Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Military

BAE's modular Common Infrared Countermeasure unit (Photo: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems has submitted a proposal to the US Army’s Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) program. Once operational, BAE's system will safeguard rotary and light-fixed wing aircraft, increasing survivability against the threat posed by infrared missiles. CIRCM is designed to work alongside an infrared warning system and a flare dispenser – a commonly-used countermeasure that confuses a guided missile into seeking the heat from the flare rather than that emitted by the target aircraft.  Read More

The AITT system could turn the whole world into a potential Marine Corp training ground (P...

While products like Google Glass tend to be the most publicized applications of augmented reality, uses of the technology extend far beyond niche consumer tech. To that end, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has unveiled the Augmented Immersive Team Trainer (AITT), a system that aims to transform any location into a dynamic, cost-effective training ground for Marines.  Read More

Large military aircraft, such as the C-130 transport pictured above, could be converted to...

DARPA has submitted a request for information on how to turn existing military aircraft into "aircraft carriers of the sky." Ideally, the successful response would allow large manned aircraft to launch and recover multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), whilst requiring only minimal cost-effective adaptations to existing aircraft.  Read More

Rover is a video game developed by the US military that uses an Xbox Kinect to help train ...

For centuries, dogs have served in a variety of roles alongside humans, including faithful companion and guardian. The latter function is one that’s seen more focus in recent times as canines have been trained to sniff out buried improvised explosive devices (IEDs) before they are detonated. The dog’s handler also needs to be trained to detect subtle cues from the animal, which is where a video game developed by the US military comes into play.  Read More

The BAE VR system is based on laser tracking and an interactive wand

Like many endeavors, making warships is a matter of specialization, with the various parts of the project scattered about the country or even across the world. For the Royal Navy and its principal shipbuilder BAE systems, this means engineers in Glasgow, Portsmouth, and Bristol having to work together despite being hundreds of miles apart. BAE’s answer is a network of "visualization suites" that allow teams to meet in a virtual environment where they can build and test designs as full-scale 3D prototypes before sending them to the shipyards.  Read More

The F-35C making its first carrier landing (Image: US Navy)

On Monday at 12:18 pm PDT off the coast of San Diego, California, the F-35C Lightning II made its first arrested landing on an aircraft carrier. Taking place on the first day of a two-week sea trial, the landing of the F-35C test aircraft CF-03 on the flight deck of the nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) with test pilot commander Tony Wilson at the controls marked a major step towards the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter entering operational service.  Read More

The W88 ALT 370 warhead was dropped from a crane to simulate a loading accident

Dropping a nuclear warhead may not seem like a particularly bright idea, but earlier this year Sandia National Laboratories did just that. As part of the US government’s Life Extension Program (LEP) for its nuclear arsenal, the inert W88 ALT 370 warhead was dropped from a crane in New Mexico onto a slab of concrete to test the updated design’s safety.  Read More

A ship's bridge, with the Marine Armor System deployed

There are a number of systems out there designed to keep pirates from boarding ships, incorporating everything from lasers to acoustic devices to writhing water hoses. However, what happens if the pirates get on board anyway? If the ship is equipped with the Marine Armor System, a series of ballistic blinds will roll down throughout the vessel, blocking access to its interior.  Read More

The RAZAR riflescope allows shooters to change focus without distraction

In combat, seconds count and a moment’s hesitation or distraction can mean the difference between life and death. So it's no small problem that modern riflescopes often require soldiers to look away from their targets or take their hands off their rifles in order to change magnification. Sandia National Laboratories’ Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles (RAZAR) riflescope is capable of switching between high and low zoom magnifications at the touch of a button, allowing soldiers to concentrate on the battle rather than their scopes.  Read More

Artist's concept of HMS Forth, which is now under construction

BAE Systems has begun construction of the first of the Royal Navy’s three new River class Batch 3 Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV). During a ceremony at BAE Systems Surface Ships’ Govan facility in Glasgow, Bernard Gray, the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Chief of Defence Material, activated a plasma cutting machine, which sliced through first plate of steel for HMS Forth. The ship will be the first in the Royal Navy to incorporate the state-of-the-art Shared Infrastructure operating system in its construction.  Read More

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