drones

Solara60

Since we did the first story about the capabilities that Titan Aerospace offers — drones capable of flying for five years at 65,000 feet — we feel compelled to write about their reported purchase by Facebook. That’s right: not SpaceX or Northrop Grumman or Orbital. Facebook. The story is being covered in the financial and… Keep reading →

The older, smaller MQ-8B Fire Scout compared to the new and larger MQ-8C (US Navy).

At 11 years old, the robot helicopter called the MQ-8 Fire Scout is a at least a preadolescent. But ever since the reconnaissance drone’s first flight in 2002, it’s had one big problem: It’s a little bit…little. So, at the Navy’s request, manufacturer Northrop Grumman basically did a brain transplant. It put the Fire Scout’s… Keep reading →

A Croatian soldier and a Minnesota National Guardsman train together for Afghanistan.

Yesterday, four mid-grade military officers — one from each armed service – made a remarkable public recommendation to their boss, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel: It’s time to force the four services back into clearly demarcated “lanes” and reduce overlap between them as budgets shrink and competition escalates. They focused on three high-priority areas: Cybersecurity, the… Keep reading →

Most Apache units, both active-duty and Guard, have spent the last decade operating in two-gunship teams like this one, not the larger formations required for conventional wars.

“To be honest, we feel betrayed.” That’s what one National Guard gunship pilot told me when I asked him about the Army’s plan to strip the Guard of all its AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. That plan — still awaiting approval by President Obama before he includes it in his budget request for fiscal year 2015… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman's MADDS armed robot (based on an earlier unarmed 'bot called CaMEL) captured in the act of firing.

More robots, fewer people. That’s where the US military is headed in the future. But what kind of robots? Army Gen. Robert Cone, four-star commander of the powerful Training and Doctrine Command (aka TRADOC), said that the service is studying how robots could help replace 25 percent of the soldiers in each of its 4,000-strong combat brigades. That’s because the… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman's MADDS armed robot (based on an earlier unarmed 'bot called CaMEL) captured in the act of firing.

Here’s the latest exciting — and unnerving — unmanned system to catch our eye: a 1.5-ton robot that shoots the ever-living crap out of things. Oh, and the manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, most famous for building the B-2 stealth bomber, decided to call it MADSS, as in angry or insane. Perhaps they could’ve been a little… Keep reading →

The Navy's X-47B drone becomes the first unmanned aircraft to launch from an aircraft carrier.

AUVSI: The Navy’s experimental carrier stealth drone, the X-47B, would have made a third landing on the USS George H.W. Bush last month but for the fact the plane knew it was doing a test and decided to waive itself off, Adm. Mathias Winter said here this morning. Think about that. This is a plane… Keep reading →

Winslow Wheeler at Project on Government Oversight prepared this chart.

WASHINGTON: The head of the Air Force’s Quadrennial Defense Review office made very clear today that the service will do all it can to protect the F-35 for a pretty compelling reason: ”We must be able to project power in contested environments (A2/AD) and the Joint Strike Fighter is that machine.” Kwast told reporters after his public… Keep reading →

X-47B Takes Off from USS Bush in May.

[Updated Thursday with details on third, aborted landing attempt] Two out of three ain’t bad, if you’re trying something no one’s ever done before. Landing on the narrow, pitching deck of a Navy aircraft carrier is one of the hardest things a human being can do. Today, for the first time in history, a robot… Keep reading →

Gripenfighters

The Swedes who build the Gripen fighter are known for being practical, producing advanced fighters that are relatively cheap (at least compared to almost everyone else). At the Paris Air Show the Gripen folks, SaaB Group. very deliberately floated an interesting idea. Since the Gripen uses fly-by-wire technology and advanced avionics which virtually eliminate the need… Keep reading →

Page 1 of 712345...7