One of the more unpleasant aspects of army life has always been guard duty. It's also very labor intensive. In the US Army, it takes four to six soldiers standing for up to 12 hours to man a single perimeter weapons system. To free up personnel for more important duties, the Army is testing the Tower Hawk System, which uses tower-mounted, remote-controlled weapons for base perimeter security.
Warships are only as effective as far as they can see, so DARPA's Towed Airborne Lift Of Naval Systems (TALONS) research effort is aiming to extend their horizons by giving them a crow's nest 1,500 ft (457 m) tall by way of a towed parafoil. A TALONS prototype recently completed sea trials off the US East Coast as part of a project to provide ships of every size with better long-distance communications and situational awareness.
In naval circles, littoral areas are the hotspots for future conflict, but sending ships close to shore is like steaming into a shooting gallery. To provide more protection, the US Navy recently conducted tests off the coast of California of Raytheon's SeaRAM defensive missile system, which fires supersonic, self-guided interceptors against in-coming close-range threats. The tests were carried out by the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) on August 14 as part of a live-fire exercise at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division sea range. During these exercises, Raytheon says that the Coronado detected, tracked, and engaged an inbound target using SeaRAM.
The US Marine Corps's fleet of amphibious assault vehicles is over 40 years old and instead of fitting them with classic number plates, it's looking for a replacement. At this week's Modern Day Marine trade show in Quantico, Virginia, Lockheed Martin revealed its new candidate Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1. The armored eight-wheel-drive battle wagon can carry up to 13 marines over land or water and incorporates intuitive automatic systems into the design.
BAE Systems is looking to solve one of the most restrictive elements with tank warfare through its BattleView 360 digital mapping system. The versatile technology will allow the crew of an armored vehicle to see through the metal confines of their war machine, allowing for unprecedented levels of combat awareness for the crews of combat vehicles.
Dogs may make excellent team mates, but they aren't very good at telling you what they see. Colchester-based Visual Engineering's Cerberus Digital Canine Transmission system is designed take this feedback way beyond barking by providing a high-tech set of eyes that let the handler see what the canine sees.
BAE Systems is in the
process of developing bone conduction technology for use by soldiers
on the battlefield. The helmet-based system will leverage the same
basic technology as that found in commercial bone amplifying
headphones, and should have the effect of allowing soldiers to hear
comms over the loudest battlefield noises.
Aiming for a leg or shooting a weapon from a criminal's hands may be an option for cops in the movies, but real police officers are trained to shoot for the center of mass, not necessarily to kill, but to stop – although the end result can often be one and the same. "The Alternative" is designed to give officers a less lethal option in the form of a clip-on "air bag" for semiautomatic pistols that reduces the velocity of a standard round to make it less lethal.
In 1906, the battleship HMS Dreadnought entered into service with the Royal Navy. With her 12-in (305 mm) guns, high speed capabilities and other innovations, she rendered all other major warships obsolete. Inspired by this revolutionary design, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) think-tank project Startpoint has unveiled its vision of a Navy vessel 35 years from now with the Dreadnought 2050 – an automated fusion-powered surface warship equipped with lasers, hypersonic missiles, a high-tech composite hull, and torpedoes that can travel at over 300 knots (345 mph, 555 km/h).
Imagine if you were to carry over 100 lb (45 kg) of gear in a backpack, for several hours at a time. Well, that’s just what some soldiers have to do, and it can cause great stress to their torso and legs. That’s why engineers at the Australia’s Department of Defence have developed a new exoskeleton, that diverts two thirds of pack weight directly to the ground.