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The Pentagon looks at the next 25 years of military robots

Last month, the US Pentagon pulled out its crystal ball and released a report that presents a blueprint of what it sees as the future of military robots over the next quarter of a century. It projects likely developments in new unmanned technologies against a background of shrinking budgets and shifting strategic policies, and how the dramatic development and expansion of military unmanned systems requires large-scale consolidation and development to exploit the technology’s full potential.  Read More

Artist's concept of the Successor submarine (Image: Ministry of Defence)

As part of an update to Parliament on the progress of the Trident replacement program, Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has released a concept image of the Royal Navy’s next ballistic nuclear missile submarine. This coincides with the awarding of two contracts to BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines for £47 million (US$76 million) and £32 million (US$60 million) to begin preliminary design work on the nuclear-powered submarines, currently called the Successor class, which are intended to replace the Navy’s aging fleet of of Vanguard-class boats by 2028.  Read More

The HEL MD that took out mortars and UAVs in flight using its vehicle-mounted 10-kW laser ...

High energy laser weapons are a hot area of research with companies including Lockheed Martin, Rheinmetall and Northrop Grumman all developing systems. Boeing is also in the mix with its High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD), which is being put through its paces by the US Army. Between November 18 and December 10, the HEL MD successfully took out mortar rounds and UAVs in flight, marking a first for the vehicle-mounted system.  Read More

Sequence photo of the launch of the XFC (Photo: NAVSEA-AUTEC)

Today, the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) announced that it had successfully launched a drone from a submerged submarine. The all-electric eXperimental Fuel Cell Unmanned Aerial System (XFC) was launched in the Bahamas from the Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Providence (SSN 719) using a system that allowed the drone to be deployed without modifications to the boat, or requiring it to surface.  Read More

The Combat UE-1 vehicle is one design being explored through ArmyCoCreate.com

The US Army Rapid Equipping Force (REF) is experimenting with internet-based collaboration. With the help of the crowdsourcing gurus at Local Motors, it has launched ArmyCoCreate.com, a website designed to let soldiers, designers and engineers collaborate on identifying soldier requirements and designing prototypes to address them.  Read More

The upgrade allows the B-52 to carry 50 percent more smart weapons (Image: USAF)

The B-52 heavy bomber is a bit like the Queen of England – sometimes it seems as though both of them are going to go on forever. Last week, Boeing announced a new program to extend the life of the US Air Force B-52 fleet by expanding its capacity to carry smart weapons by 50 percent as part of a new US$24.6 million contract.  Read More

Not the TALOS combat suit (Photo: HarshLight)

The US Navy's top SEAL, four-star Admiral William McRaven, is pushing hard for a modern suit of armor called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS). Though not exactly an Iron Man suit, it's that ballpark. As a result, a Broad Agency Announcement has now been issued seeking proposals and research in support of the design, construction, and testing of TALOS, with a basic version hopefully seeing service within three years.  Read More

The Hydra System is composed of several parts: the delivery system, shelters that may rest...

DARPA has floated a fascinating new unmanned systems project that would see undersea motherships launching smaller submarines and flying vehicles to conduct pop-up surveillance on pirates, terrorists and hijackers. The Hydra Project, named after the Greek legend of the multi-headed snake that grew two new heads whenever one was cut off, looks to provide low cost response to quickly changing situations on or near the water.  Read More

Field Deployable Hydrolysis System (FDHS) developed at the U.S. Army’s Edgewood Chemical a...

The US Department of Defense recently rolled out a system to rapidly deploy chemical weapons disposal facilities that could potentially be used quickly and effectively on foreign shores in the near future. The Field Deployable Hydrolysis System (FDHS) developed at the US Army's Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center in Maryland is a mobile system designed to destroy chemical warfare agents in bulk. The FDHS neutralizes chemical agents by mixing them with water and other reagents like sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite and then heating them to produce compounds that are "not usable as weapons." This heating and mixing process to facilitate chemical reactions purportedly has destruction efficiency of 99.9 percent.  Read More

A nuclear submarine could replace Austrlia's aging diesel fleet, such as HMAS Collins (Ima...

A green paper published by University College London (UCL) argues that it is entirely feasible for Australia to replace its aging fleet of diesel submarines with nuclear-powered craft.  Read More

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