lasers

A US Air Force B-52 flies over the Pacific on a flight out of Guam. Bombers like this one challenged the Chinese air defense one earlier today.

WASHINGTON: Arsenal plane. It’s a great name, no? And the Hyper Velocity Projectile. Whoa. Fast flying swarming micro drones. Neat! There’s much more being developed, but it’s classified. Where is all this coming from? The Strategic Capabilities Office, or SCO for short. Defense Secretary Ash Carter talked up the new office in his 2017 budget preview speech… 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 →

CSIS image

WASHINGTON: If the United States is serious about “rebalancing” to Asia, it needs to invest some serious cash. Strategic small change won’t deter China or reassure our increasingly anxious allies, says a new report from the influential Center for Strategic & International Studies. And that means the CSIS study’s sponsor — Congress — must get its… Keep reading →

A Navy cruiser launches a Harpoon anti-ship missile, a 1977 design unsuited for long-range war in the Pacific.

2016 will be challenging for the Navy. At sea the fleet will continue to face demands that exceed its supply of forces, while at home the fiscal 2017 budget is likely to make difficult choices that prioritize high quality over adequate quantity. Most significantly for sailors, the supply-demand mismatch will get worse next year. While… Keep reading →

AC-130 laser - illustration by DARPA

General Atomics, whose MQ-1 Predator changed the world, is to start testing another potentially revolutionary weapon next month: a 150-kilowatt class laser. Several other companies are developing laser weapons and “we’re looking at all of them,” said Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, head of Air Force Special Operations Command, in an interview with Breaking Defense. “The… Keep reading →

Sixth generationa fighter concept Northrop NGAD (1)

PALMDALE, CALIF: Northrop Grumman unveiled its vision of the so-called sixth-generation fighter, showing reporters a laser-firing aircraft that looks like a cross between the B-2 bomber and the X-47B drone. Chris Hernandez, Northrop’s vice president for research, technology and advanced design, laid out the basic parameters for the sixth-gen fighter (Northrop refers to it as NG Air… 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 →

Robert Work

WASHINGTON: This time last year, top Pentagon officials were very publicly touting the Pentagon’s new Third Offset Strategy. Then offset went into stealth mode as people went behind closed doors to wrestle with what it would actually be. So, I asked Deputy Secretary Bob Work yesterday, what’s up with offset? Work’s response made clear the concept… Keep reading →

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

AUSA: “There’s never been that much power on a vehicle this small,” said Jeff Wood, showing off Northrop Grumman’s new Hellhound scout car. In fact, he told reporters, standing amidst the buzzing chaos of the exhibit space at Washington’s biggest defense conference, “I can power this entire hall with this vehicle.” In a disaster scenario, he… Keep reading →

A target truck disabled by Lockheed's ATHENA laser

CRYSTAL CITY: The world’s largest defense company is taking a big step towards battlefield laser weapons. In a few weeks, Lockheed Martin will start production of high-efficiency fiber-optic modules that can be wired together into a wide variety of different weapons. Production will start with a prototype 60-kilowatt rocket-killer for the Army, they said, but… Keep reading →

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