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 →

Chinese J-31 stealth fighter

CAPITOL HILL: The head of Air Force acquisition, just back from the Dubai Air Show, said the United States must act fast to make it easier and quicker for allies to buy US weapons through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. If we don’t, Bill LaPLante said at an event put by on the Lexington Institute,… Keep reading →

US Army cybersecurity personnel

ARLINGTON: “We needed to learn to speak infantry,” said Col. William Hartman, commander of the Army’s first offensive cyber operations brigade. That’s not easy. When one of Hartman’s teams joined a brigade of the 25th Infantry Division for an exercise this spring, the colonel recounted, the 25th’s commanding general told Hartman that his cyber operators… Keep reading →

Wikimedia Commons

[UPDATED with TRADOC & additional Work comment] We’ve talked a lot in these pages about drones and robots, networks and swarms. But there’s new way of looking at these weapons that Bob Work made clear is at the heart of the Defense Department’s high-tech “Third Offset Strategy.” It’s an approach that relies not just on technology… Keep reading →

Orion in hangar

MANASSAS, Va.: Defense contractors often grouse when the military hesitates to buy their products, but usually sotto voce. As John Langford sits in his office at Manassas Regional Airport and contemplates his company’s world-record-setting Orion drone, now sitting disassembled in a nearby hangar, the Aurora Flight Sciences chief executive officer can’t help speaking up. “When… Keep reading →

Air Force photo

PENTAGON CITY: The dirty secret of so-called “unmanned” systems is they require a whole lot of men — and women — to operate them. They’re just back at base, running things remotely, rather than hands-on in the aircraft. With the Air Force drone community overworked and undermanned, the service’s intelligence chief has suggested a Solomonic… Keep reading →

U-2 ready at Skunk Works Site 2

The Air Force is expanding its Open Mission Systems standard because it is working so well, Lt. Gen. Robert Otto, deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, said in a Monday interview with Breaking Defense. “Our acquisition community is looking to — maybe proliferate is too strong a word — but broaden the… Keep reading →

Army photo

AUSA: Watch the skies: The US Army is paying close attention to Russia’s “massive use of drones [to spot for] artillery,” Gen. David Perkins, head of the powerful Training & Doctrine Command, said here today. “In Iraq and Afghanistan, we were kind of the only ones that had Unmanned Aerial Systems [UAS or UAVs] and they pretty… Keep reading →

Grey Eagle Army drone

AUSA: When it comes to drones, the Army is now thinking small. The next new drone the service will buy is a Rucksack Portable UAS, Col. Courtney Cote, project manager for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), told reporters at an Association of the United States Army update on Army UAS plans. Cote’s office already has a… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: The American military isn’t ready “at all” for an “era of radical transparency…. where every single thing a US soldier or Marine does on the ground is recorded and tweeted,” Paul Scharre says. In the past, I’ve mostly talked to Scharre about drones. He’s a technophile who thinks mini-robots, exoskeletons, and precision-guided rifles could revolutionize… Keep reading →

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