navy

The first MQ-4C Triton drone to arrive at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION: The future of Navy long-range reconnaissance, the recently arrived MQ-4C Triton drone, sprawls across its hangar here, with a wingspan 13 feet wider than a Boeing 737 but a body that’s 80 percent lighter. Designed for 24-hour-plus patrols at 50,000 feet, Triton still can’t do the job by itself, say both the program manager and… Keep reading →

DARPA body suit Warrior Web

WASHINGTON: Advocates of military exoskeletons, from the former chief of Special Operations Command on down, like to invoke Iron Man, Marvel’s iconic armored superhero. But there are other models for more modest and more feasible, yet still militarily valuable uses of exosuit technology. So don’t just think of Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. Think of Sigourney… Keep reading →

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NATIONAL HARBOR: Talk about a radioactive issue. Top officials in Air Force, Navy, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense keep talking about how there is no higher priority than the nation’s nuclear deterrent. It’s so crucial, they all say, that someone else should pay for it. “No capability we maintain is more important.… Keep reading →

lockheed boeing long range strike bomber

WASHINGTON: It won’t happen tomorrow, but the Pentagon may have to start eating its young to pay for two of the most expensive weapons in US history: the Air Force’s Long Range Strike bomber and the Navy’s replacement for the Ohio class nuclear missile submarine. That’s the estimation of Todd Harrison, the top budget expert… Keep reading →

The Navy's new EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft during sea trials.

NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: “We have lost the electromagnetic spectrum,” said Alan Shaffer, the Pentagon’s research and engineering chief, this morning. “That’s a huge deal when you think about fielding advanced systems that can be [countered] by a very, very cheap digital jammer.” We’ve heard senior Pentagon officials fret about electronic warfare before, most prominently the Chief of… Keep reading →

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[UPDATED with Hagel, Shaffer comments] NATIONAL PRESS CLUB: The four armed services only submitted their draft 2016 budgets to the Office of the Secretary of Defense “basically yesterday,” Undersecretary Frank Kendall said this morning — and he’s already “concerned.” As the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, Kendall sees worrying signs. With the automatic budget cuts known as… Keep reading →

Lockheed Martin's UCLASS concept.

It’s crunch time for UCLASS. On September 10th — after multiple delays — the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer and his Defense Acquisition Board will sit in judgment on the proposed combat drone. The question: how best to bring the robot revolution to the deck of the 90-year-old aircraft carrier. The “Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and… Keep reading →

A Navy SM-6 interceptor missile destroys a simulated cruise missile in an Aug. 18 test.

You wouldn’t expect the Navy to test its weapons in the desert. But that’s just what happened Thursday at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, an Army facility 500 miles from the sea, where a Standard Missile-6 successfully intercepted a mock cruise missile flying low and slow over land. Hitting that target is one sign… Keep reading →

The U.S. Navy's unmanned X-47B conducts flight operations aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The aircraft completed a series of tests demonstrating its ability to operate safely and seamlessly with manned aircraft. Operating alongside an F/A-18, the X-47B demonstrated two successful launch and recovery sequences. The Theodore Roosevelt is currently underway preparing for future deployments. Photo by Alan Radecki.

[UPDATED: Key test goal met] Robots may be the future of war, but for now they’re going to have to share the battlefield with humans and human-operated vehicles. That’s especially tricky in the tight confines of a Navy carrier’s flight deck, where one miscalculation could drive a drone into a manned aircraft, the bridge island, a… Keep reading →

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[UPDATED with details on latest strikes] Yesterday, President Obama ordered humanitarian airdrops to Iraqi refugees and authorized — but did not actually launch — airstrikes on Islamic State forces threatening either the refugees or Erbil, the capital of quasi-independent Kurdistan. This morning, at 6:45 am Washington time, the other shoe dropped, in the form of 500-pound smart bombs… Keep reading →

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