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Military

Artist's concept of the ACTUV in action (Image: DARPA)

Submarine combat may seem like an obsolete relic from World War II films and Cold War thrillers, but the past 20 years have seen a growing number of increasingly quiet diesel-electric submarines turning up in some very unfriendly navies. In order to counter this threat, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a contract to the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) of McLean, Virginia to develop unmanned submarine hunters capable of operating for months on end without human intervention.  Read More

The Type 26 Global Combat Ship (T26 GCS) that is due to enter service with the Royal Navy ...

The U.K.’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) has unveiled its new multi-mission warship - the Type 26 Global Combat Ship (T26 GCS). Due to replace the thirteen Type 23 frigates in Britain’s Royal Navy when it enters service in after 2020, the T26 GCS has been in development by the MOD and BAE Systems since 2010 and is intended for use in combat and counter-piracy operations as well as supporting humanitarian and disaster relief work around the world.  Read More

IMASS can sample and detect eight substances simultaneously (Photo: BBI International)

In war and disaster, ignorance can be deadly, so it’s important that soldiers and first responders get the information they need as quickly as possible. Dr. Peter White, a scientist with Britain's Ministry of Defence, has invented a handheld device that makes collecting samples and carrying out tests in the field much simpler and faster than previously possible. Developed at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the Integrated Multiplex Assay and Sampling System (IMASS) can collect samples of and detect eight different substances simultaneously.  Read More

Concept image of the Lockheed Martin Sea Ghost

Lockheed Martin has hinted at plans for a new UAV carrier combat aircraft, known as the UCLASS Sea Ghost. This makes the American defense contractor the fourth contender for the U.S. Navy’s unmanned carrier combat aircraft contract, joining Northrop’s X-47B, Boeing’s Phantom Ray and General Atomic’s Sea Avenger.  Read More

The smart suit is made up of a series of soft components designed to help improve a soldie...

The Pentagon has long had a fascination with machines that turn soldiers into supermen. Back in the 1960s, it funded General Electric’s work on Hardiman, an exoskeleton that was intended to allow its operator to lift loads of 1,500 lbs (680 kg). Almost half a century later, it’s still pouring money into all sorts of exoskeletons, assisted lifting devices (think robotrousers) and similar aids. Now Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering has been selected by DARPA to spearhead the effort to develop a new “smart suit” intended to improve the endurance of soldiers in the field.  Read More

One gun enthusiast has successfully built and fired a the first gun using an AR-15 rifle p...

As the technology improves, 3D printers are being used more and more to create a wide variety of objects, some incredibly useful (like skeletal implants) and some just for fun (like custom robot figurines). Here's another - somewhat controversial - example of just how ubiquitous this technology could become: a working gun built using an AR-15 rifle part made with a 3D printer.  Read More

The new female body armor will be tested next (northern hemisphere) summer

Body armor is a blessing and a curse for soldiers. Modern tactical armor has saved thousands of lives from bullets and bombs, but it can also be a major problem if it doesn’t fit properly. That’s what the women who make up 14 percent of the U.S. Army face on a regular basis. Now, according to the Army News Service, the Army is preparing to test a new armor that is tailored to the female form to replace the standard men's armor that the women now use. Working on data collected in studies overseas and at stateside army bases, the Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier has identified several problem areas and has developed a new armor that will be tested in 2013.  Read More

One of the RCMP-spec MXT APCs

The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) has become the world’s first police or security force to make use of the International MXT Armoured Personnel Carrier. Navistar Defense Canada announced yesterday that it has delivered on a US$14 million contract from the Government of Canada, to supply 18 of its vehicles to the RCMP. The police force stated that the MXT APCs “will enhance the safety of officers involved in critical incidents" – these could reportedly include hostage takings, armed standoffs, barricaded persons and search and rescue operations.  Read More

Zyvex Marine's latest nanotech-enabled lightweight boat, the LRV-17

The purveyors of fine nanotech-enabled lightweight boats at Zyvex Technologies have been in touch to tell Gizmag about their latest creation, the LRV-17, developed to combat piracy off the coast of Africa. At 17.35 m (57 ft), the LRV-17 is a slightly bigger boat than Zyvex's unmanned Piranha USV, but unlike its piscine predecessor the LRV-17 can support of a crew of six for up to five days. Thanks to its weight, Zyvex claims its 1500 nautical mile (2778 km) range can outdistance other boats of its size by a factor of three - hence LRV, which stands for long-range vessel.  Read More

The DARPA competition aims to replace traditional development processes with crowdsourcing

The U.S. Defense Department think tank DARPA is offering up to US$30 million in prize money as part of a competition to introduce crowdsourcing to heavy weapons development and manufacturing. By adopting the”democratized” strategy of crowdsourcing for the development of the Fast, Adaptable Next-Generation armored vehicle (FANG), DARPA hopes to speed up the design and manufacturing of such weapons while reducing costs and introducing greater design flexibility.  Read More

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