military

  • Robocalypse Now: Toy-sized combat robot fires "pyrophoric warheads"

    I’m torn here. Not literally torn, as I expect to be when the robots take over and my body is used for spare parts, but morally torn. On one hand, here we have a little robot that could venture into dangerous situations via remote control and detonate bombs or flush out enemy dudes. Could save lives. On the other hand, here we have a little robot that, given the spark of strong AI… Read More

  • U.S. military launches unmanned X-37B spacecraft. Too bad it refuses to tell us what it's for!

    It’s all a bit like Mass Effect. The U.S. Air Force successfully launched the X-37B unmanned spacecraft yesterday, but the question that nobody knows the answer to: what’s it for? The Air Force refuses to say what the X-37B’s mission on beyond something along the lines “we wanted to see if it works.” OK, but do you plan on doing with it? “Sorry… Read More

  • HP plans wrist-mounted e-ink display for space marines

    First, a trivia question: how many of you remember Super Force? Because that’s the first thing I thought of when I saw this picture. Even more, this Starcrafty Korean concept soldiers. Moving on, though… remember that wrist-mounted device HP showed off in its “let’s do amazing” ads a little while back? Turns out they were showing an old model: the plan now is to… Read More

  • Those drones you use in Modern Warfare 2? They could be illegal in real life.

    You know all those drones you kids use to rain grim death upon your unfortunate friends in Modern Warfare 2? Well, according to an American University law professor’s Congressional testimony, they may be illegal under international law. Of course, they could be totally fine, too, it’s just that nobody really knows for sure. That’s probably not what the U.S. military wants… Read More

  • Video: The $113.5 million F-35B Lightning II can float in the air for a little bit

    There’s a certain amount of pride in seeing a country pump out something like the new F-35B Lightning II fighter jet. At $113.5 million per aircraft, it’s about as far away from the meaning of the word “inexpensive” as possible. It makes you think, well, if we can afford things like that, why can’t we afford things like this? But, whatever. The entire purpose of… Read More

  • If only you had actually seen The Hurt Locker

    Who saw The Hurt Locker? Oh, right: none of you. Even if you didn’t you probably are already familiar with the basic concept: a U.S. Army guy whose job it is to disable I.E.D.s sorta goes crazy. That’s the gist of it. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense in the UK has unveiled something called the Dragon Runner, a remote-controlled robot that disables bombs. Read More

  • Bunker buster robot will be like an underground missile

    Well, there goes Zion. That rave-lovin’ excuse for a remnant of humanity would have been taken out in a trice by these Robotic Underground Munitions. And so it will be once the Robocalypse hits. Why are we doing the machines’ job for them? Here, I’ve got a better name for these bunker-busting subterranean missiles: Drill-based Earth-Asploding Terrifying Horrorbots. Read More

  • 360-degree virtual combat room is like Iraq: The Arcade Game

    Just so you know, I’m not making light of warfare — it’s just that virtual training like this, while valuable, does remind one simultaneously of Modern Warfare and Ender’s Game. Of course, as this article notes, the current generation of potential soldiers has grown up in a digital age and expects a little Xbox with their ammo box. Read More

  • CrunchCool: Russian Typhoon class submarine

    Here’s something old, but definitely cool and worth showing you. Livejournal user Igor113 posted some pictures from his trip to… somewhere in Russia. He loves to travel and take pictures, and these are some extremely cool photographs of some rusted and cool equipment. Igor did apologize for the quality of his camera though, and requests that you don’t kick his legs. Read More

  • DARPA planning to test Mach 6 hyperplane in April

    This rather unconvincing video shows a current project of DARPA’s, in which a jet is accelerated first by regular propulsion, then ramjets, then scramjets — eventually pushing the vehicle to a ridiculous Mach 6. That’s somewhere around 1700-2000 meters per second, or ~4000MPH. That’s if they can keep the thing from breaking apart. Wikipedia tells us that “while… Read More

  • Darpa wants a real C-3PO to translate for troops Over There

    Shocking admission: I’ve never seen a Star Wars movie. Well, that’s not entirely true: I did see Episode One and Episode Three, but I’m pretty sure those don’t really count. (I liked the song “Duel of the Fates,” though, and the one that played when Anakin fought the other guy in the lava or whatever.) I bring this up because this story is about C3PO… Read More

  • So, so awesome: tactical laser takes down ballistic missile (video)

    Do you see what I’m seeing? That big ol’ column in the first shot is a LASER. A huge, sustained, sci-fi style laser. It’s blasting a missile in midair during a test. And that second shot? Talk about C-beams off the shoulder of Orion. Read More

  • Marines buy portable armor that comes in a flat pack

    This is strangely cool. A defense contractor developed a type of steel reinforced armor that could replace the basic sandbag encampment. The armor assembles extremely quickly and is resistant to bullets, grenades, and IED blasts. It also takes about 10 minutes to put together without tools. It really is amazing the new technology that is coming out for the military. Read More

  • U.S. military now wants 3D surveillance cameras. Avatar invented 3D, you know.

    In a sense, the following story can be summed up thus: the US military wants new, hi-tech equipment. That’s not exactly breaking news, no, but there’s an Avatar connection, so if the world could stop rotating on its axis for a moment… It’s called Fine Detail Optical Surveillance, and the military wants Darpa to develop it. Think 3D spy cameras. Attach one to a… Read More

  • U.S. Air Force using the PS3 for ‘urban surveillance’ research

    A few weeks ago word got out that the U.S. Air Force had purchased 2,200 PS3s to throw into a supercomputing cluster. The cell-powered PS3s are to be used for research in “urban surveillance,” what that is. Read More

  • New off-road military vehicle for Afghanistan looks solid as hell

    After watching Generation Kill, my anxiety for our troops went up quite a bit. War is an ugly business to begin with, but when you’re driving around a battlefield in an unarmored Humvee with electrical problems, it tends to look even uglier. Afghanistan is still an extremely hairy theater, and the vehicles they’ve had over there over the years (years, people) just weren’t… Read More

  • Navy UAV sets endurance record of 26 hours 1 minute

    Twenty-six hours and one minute. That’s how long a new, unmanned, experimental Navy aircraft flew through the air during a recent test run. It’s called the Ion Tiger. There it is, right there. Read More

  • New stealth jumpjet starting hover trials

    The Harrier jumpjet is one of the most famous aircraft in the world. Ideal for carrier take off and landings, the jumpjet has been part of the US military arsenal for many years. The problem is that it isn’t very fast. Now the next generation of jumpjet is entering testing to see if it measures up. Read More

  • Helmet radar: coming to a supersoldier near you

    A helmet-mounted radar unit seems redundant with the kind of crazy surveillance and intel they already have available or in the pipes, but hey, whatever helps our boys. While satellite and air-based imaging are invaluable to the modern field commander, an individual infantryman has little feedback in an more local tactical situation. So why not have an imaging system for individuals? Read More

  • Meet the men and women behind the drones

    So everyone knows now that the military uses UAVs for actions in the Middle East. What isn’t as commonly known, is that the men and women who pilot the remote controlled aircraft do so from the relative comfort of a top secret facility in the Nevada desert. In some ways, it’s the ultimate video game. Read More

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