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The first MQ-4C Triton drone to arrive at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION: The future of Navy long-range reconnaissance, the recently arrived MQ-4C Triton drone, sprawls across its hangar here, with a wingspan 13 feet wider than a Boeing 737 but a body that’s 80 percent lighter. Designed for 24-hour-plus patrols at 50,000 feet, Triton still can’t do the job by itself, say both the program manager and… Keep reading →

DARPA body suit Warrior Web

WASHINGTON: Advocates of military exoskeletons, from the former chief of Special Operations Command on down, like to invoke Iron Man, Marvel’s iconic armored superhero. But there are other models for more modest and more feasible, yet still militarily valuable uses of exosuit technology. So don’t just think of Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. Think of Sigourney… Keep reading →

Adm Locklear @ Pentagon 140729-D-ZZ999-612

PENTAGON: Even as the latest Mideast war sucks in more US attention and resources — as well as wannabe jihadis from around the world — the outgoing chief of Pacific Command emphasized the much-derided “rebalance to the Asia-Pacific” is still going strong. Despite sequestration budget cuts the US is still strong enough to handle both theaters at… Keep reading →

Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM)

ARMY & NAVY CLUB: In the dog-eat-dog, admiral-eat-general world of budget warfare in the age of sequestration, it’s easy to pit programs against each other. The Navy’s new nuclear missile submarine and the Air Force’s Long-Range Strike Bomber, for example, are both huge strategic-weapons programs with enormous bills coming due in the next decade and much debate… Keep reading →

A Chinese Navy J-11 fighter buzzes a US P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane off Hainan Island in August.

O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae mony a blunder free us…. – Robert Burns, “To A Louse” WASHINGTON: A tag-team of Chinese reporters pressed the normally soft-spoken Chief of Naval Operations into making some fairly blunt statements on US-China relations this morning. It was an… Keep reading →

lockheed boeing long range strike bomber

WASHINGTON: It won’t happen tomorrow, but the Pentagon may have to start eating its young to pay for two of the most expensive weapons in US history: the Air Force’s Long Range Strike bomber and the Navy’s replacement for the Ohio class nuclear missile submarine. That’s the estimation of Todd Harrison, the top budget expert… Keep reading →

frank-kendall-7422576862ae9b101354b

[UPDATED with Hagel, Shaffer comments] NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: The four armed services only submitted their draft 2016 budgets to the Office of the Secretary of Defense “basically yesterday,” Undersecretary Frank Kendall said this morning — and he’s already “concerned.” As the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, Kendall sees worrying signs. With the automatic budget cuts known as… Keep reading →

Anzac Day 2012 at Gallipoli, Turkey

SYDNEY: In World War II, this country served the allied cause as a giant aircraft carrier and port, providing planes, men and materiel to deploy throughout the Pacific. Allied aircraft flew from the northeastern town of Cairns during the Battle of the Coral Sea — known by some as the “battle that saved Australia.” The… Keep reading →

Lockheed Martin's UCLASS concept.

It’s crunch time for UCLASS. On September 10th — after multiple delays — the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer and his Defense Acquisition Board will sit in judgment on the proposed combat drone. The question: how best to bring the robot revolution to the deck of the 90-year-old aircraft carrier. The “Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and… Keep reading →

A Navy SM-6 interceptor missile destroys a simulated cruise missile in an Aug. 18 test.

You wouldn’t expect the Navy to test its weapons in the desert. But that’s just what happened Thursday at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, an Army facility 500 miles from the sea, where a Standard Missile-6 successfully intercepted a mock cruise missile flying low and slow over land. Hitting that target is one sign… Keep reading →

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