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Military

Seventy years ago, the greatest military operation in history was launched as the Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe in what history recalls as D-Day. We’re used to seeing newsreel images of marines and infantrymen rushing from landing craft in the face of the German guns, but overhead there was another war raging as men in fragile aircraft risked their lives to capture vital images of the battle’s progress. As part of the 70th-anniversary commemoration, RAF Tornado jets from II (Army Co-operation) Squadron (II (AC) Sqn) recreated that historic D-Day recon mission over Normandy, giving us a glimpse of how far aerial reconnaissance has come in three generations. Read More
This April, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp and the US Army used a one-of-a-kind autonomous Black Hawk helicopter to perform an unmanned cargo flight demonstration. Known as the Optionally Piloted Black Hawk (OPBH) Demonstrator, that same chopper has now been enlisted to take the autonomy concept even further. In the new Extended Operational Reach with Autonomous Air and Ground Vehicles project, it will deliver an all-terrain vehicle to a remote site, and that vehicle will then autonomously explore the site from ground level. Read More
Today's ships are equipped with radar systems that let them identify other ships from a distance, and while that works well enough for collision avoidance, those systems aren't the greatest at detecting small watercraft ... such as the low-slung skiffs often used by pirates. That's where WatchStander comes in. It's a radar system that's designed to pick out such boats, and then deter their crews before they can attack. Read More
Hyperspectral imaging is a bit like super-vision. With it, you can not only see what’s there, but what it’s made of, which is a good thing if you’re looking for bombs, gas leaks, and smuggled nuclear material. Defense and information systems specialist Exelis has announced the successful test of a new airborne long-wave infrared (LWIR), hyperspectral (HSI) sensor that can be aimed in multiple directions and is capable of detecting explosives, gases and dangerous chemicals. Read More
As well as protecting soldiers from impacts, modern helmets and masks are also designed to provide protection against chemical and biological agents. Such gear requires a powered air purifying respirator to supply air, but these traditionally rely on a separate battery pack and blower unit that is connected to the mask via a hose. The US Army is developing technology for a compact self-contained mask that is not only lighter and less cumbersome, but also helps keep soldiers cool. Read More
Lockheed Martin’s ADAM (Area Defense Anti-Munitions) High Energy Laser (HEL) system is part of a growing breed of high-energy weapons being developed for the armed forces of the near future. Having previously demonstrated its ability to track, target, and destroy rockets at high speed and at distances of up to 2 km (1.2 miles), the versatility of the ADAM system has been further established by taking aim at waterborne targets, successfully disabling a military-grade boat in a test on May 7 in the Pacific Ocean. Read More

Advanced Tactics Inc. has now received permission from the US government to release video footage showing the first test flight of its Black Knight Transformer prototype demonstrator. Read More

Avon Protection showcased a new respirator-helmet combination at this week's Counter Terror Expo in London. The HMK150 provides chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) protection. It is designed for use in situations such as riot control, where there may be both violence and toxic gases present. Read More
A team of experts at the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed a new way of fabricating spinel, an armor material used in the windows of military vehicles, demonstrating that the strength of transparent ceramics could be dramatically improved. The nanocrystalline spinel is 50 percent harder than the spinel currently used in armored vehicles and could result in enhanced protection for personnel. Read More
Watching old war movies, we expect firing a navy gun to be accompanied by a deafening bang and a dramatic cloud of burnt powder. This being the 21st century, the US Navy has other ideas as it prepares to install and test a prototype electromagnetic railgun on a Spearhead-class joint high speed vessel in 2016 as part of a program to develop the naval artillery of the future. Read More
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