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Naval Warfare

The DARPA project envisions deploying assets such as this earlier DARPA concept, the Corma...

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has seen the future of naval warfare and it’s falling upward. As part of an effort to reduce the logistics of sending equipment into trouble areas, the agency’s Upward Falling Payloads project is aimed at developing storage capsules capable of remaining on the deep seabed for years. These would contain non-lethal military assets that could be deployed on the spot years in advance and rise to the surface as needed.  Read More

The nanomaterial-based unmanned Piranha USV boat is now a reality, and threatens to redefi...

You've heard of UAVs, unmanned remote controlled military aircraft; but what about USVs? Standing for Unmanned Surface Vehicle, a USV is quite simply an unmanned boat, like Zyvex Marine's Piranha concept. We've looked at USVs before, and the Piranha specifically in early 2010; but what was then a prototype under development is now a fully-fledged production craft, having shipped its first unit last November. "Our production facility is closer to rocket science than traditional boat building," says Zyvex Marine VP Byron Nutley of his boat - the only one in the world, it's claimed, that is made out of nanomaterials. But does the Piranha have the technological bite to match the hyperbole, and what does this mean for naval warfare?  Read More

SAFFiR, the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot, is being developed to help put out fi...

If there's one thing that you don't want happening on board a ship, it's a fire. People on board burning ships can't simply run out onto the streets, as they hopefully could in the case of a structural fire, plus many people caught belowdecks don't have windows nearby to climb out of. Then, there's also the fact that crew members fighting such fires have to work in narrow, claustrophobic passageways, instead of wide-open roads. Given that fires are particularly possible on military ships, due to attacks by enemy forces, America's Naval Research Laboratory is now developing a special something to help fight fires at sea - it's called SAFFiR, the Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot.  Read More

GHOST is a prototype military boat, that is claimed to be the world's first super-cavitati...

If you combined a stealth jet fighter and an attack helicopter and stuck them in the water, what would you get? Well, according to the folks at New Hampshire’s Juliet Marine Systems (JMS), you’d get their GHOST marine platform. Privately developed for possible use by the U.S. Navy, the boat would reportedly be invisible to enemy ships’ radar, while also being faster and more economical than existing military vessels. The company’s big claim, however, is that GHOST is the world’s first super-cavitating watercraft.  Read More

Boeing to develop Free Electron Laser for US Navy
 (Photo: Frank Buck/Boeing)

Boeing has won a U.S. Navy contract worth up to $163 million to develop the Free Electron Laser (FEL), a weapon system that the company says "will transform naval warfare in the next decade by providing an ultra-precise, speed-of-light capability and unlimited magazine depth to defend ships against new, challenging threats, such as hyper-velocity cruise missiles." The envisioned level of precision would enable U.S. Navy ships to deliver nonlethal or lethal force to targets with power and minimal collateral damage.  Read More

The first firing of the railgun in January 2008, was an historic and spectacular occasion

Think of the electromagnetic railgun as an electric cannon which uses electrical energy instead of chemical propellant to launch projectiles at hypervelocities. First conceived nearly a century ago, the concept was investigated by Germany during WWII, but has really only stepped out of science fiction and into reality in the last 12 months. With shells travelling at Mach 5 on impact, and accurate to within five metres at a 200 mile range, such weapons maximize the damage they do through kinetic energy, and hence don't need explosive payloads. Accordingly, they are ideal for naval warfare as they minimise the risk to warships which do not need to carry explosive warheads or propellants. Earlier this week, the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) awarded a USD 21 million 30-month contract to BAE Systems for the detailed design and delivery of an Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) Railgun. As previously warned, if the Daleks don't get here soon, they'll have a serious fight on their hands.  Read More

The Gerald R Ford class carriers will have a larger flight deck, improved weapons handling...

The Gerald R. Ford CVN 78 is the first ship in the first new aircraft carrier class in over 40 years and Northrop Grumman has received a $5.1 billion, seven-year contract for its construction, which is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2015.  Read More

The US Navy's new Littoral Combat Ship, the U.S.S. Independence.

A speedy trimaran with helicopter decks, a stealthy radar profile and a healthy array of arms, the US Navy's newest Littoral Combat Ship is configurable to suit a wide array of combat missions including mine-sweeping, anti-submarine and surface combat support - and it wouldn't look the least bit out of place soaring over the credits of a Star Wars movie.  Read More

Thales UK's optronic mast

Thales UK's optronic mast is a non-hull breaching substitute for a periscope, which rapidly captures a 360 degree scan and sends the image to the console screens in a sub’s operation center. The electro-optics system provides improved surface visibility, while allowing the ship to remain hidden from sonar detection.  Read More

ALMDS pod mounted on an MH-60S helicopter

March 12, 2008 A Northrop Grumman system designed to protect ships by using lasers to detect mines in the ocean has been given the go-ahead by the U.S. Navy for low-rate initial production. The US$25 million will see three Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS) produced with expectations that 25 units will be manufactured over the next five years.  Read More

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