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An early version of OSR's autonomous Hull BUG robot

Barnacles might seem to be a traditional, almost quaint accoutrement of sea-going vessels, but they’re actually a serious problem. The buildup of marine organisms on a ship’s hull, known as biofouling, can reduce its speed by up to 10 percent. To compensate for the drag, the ship may have to use as much as 40 percent more fuel. Ships have to be lifted into drydock for the removal of barnacles, and sometimes toxic hull coatings are used to prevent them from colonizing. Hopefully, a new innovation may make both of those approaches unnecessary - it’s an autonomous hull-cleaning robot.  Read More

Nanotube-reinforced carbon fiber Piranha USV

ZPM’s nanotube-reinforced carbon fiber prepreg is normally associated with high performance composite power boats, but the use of such ultra-lightweight materials in an unmanned surface vessel (USV) makes sense. Built entirely of Arovex™, the newly announced 54-foot Piranha USV weighs only 8,000 lb, yet can carry a 15,000 lb payload 2,500 miles, making it suitable for missions as diverse as anti-piracy, search and rescue, submarine hunting, and harbor patrol with a range of armament options that includes stabilized machine guns, Mark 54 torpedoes, and over-the-horizon missiles.  Read More

The first Lockheed Martin F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing stealth fighter takes off (...

The first aircraft in history to combine stealth with short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) capability and supersonic speed has been delivered to the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., where it will conduct its first hovers and vertical landings. The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II STOVL stealth fighter will replace U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B STOVL fighters, F/A-18 strike fighters and EA-6B electronic attack aircraft, and will also be used by the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy and the Italian Air Force and Navy.  Read More

Capable of speeds of 39 nautical miles per hour, the Austal 102 will provide smooth sailin...

Shipbuilder Austal first came to Gizmag’s attention in 2005 with the launch of the world’s largest aluminum vessel, the 127 meter Benchijigua Express. The company then started building Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) for the US Navy, based on the same trimaran design. And, now, Austal is launching an even more refined version that improves sea-keeping, passenger comfort and fuel efficiency. This week, Tony Armstrong, Austal’s head of R&D, spoke exclusively to Gizmag about potentially building 20% of the US Navy fleet, how they reduced fuel consumption by a quarter, what sick bags can tell you, and much more.  Read More

Top Navy personnel were on hand at the unveiling of the F-35 fighter plane at Lockheed Mar...

The US Navy is a step closer to taking possession of its first-ever stealth fighter, the F-35C Lightning II. The 5th generation supersonic fighter plane was displayed at the company’s Fort Worth plant in front of top navy personnel this week and will undergo a wide-ranging series of ground tests before its first flight, scheduled for late 2009.  Read More

Boeing P-8A Poseidon 1st Flight (Photo Credit: Jim Anderson)

Boeing's P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine and long-range surveillance aircraft has completed its first flight. In the latest development milestone for the plane scheduled to replace the P-3 Orion, the T-1 test aircraft completed a series of systems checks during three hours and 31 minutes in the skies above Seattle on April 25.  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

Reports of a new anti-ship ballistic missile suggest it is capable of targeting aircraft c...

After years of speculation, details are beginning to emerge of a "kill weapon" developed by the Chinese that is capable of targeting and destroying US aircraft carriers. The Dong Feng 21 anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) can carry a warhead big enough to inflict significant damage on a large naval vessel, such as a supercarrier, with a single strike. The missile employs a complex guidance system, using low radar signature and a maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable. This increases the odds that the missile can evade tracking systems to successfully reach its target. It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 speed and reach its maximum range of 2,000km in less than 12 minutes.  Read More

The KillerBee has a payload capacity of 5,800 cubic inches, a payload weight of 30 pounds,...

Raytheon’s KillerBee, a 10-foot wide UAV designed for surveillance and reconnaissance, has been successfully demonstrated in a simulated combat environment. A Raytheon flight operations crew delivered the 30 pound KillerBee system to a remote location using Humvees and achieved set up and launch within 45 minutes before executing the operational scenario and retrieving the aircraft with a net-recovery system.  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

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