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US Navy

An artist concept of a mobile landing platform (MLP) ship under construction (Image: U.S. ...

The U.S. Navy has announced that construction has begun on the first of a new class of ship known as the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP). The MLP is designed to serve as a transfer point between large ships and small landing craft and act as a floating base for amphibious operations to allow for equipment and cargo to be delivered from ship to shore when there are no friendly bases available.  Read More

Test firing of an LCITS rocket from an AH-1 Cobra helicopter

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has unveiled a new weapons technology designed to give helicopters, such as the MH-60 and the AH-1 Cobra, the ability to combat the threat of a small boat swarm. The Low-Cost Imaging Terminal Seeker (LCITS) system equips existing unguided Hydra-70, 2.75-inch rockets with a low-cost guidance capability that allows pilots to essentially "fire-and-forget," thereby allowing them to engage multiple, fast attack seaborne targets in a shorter period.  Read More

ONR successfully disables a small target vessel using a solid-state, high-energy laser (US...

Solid-state laser weapons are a step closer to operational capability with the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) reporting that it has successfully disabled a small target boat during testing off the Californian coast. Stemming from the Defense Department's Joint High Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL) program, the Northrop Grumman developed Maritime Laser Demonstrator (MLD) was installed on the deck of the Navy's test ship the USS Paul Foster for the demonstration, making it the first time such a system has been integrated with a ship's radar and navigation system and the first time a high-energy laser has been fired at sea from a moving platform.  Read More

A new head-worn device uses sonar for quick detection, diagnosis and monitoring of stroke

A team of radiologists and retired US Navy sonar experts have used technology developed for submarines as the basis for a new device which offers quick detection, diagnosis and monitoring of stroke. Combined with a portable laptop based console, the head-worn device enables different types of stroke and brain injury to be discovered and located, differentiating normal blood flow from life threatening conditions and delivering an initial diagnosis in under a couple of minutes.  Read More

The P-8A program's fourth flight-test aircraft, T4, is the first to enter the new producti...

Boeing has opened a new aircraft production facility near Boeing Field in Seattle where mission systems will be installed and tests will be carried out on Boeing’s new P-8. The aircraft, which is based on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737 commercial airplane, is intended for anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance roles. The P-8 aircraft will be assembled in Renton, Washington and, following final assembly, will make a short flight to the new facility to be given their finishing touches.  Read More

The US Navy's Octavia robot

If members of the armed forces are going to be regularly interacting with robots, and it seems likely that such will be the case, then they had better be comfortable around those robots. The last thing a soldier, pilot or sailor needs is to be staring at some creepy-looking humanoid machine, and saying, “Um, listen, I want you to... ah, screw it, I’ll do it myself.” That’s the thinking behind an initiative from the US Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence (NCARAI), which has been working on natural human-robot interaction. If sailors can communicate with a robot through human-to-human style speech and gestures, it is thought, then they will be able to concentrate more on the task at hand, and less on the interface. NCARAI’s latest attempt at an easy-to-relate-to robot, named Octavia, was presented to the public for the first time recently in New York City.  Read More

This US Navy Laser Weapon System shot down two UAVs on May 24th

If you own an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), here’s piece of advice: don’t fly it near San Nicholas Island, California, or it could be blasted out of the sky – by a laser. Two such vehicles were successfully shot down there on May 24th by a US Navy laser weapon. According to the official press release, this marks "the first detect-thru-engage laser shoot-down of a threat representative target in an over-the-water, combat representative scenario.”  Read More

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

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