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Military

DARPA program plunges into underwater positioning system

It can guide the Uber driver to our doorstep and steer mortar rounds toward their targets in Afghanistan, but one place GPS falls short is underwater. The seas may soon have high-precision positioning systems of their own, however, through a DARPA program aimed at providing US Navy submersibles with a new means of navigating the ocean's depths.Read More

US Navy takes possession of its largest ever destroyer

The US Navy took formal possession of its largest ever destroyer as the future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) changed hands from the Bath Iron Works shipyard in Maine. Billed as "the most technically complex and advanced warship the world has ever seen," the handover follows months of sea trials during which the first in its class, multi-mission land attack and littoral dominance warship was tested to certify its hull, mechanical, and electrical systems, propulsion, and anchor and mooring systems.Read More

US Navy's Blackwing drones launch from underwater

The US military may soon welcome some new additions to its fleet of unmanned aircraft, with the Navy revealing plans to purchase a set of small drones that can be launched into the air from submarines and other underwater vehicles.Read More

DARPA awards Ground X-Vehicle Technology contracts as it swaps agility for armor

The days of tanks as giant steel behemoths may be numbered with DARPA awarding eight development contracts for its Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) program. The awards to Carnegie Mellon University, Honeywell International, Leido, Pratt & Miller, QinetiQ, Raytheon BBN, Southwest Research Institute and SRI International are aimed at creating a smarter, faster generation of armored vehicle that replaces steel with speed and agility.Read More

BAE Systems' Archerfish hunts down sea mines

The animal known as the archerfish has a unique claim to fame – it shoots down and then eats airborne insects by spitting a stream of water at them. Well, BAE Systems' Archerfish ROV (remote-operated vehicle) is a little different. It locates and then blows up sea mines, by shooting them with an explosive charge. Read More

British Army's new cannon takes its ammo on the side

The British Army has taken delivery of its first completely new cannon system in 50 years – and it loads sideways. This loading system on the new 40mm Cased Telescoped Cannon System, which was handed over to the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) in Bourges, France by CTA International (CTAI), is claimed to provide more firepower while saving space.Read More

Trident ballistic missile flies with first 3D-printed part

Three-dimensional printing has been applied to handguns, rockets, hypersonic jet engines, bicycles, ears, objects d'art, and now submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). Lockheed Martin has announced that the first 3D printed components for an SLBM flew this week on test launches of three unarmed US Navy Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missiles from a submerged submarine in the Atlantic Ocean. The component tests, which were conducted from March 14 to 16, are part of Lockheed's program to create an all-digital manufacturing process.Read More

DARPA looks to head off threats from off-the-shelf tech

In a world where 3D-printed guns are a reality, security threats are no longer the reserve of a hostile nation's military. With advanced technologies increasingly accessible to groups and individuals, DARPA is initiating a program called "Improv" that's intended to identify and anticipate potential threats from commercially-available off-the-shelf technology.Read More

Solid lubricant smooths the way for reduced weapon maintenance

One the most tedious yet vital tasks of the foot soldier is personal weapon cleaning and maintenance. Under field conditions, it has to be done daily and failure to do so can literally mean the difference between life and death. To reduce this task and make the weapon more durable and reliable, the US Army Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey is developing a Durable Solid Lubricant (DSL) that replaces the more conventional wet lubricants.Read More

HMS Artful uses new "brain" to fire torpedo

The Royal Navy's latest and most advanced nuclear submarine, HMS Artful, has successfully fired its first test torpedo using a state-of-the-art "brain." According to the British Ministry of Defence, the 7,400-tonne hunter-killer used the new Command Combat System to integrate data from its suite of sensors to track and hit the moving target with an unarmed practice weapon. The Artful is the third of the Astute class submarines and is the first to have the CCS installed.Read More

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