Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

US Navy

The F-35C making its first carrier landing (Image: US Navy)

On Monday at 12:18 pm PDT off the coast of San Diego, California, the F-35C Lightning II made its first arrested landing on an aircraft carrier. Taking place on the first day of a two-week sea trial, the landing of the F-35C test aircraft CF-03 on the flight deck of the nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) with test pilot commander Tony Wilson at the controls marked a major step towards the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter entering operational service.  Read More

The ONR's robotic boats are designed to autonomously swarm an attacking vessel (Photo: ONR...

In an age plagued by terrorism, the threat posed to the world’s navies and merchant fleets by small craft laden with explosives or crews with automatic weapons is a very real and present danger. To help combat this, the United States Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) is developing a fleet of robotic patrol boats that can not only act as escorts for larger warships or merchant vessels, but can also autonomously swarm around a threatening craft and destroy it.  Read More

The Navy’s unmanned MQ-4C Triton prepares to land at Naval Air Station Patuxent River (Ima...

Like a 14-tonne bird leaving its nest, Northrop Grumman’s jet-propelled MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) has completed its first cross-country ferry flight as part of operational tests before entering service with the US Navy.  Read More

Lockheed Martin is providing the US Navy with two Fortis exoskeletons

Move over, Tony Stark; the US Navy is going Iron Man. The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) has ordered a pair of Fortis exoskeletons from Lockheed Martin for testing and evaluation. The unpowered exoskeletons won’t give sailors superhuman strength, but they will allow them to handle heavy equipment for longer periods with less fatigue.  Read More

X-47B is readied for launch along side an F/A-18 Hornet (Photo: Mass Communications Specia...

Anyone who’s seen an aircraft carrier in full operation knows that everything needs to be carried out with absolute precision by a small army of sailors as one plane lands and is hurried aside to make room for the next. To show that its X-47B Unmanned Combat Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) can work in this hectic environment alongside manned ones, the US Navy sent it to carry out landing and deck maneuvers aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in concert with an F/A-18 fighter.  Read More

Testing of recovery methods for the Orion spacecraft's maiden test flight in December 2014...

In preparation for the maiden test flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft, specialists from NASA, Lockheed Martin and the US Navy this week completed testing of various recovery methods for retrieving the crew module. The testing enabled the team to assess data and prepare for different scenarios that may come into play when the craft splashes into the Pacific Ocean this December.  Read More

The US Marines have demonstrated a half-scale version of their proposed amphibious vehicle...

In a recent demonstration carried out during RIMPAC 2014, the US Marines displayed and tested a fully-functional, half-scale prototype of its new amphibious transport vehicle. In its proposed full-size version the Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connecter (UHAC) concept is designed to power across the water with a payload of nearly 200 tons (180 tonne) at up to 20 knots (23 mph/37 km/h) and be capable of driving up on to the shore and over the top of obstructions up to 10 ft (3 m) high.  Read More

An F/A-18C Hornet is launched from a test runway using EMALS (Image: US Navy)

A fighter plane taking off from a strike carrier is a dramatic sight – not the least because of the woosh and plume of steam as the catapult blasts the aircraft into the air. In a few years, such launches may still be dramatic, but they’ll also be a bit quieter and very plume-free. That’s because the US Navy has completed testing of its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS); clearing it for use on the new Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carriers.  Read More

The US Navy is deploying its first laser weapon on the USS Ponce in a few months. The technology also has obvious potential for ground vehicles – a fact that hasn't escaped the US Marine Corps. The Office of Naval Research has awarded contracts to develop a similar laser weapon that can be installed in light-tactical vehicles instead of ships as part of its Ground-Based Air Defense Directed Energy On-the-Move (GBAD) program.  Read More

NeRD is a compromise technology designed to give sailors an e-reader that won’t give Blofe...

Bucking the "more is better" trend of digital technology, the US Navy has unveiled an e-reader that’s notable for its lack of features. Designed to provide service personnel with digital format books without breaching security, the Navy e-Reader Device (NeRD) lacks networking capabilities like Wi-Fi, or the ability to add or remove anything from its digital library.  Read More

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