drones

The X-47B drone plugs into an aerial refueling tanker for the first time.

PENTAGON: After more than a year of intense debate over whether the Navy’s future UCLASS drone should be a long-range stealth bomber or a lightly armed scout, the Defense Department has chosen — neither. Instead, the 2017 budget proposes a program that is less ambitious than either version of UCLASS but, to their mind, more… Keep reading →

army-ah-64e-apache-guardian-helicopters

UPDATED: Retired Gen. Ham Adds Apache Cost Info At Friday breakfast WASHINGTON: The congressionally chartered National Commission on the Future of the Army recommends splitting the difference between the regular Army and the National Guard in a bitterly polarizing dispute over AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. That’s the most politically high-profile recommendation out of dozens, many of them… Keep reading →

Navy photo

ARMY & NAVY CLUB: As the Pentagon prepares to roll out its 2017 budget, one strategically crucial piece is the so-called Third Offset Strategy. That’s the US military’s high-tech, high-stakes plan to keep our edge over Russia, China, and other rapidly advancing rivals. This morning, the Chief of Naval Research outlined some of what the Navy’s… Keep reading →

Panoramic image of the Financial districts of London

One of today’s toughest defense problems is drones. But not what the Air Force likes to call Remotely Piloted Aircraft that carry missiles and bombs. The bigger threat – one that worries law enforcement and the Secret Service as much as the Pentagon – is drones like the hundreds of thousands Santa brought to kids… Keep reading →

Sorry, real robots won't be this cute and friendly.

WASHINGTON: I haven’t seen the new Star Wars movie yet — no spoilers in the comments section, please — but its vision of high-tech warfare is already looking quaint. Always at heart a fairy tale in space, the series puts humans in the cockpit and on the front lines, with droids as adorable sidekicks. Meanwhile,… Keep reading →

Observer, Mentor, Liaison Team members, Maj. Jim Hickman and Latvian army Maj. Juris Abolins, patrols through the village of Nishagam, in Konar province, Afghanistan alongside members of the Afghan national army, March 18. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Moeller) http://www.nationalguard.mil/news/archives/2009/03/033009-Afghanistan.aspx

WASHINGTON: As the US military refocuses on Russia and China, it mustn’t forget the hard-won lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq, because they’ll only become more relevant in future conflicts. With technology spreading, populations rising, and megacities sprawling, “war among the people” — whether it’s counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, or just conventional warfare in an urban setting —… Keep reading →

Navy photo

CAPITOL HILL: The new Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, previewed a Navy “design for maintaining maritime superiority” this morning. The service will roll it out in January, just before the 2017 budget. While Richardson seems a bit more guarded than his predecessor in his public comments — at least, so far — he did tease… Keep reading →

Air Force photo

WASHINGTON: Lt. Gen. Brad Heithold, the head of Air Force Special Operations Command, wants to make the AC-130 a kind of flying aircraft carrier, launching mini-drones mid-flight to scope out threats and targets. Oh, and he wants the AC-130 to have a laser cannon as well. Speaking to the Association of Old Crows’ annual conference on electronic… Keep reading →

Gen. Mark Welsh, Air Force Chief of Staff.

WASHINGTON: Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh made clear today that, while his service will make its arguments for modernization programs such as the JSTARS replacement, F-35 and Long Range Strike Bomber, the Defense Secretary and the combatant commanders will make the final decisions. The military’s latest and highest profile program, the Long Range Strike… Keep reading →

The Navy's UCAS demonstrator made history as the first drone to take off and land from an aircraft carrier. Its proposed successor is called UCLASS.

PENTAGON: The Navy’s new offices for unmanned systems — that’s drones or robots to you and me — are a long-overdue reform, two top experts tell us. But, as emphasized by both our outside sources and the new Navy officials themselves, it’s equally important to understand the initiative’s limits. This is not an overhaul of the… Keep reading →

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