PENTAGON: The Navy’s F/A-XX initiative has been depicted as an ultra-advanced “sixth generation” aircraft that the Navy would prefer to buy instead of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. But Breaking Defense interviews with Navy and industry sources strongly suggest that the service has little appetite for another expensive development program and that the most likely candidate for the F/A-XX is, in fact, an upgraded F-35.
“We’re not chasing the next shiny object,” a Navy official told Breaking Defense. “We’re looking to what is the art of the possible with regard to affordable warfighting capability.” Keep reading →
There’s been a fair bit of buzz online of late over experiments with a technology called a “laser-induced plasma channel” – essentially, laser-guided, artificially generated lightning bolts – at the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey. But, militarily, what’s it good for? Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: Lasers are déclassé even in science-fiction nowadays – the guys in Avatar and Mass Effect shoot bullets – and the big Air Force and Army laser programs of the last decade were ignominiously cancelled. So I was surprised at last week’s Navy League Sea-Air-Space conference to hear “directed energy” technology mentioned by no less a figure than Vice-Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mark Ferguson as an area where the defense industry should invest. Keep reading →