†said Mike Ervin, director of innovation and customer relations for BAE ordnance systems, and aren’t going to spontaneously explode. “But the issue with TNT and Comp B is shock sensitivity. Both are sensitive to external stimuli. If they get hit by a fragment or bullet, they could cause a chain reaction. And instead of losing one round, you could lose your whole store of ammunition.†The Army is now using what’s called IMX-101 in some of their artillery, a far safer substance, officials say. And the service hopes to one day make all of its munitions “insensitive.†But that’s not going to happen quickly. “It’ll definitely take a decade or two to turn over the entire inventory,†said Raymond Colon, project manager of the Army’s Combat Ammunition Systems. The Army already claims at least one success involving the new technology. When a convoy carrying 60mm mortar rounds was hit by a bomb in Afghanistan a few years ago and caught fire, the shells didn’t explode. And that, officials said, saved lives.
  10. eddo36

    The U.S. military's stealth hybrid dirt bike

    If you want more info on it, look up SilentHawk by DARPA.
  11. A new helmet gives pilots of the F-35 fighter jet the ability to see the ground in all directions.
  12. Russia has launched what it claims to be the “quietest submarine in the world.†This week, Admiralty Shipyards—a Russian defense company— held a ceremonial launching for its newest Varshavyanka-class diesel-electric submarines. Dubbed the Krasnodar, the vessel is the fourth of a planned six upgraded Kilo-class subs Russia is constructing under Project 636.3. According to the company’s website, the commander of Russia's Navy, Viktor Chirkov, attended the ceremony, which was held in St. Petersburg on Saturday. Previously, Russian state media outlets have said that the Varshavyanka-class are the “quietest in the world, and so was dubbed ‘black hole’ by NATO.†The submarines pack a powerful punch, and are intended primarily for anti-shipping and anti-submarine warfare. “Armed with 18 torpedoes and eight surface-to-air Club missiles, Project 636.3 submarines are mainly intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions in relatively shallow waters. They have an extended combat range and can strike surface, underwater and land targets,†Russia Today previously reported. The torpedoes are launched out of six 533-mm bays, which automatically reload every 15 seconds. Fifty-two sailors are needed to operate the subs, which displace 3,100 tons and can maintain continuous patrol for 45 days, according to Naval-Technology. Construction of the lead vessel of the class, the Novorossiysk, began back in August 2010. It was launched in November 2013. In November 2011, Moscow began building the second Varshavyanka-class submarine, dubbed the Rostov-on-Don. That was launched in June of last year. At the ceremony on Saturday, Admiral Chirkov said that these first two Varshavyanka-class diesel-electric submarines are currently undergoing deep water trials in the Arctic Sea, but that both would enter into permanent service for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet by the end of the year. Eventually, all six of the Varshavyanka-class subs will enter service with the Black Sea Fleet. The Black Sea Fleet’s main force is stationed out of Sevastopol, Crimea. However, Russian media outlets have indicated that these six subs’ home base will be the port of Novorossiysk, Russia. http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/russia-launches-quietest-submarine-the-world-12765
  13. You know the phrase "dodging a bullet"? Forget about it. Probably not going to happen anymore. The U.S. military said this week it has made great progress in its effort to develop a self-steering bullet. In February, the "smart bullets" -- .50-caliber projectiles equipped with optical sensors -- passed their most successful round of live-fire tests to date, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. In the tests, an experienced marksman "repeatedly hit moving and evading targets," a DARPA statement said. "Additionally," the statement said, "a novice shooter using the system for the first time hit a moving target." In other words, now you don't even have to be a good shot to hit the mark. U.S. military calls .50-caliber smart bullet a 'major breakthrough' The system has been developed by DARPA's Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance program, known as EXACTO. "True to DARPA's mission, EXACTO has demonstrated what was once thought impossible: the continuous guidance of a small-caliber bullet to target," said Jerome Dunn, DARPA program manager. "This live-fire demonstration from a standard rifle showed that EXACTO is able to hit moving and evading targets with extreme accuracy at sniper ranges unachievable with traditional rounds. Fitting EXACTO's guidance capabilities into a small .50-caliber size is a major breakthrough and opens the door to what could be possible in future guided projectiles across all calibers," Dunn said. Bullets turn in midair to follow targets Videos supplied by DARPA show the bullets making sharp turns in midair as they pursue their targets. It all conjures up images of a cartoon character frantically fleeing a bullet that follows him wherever he goes. Only, these bullets are traveling at hundreds of miles per hour. And even the Road Runner can't run that fast. DARPA says the smart bullets will also help shooters who are trying, for example, to hit targets in high winds. The goals of the EXACTO program are giving shooters accuracy at greater distances, engaging targets sooner and enhancing the safety of American troops, DARPA said.
  14. Curious, about what would be the cost for one EXACTO round once mass-produced?
  15. In the future, a fleet of heavy transport aircraft will reportedly be capable of moving a strategic unit of 400 Armata tanks, with ammunition, to anywhere in the world. And probably at hypersonic speed, enabling Russia to mount a global military response. According to a new design specification from the Military-Industrial Commission in Moscow, a transport aircraft, dubbed PAK TA, will fly at supersonic speeds (up to 2,000 km/h) and will boast an impressively high payload of up to 200 tons. It will also have a range of at least 7,000 kilometers. The PAK TA program envisages 80 new cargo aircraft to be built by 2024. This means in a decade Russia’s Central Command will be able to place a battle-ready armored army anywhere, Expert Online reports, citing a source in the military who attended the closed meeting. One of the main tasks of the new PAK TA is to transport Armata heavy missile tanks and other military hardware on the same platform, such as enhanced self-propelled artillery weapons systems, anti-aircraft missile complexes, tactical missile carriers, multiple launch missile systems, and anti-tank missile fighting vehicles. The PAK TA freighters will be multilevel, with automated cargo loading and have the capability to airdrop hardware and personnel on any terrain. A fleet of several dozen PAK TA air freighters will be able to lift 400 Armata heavy tanks, or 900 light armored vehicles, such as Sprut-SD airborne amphibious self-propelled tank destroyers. “With the development of a network of military bases in the Middle East, Latin America and Southeast Asia, which is expected to be completed during the same time period (by 2024), it’s obvious that Russia is preparing for a full-scale military confrontation of transcontinental scale,†Expert Online says. A source who attended the closed meeting of the Military-Industrial Commission told the media outlet on condition of anonymity that he was “shocked†by the demands of the military. According to the source, the PAK TA project has been ongoing for several years now and will eventually supplant the currently operating air freighters. But such a global mission statement for national military transport aviation has never been voiced before. “It means for the first time we have the objective of creating an operational capability to airlift a full-fledged army to any desired place on the planet,†the source said. This means delivering a task force the size of the former NATO and the US troops in Iraq, in a matter of hours to any continent. “In the context of the current military doctrine that defies comprehension,†the source said. The initial PAK TA specification entailed building subsonic air freighters with a conventional 900 km/h cruising speed and a moderate 4,500-kilometer range. The program involves the creation of wide-body freighters, with payloads varying from 80 to 200 tons, to replace all existing Ilyushin and Antonov cargo aircraft. The only operating aircraft with a comparable payload is the Antonov An-225 Mriya (up to 250 tons), but this is a one-off aircraft created specially for the Soviet Buran space shuttle program. Last year, it was reported that future military air freighters will be developed by the Ilyushin Aviation Complex, with some experts saying the company may base designs on the Il-106 cargo plane (80 tons) project that won a government tender in the late 1980s, but was abandoned after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Now, with ambitious specifications and objectives, the PAK TA is a truly next-generation transport aircraft.
  16. Atlanta (CNN)—One of the world's oldest organism groups, cephalopods, like squid, octopus and cuttlefish, have survived in Earth's oceans for millions of years. They key to their survival: mastering the art of camouflage. Now, scientists say, these ancient invertebrates may hold the key to developing a combat technology that will allow soldiers to avoid infrared detection. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine say they have discovered a way to use proteins in the cells of pencil squid to develop "invisibility stickers" that can be worn by ground troops. "Soldiers wear uniforms with the familiar green and brown camouflage patterns to blend into foliage during the day, but under low light and at night, they're still vulnerable to infrared detection," said Alon Gorodetsky, assistant professor of chemical engineering and material sciences. "You can draw inspiration from natural systems that have been perfected over millions of years, giving us ideas we might never have been able to come up with otherwise," he said. Gorodetsky and his team have focused on specialized squid cells known as iridocytes, which contain a unique light-reflecting protein called reflectin. They were able to engineer E. coli bacteria to synthesize reflectin and coat the protein onto a packing tape-like surface to create the "invisibility stickers." Researchers say these reflectin-coated stickers can be changed into virtually any color with a chemical or mechanical stimulus. "There is a lot of flexibility in how one can deploy this material, essentially, by taking the stickers and putting them all over yourself, you could look one way under optical visualization and another way under active infrared visualization," Gorodetsky said. The lab technology is not ready to be used in combat zones as researchers work to develop an adaptive camouflage system, in which multiple stickers are able to work in sync and respond to varying infrared wavelengths. "We've developed stickers for use as a thin, flexible layer of camo with the potential to take on a pattern that will better match the soldiers' infrared reflectance to their background and hide them from active infrared visualization," Gorodetsky said. The researchers' work was recently presented at the 2015 American Chemical Society national meeting.
  17. The U.S. Navy is developing an unmanned drone ship to track enemy submarines to limit their tactical capacity for surprise.
  18. The U.S. Navy's latest technology may revolutionize how war is fought. The Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology program (LOCUST) fires small, disposable drones out of a rocket launcher-type mechanism. Once airborne, the autonomous drones begin communicating with one another and flying in formation. Kurt "The Cyber Guy" Knutsson explained on "Fox and Friends Weekend" that up to 30 drones can be launched from the device in under one minute, swarming the enemy. "These are disposable drones. The two wings pop out from these tubes, and they communicate together using extraordinary technology the Navy has been working on," Knutsson said, adding that this technology could be used for reconnaissance or attacking. "I would say to our enemy now, 'Watch out!'" Knutsson said. "Because this technology is due for primetime in about 2016." "The enemy is going to be looking up, going, 'What in the heck is going on?' Because they will simply just circle around, go do exactly what they're intended to do," Knutsson explained. "This technology, mark my words, will be at the forefront of future military conflict." http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/04/19/us-navys-new-drone-cannon-launches-swarms-tiny-aircraft
  19. Nearly 30 years after the first U.S. stealth bomber took flight, the Air Force's aging fleet is primed for a makeover; albeit an expensive one. The Pentagon is looking to upgrade its stealth aircraft for the first time since the 1970s, developing a high-priority, super-classified, next-generation bomber. The Air Force plans to award a contract to build and develop the Long Range Strike Bomber to one of the industry's most powerful firms later this year and hopes to integrate them into the fleet by the mid-2020s. Competing for the prize are Northrop Grumman, the developer of the Air Force's current bomber, the B-2, and a partnership between aeronautic juggernauts Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Before the House Armed Services Committee earlier this month, William LaPlante, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, suggested the Air Force will offer a "cost-plus" contract to the winning firm, meaning the government will take on the risk of any cost overrun. "My belief on the LRS-B (Long Range Strike Bomber) is it's going to be more traditional in the sense that we are doing a little bit more cutting edge" development, LaPlante said. The Air Force has said it plans to leverage existing technologies to help keep the LRS-B affordable. However The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, an independent, nonpartisan research group, warns "near-sighted, build-for-today acquisition strategies may render the issue of 'affordability' moot, as affordability must also be assessed in the context of a capability's mission effectiveness over its projected lifespan." Along with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the KC-46 tanker, the LRS-B is one of the Air Force's top modernization priorities, and some experts say its development will go far beyond simply upgrading an aging bomber fleet. Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula told CNN this week that it is inaccurate to label the LRS-B as simply a "bomber" and that officials need to shed the "old think" way of categorizing airplanes into different mission areas. The new "Long Range Sensor Shooter," as Deptula calls it, will have the ability to create a self-forming, self-healing "combat cloud" capable of sharing information with other aircraft and conducting a diverse array of operation types. Pentagon officials have stressed the importance of developing the new long-range strike bomber calling it critical to national security and nuclear deterrence. It is "absolutely essential for keeping our deterrent edge," former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in January. "We need to do it. We need to make the investments. We'll have it in the budget." Deptula said the No. 1 reason to upgrade the long-range sensor force is to counter the constantly evolving threats around the world. "The Chinese, Iranians and Russians ... have built advanced anti-air systems and long-range fighters, to attack our bases and aircraft carriers," he said. Adm. William Gortney, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, expressed similar security concerns to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Thursday, telling lawmakers Russia is continuing to work on its program to deploy "long-range conventionally armed cruise missiles," that can be launched from its bomber aircraft, submarines and warships. Capabilities Officials have been tight-lipped as to the specific capability expectations for the LRS-B, but indications are that it will be stealth, able to carry conventional and nuclear weapons and could possibly operate both with or without a pilot. Northrop Grumman teased an initial structural design for the aircraft in an ad during the Super Bowl, stopping short of highlighting specific features. Tim Paynter, a company spokesman, said the aircraft shown on TV is "representative of any future aircraft our customers may ask us to build." Generally speaking, Deptula said the LRS-B must have long-range capabilities, be able to carry a large payload, have high survivability and have sufficient adaptability to incorporate evolving sensor and weapon technology. Long-range capability provides the Air Force with the flexibility to persistently respond to threats around the world and reach deep into enemy territory to hit fixed and mobile targets unreachable by cruise missiles, Deptula said. Large payload capability allows for operations with fewer aircraft and increases loiter capability and efficiency, he said. Modernized stealth tactics and upgraded electronic warfare capabilities would allow the aircraft to enter enemy airspace without suffering prohibitive losses. Cost The mysterious Long Range Strike Bomber program is the most expensive weapons system under the Air Force's $17 billion research, development, test and evaluation funding request for 2016. The Air Force requested $1.2 billion for the program under the President Obama's $534 billion proposed 2016 Pentagon budget. Since 2011, the Pentagon has said the LRS-B bomber will cost close to $550 million per airplane, projecting a $55 billion price total for 100 planes. Critics insist the actual cost of the LRS-B will exceed the initial $500 million estimate; yet Pentagon officials continue to publicly tout the cost figure. "It's like $550 million per copy," Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said this January. "It's an estimate based upon multiple reviews of the program and not a single source." LaPlante acknowledged the target cost of the LRS-B has increased due to inflation since the initial estimate was made in 2010, saying "$55 in 2010 is $57 or $58 today. We know that. But we put it in as a requirement -- to build 100 airplanes, it's going to cost $550 million (each). What that does is, that drives the design. Industry has to design to that number and we're going to assess against that number." Regardless of the exact cost, Deptula said price should not be quantified per individual aircraft, but rather within the context of what the LRS-B system will be able to accomplish compared to the cost of carrying out operations with less-advanced, shorter-range aircraft. "How can we not afford it?" he said, warning a failure to incorporate a combat cloud system could actually exacerbate budget demands. The Pentagon's Future Years Defense Program projects the LRS-B's budget will increase to $3.7 billion for research, development, test and evaluation in 2020, bringing the total development cost to roughly $24 billion, according to the CSBA. If Air Force buys 100 planes by the mid-2030s, the research group estimates the program's total cost will be closer to $90 billion. The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments said intentionally planning to enhance an aircraft's capabilities over time could also reduce the up-front sticker shock of the LRS-B. "Instead of buying them with all desired mission functionalities when they first roll off the assembly line, it may be possible to equip new combat aircraft with the most essential systems and plan future block upgrades to keep pace with emerging technologies and threats as funding permits," the group said in a 2014 report. http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/14/politics/u-s-air-force-stealth-bomber/index.html
  20. eddo36

    U.S.A. Foreign Policy & Defense

    (CNN) U.S. pulling last of its Special Operations forces out of Yemen
  21. eddo36

    U.S.A. Foreign Policy & Defense

    (Global Policy Forum) US and British Support for Hussein Regime
  22. Lockheed Martin, the defense and security technology company, demonstrated the power of its Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) laser weapon system by blasting a small truck in a recent field test. According to the company, the demonstration was the highest power ever documented by this kind of laser weapon. In the demonstration, the 30-kilowatt fiber laser weapon was able to disable the truck’s engine. The purpose of the test was to show the company’s innovations in developing weapons technology that is more precise. “Fiber-optics lasers are revolutionizing direct energy systems,†Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin’s chief technology officer, said in a statement. “We are investing in every component of the system – from the optics and beam control to the laser itself – to drive size, weight, and power efficiencies.†ATHENA is a ground-based prototype system. In the test, the laser burnt through the engine in a just a few seconds, after being fired from over a mile away. Through the “spectral beam combining†technique, multiple fiber laser modules come together to establish a sole, high-quality beam that “provides greater efficiency and lethality than multiple individual 10-kilowatt lasers used in other systems.†For Jackson, this demonstration shows signs of the kinds of defense technology that the company hopes to continue to develop. “This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military, aircraft helicopters, ships and trucks,†he added. The military is already testing laser weapons. The Office of Naval Research, for example, is building a laser weapon that will be able to shoot down aerial drones. http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2015/03/06/lockheed-martin-demos-high-powered-laser-weapon-blasts-through-truck/
  23. Restoring hands, arms, feet, and legs to those wounded in the service of our country should be a national priority…and now, finally, it is, thanks to some very promising technological advances. Technology advances in area such as body armor and medical response have helped save many, many, wounded U.S. warfighters’ lives. However, many who survive are permanently wounded and today’s generation of warfighters has to contend with an unprecedented frequency of limb loss. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is committed to building highly sophisticated prostheses, giving wounded servicemembers and veterans naturally functioning limbs. The HAPTIX (Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces) project is working on creating a solution for amputees. This solution would be implanted and directly communicate with the nervous system and brain. This means that a person could think and the hand and arm would move intuitively and function just like a natural hand, complete with the dexterity and sense of touch. The agency has recently moved its HAPTIX program forward by selecting eight teams that will advance the development of next-generation, state of the art upper-limb prostheses. In particular, they are focusing on creating hands that will move and have a sense of touch like natural ones. The aim is to create a hand that’s comfortable, feels natural, and works so effectively that users will want to wear it around the clock. Ideally, HAPTIX will mean those who wish to return to active duty can do so, and the technology will boost quality of life for all users. In a statement, DARPA Program Director Doug Weber explained that “once development of the HAPTIX system is complete, we want people to benefit immediately and be able to use their limb all day, every day, and in every aspect of their lives…the experience needs to be comfortable and easy.†Approximately 80 percent of amputees have to endure phantom limb pain. The hope is that these new devices will also help alleviate, if not eliminate, this pain. Integrating Thought and Movement For more than 10 years, DARPA has been relentlessly advancing prosthetic limbs in an attempt to revolutionize the devices. The agency, for example, recently debuted two advanced mechatronic limbs for the upper body. Truly leveraging these revolutionary devices, though, means restoring the link between thought and the hand and arm devices. Conventional methods to connect thought with prosthetic devices were inadequate. Without this connection, users can’t “feel†things they touch or things that touch them. Also, if they close their eyes, they won’t have awareness of limb position and movement like someone would with the connections of a natural limb. HAPTIX will therefore also harness the advanced work DARPA has already undertaken on RE-NET (Reliable Neural-Interface Technology), as part of its Revolutionizing Prosthetics program launched in 2006. RE-NET has made great strides in creating a direct link between a person’s thoughts and intent and control over a prosthetic device. These neural-interface technologies will provide building blocks that could combine with HAPTIX advances. Interfaces will be incorporated that will give users not just intuitive control, but also sensory feedback. Research revealed that after limb loss the motor and sensory fibers in the nerves can stay functional for many years. The idea is to tap into those signaling pathways so that a HAPTIX user’s device communicates and receives instructions using them. The net result is that users can control and sense the hand and arm the same way they would a natural hand and arm. In the 2015 State of the Union Address, President Obama underscored the importance of programs like HAPTIX. “I want Americans to win the race for the kinds of discoveries that unleash new jobs -- converting sunlight into liquid fuel; creating revolutionary prosthetics, so that a veteran who gave his arms for his country can play catch with his kids again,†he said. Other programs are also making significant headway. Last year, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory made history when a bilateral shoulder-level amputee wore and controlled two Modular Prosthetic Limbs with just his thoughts. Les Baugh had lost both arms in an electrical accident 40 years previously. In preparation for the new system, Baugh underwent targeted muscle reinnervation surgery. Next steps? The eight teams working with DARPA include: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, Draper Laboratory, Nerves Incorporated, Ripple LLC, University of Pittsburgh, University of Utah, and University of Florida. In order to get the devices as quickly as possible to those wounded in military service, DARPA has been pushing forward in a number of ways, from advance consultation with the FDA through to leveraging commercially available advances made for other applications, like cardiac pacemakers. The potential for HAPTIX may extend well beyond the military and it could eventually help those with medical amputations, as well as neurological diseases, spinal cord injuries, and more. DARPA is also providing a variant of the DARPA Robotics Challenge Simulator to help teams accelerate research, design and testing. Amputees will also have a chance to use the simulator to learn how to use their new prostheses in a realistic way. For the teams that make it through the first phase, they will then enter Phase 2, where chosen tech components will be integrated into a complete HAPTIX test system. The plan is then to commence 12 month take-home trials of a complete, FDA-approved HAPTIX system within a four-year timeframe. Ballet dancer turned defense specialist Allison Barrie has traveled around the world covering the military, terrorism, weapons advancements and life on the front line. You can reach her at wargames@foxnews.com or follow her on Twitter @Allison_Barrie http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2015/03/05/darpa-taps-tech-to-build-sophisticated-artificial-limbs-for-wounded-vets/
  24. eddo36

    Authentic next generation vehicles videos

    Armed With Science ^some official videos of future tech here