Military

SpaceX sees U.S. approval for rocket launches by June

Space Exploration Technologies expects the U.S. Air Force to certify it to compete to launch national security satellites by June, President Gwynne Shotwell told Reuters on Friday. Air Force and Pentagon officials credit SpaceX with energizing the government rocket launch market and pushing ULA to lower its prices, even before the privately held company has been certified to compete for rocket launches.

U.S. Air Force eyes 28 launches, shared investment for next rockets

The U.S. Air Force may kick off a multibillion-dollar competition for 28 launches of government satellites this spring to help end U.S. reliance on Russian-built rocket engines, according to an Air Force document seen by Reuters on Friday.

Newport News Shipbuilding Engineer Aims To Encourage Female Students

Jennifer Boykin is vice president for engineering and design at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, where nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines are built for the Navy. With just 13 percent of the engineers in her own workforce women, she wants to encourage young women and girls to start breaking molds themselves.

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Chief: U.S. Next Generation Fighters Need Stealth

The Navy and the Air Force both are conducting early developmental work into each service’s next fighters past their latest crop – the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and the F-22 Raptor. Those new fighters – Navy’s F/A-XX and the Air Force’s F-X – will need stealth, Rob Weiss said during the Lockheed Martin Media Day. “Stealth is and will remain foundational to any new airplane design and I will assert that based on the threat analysis we’ve done the technology assessments that we’re making,” he said.

The Five Most Deadly Drone Powers in the World

The United States remains, by far, the world’s leader in drone technology.  A decade of extensive operational work with drones has given the U.S. military tremendous experience with the architecture, design, and employment of UAV technology.  Although inter-service and inter-agency conflicts slowed the development of drones in the latter half of the Cold War, the need for airpower in the Wars on Terror has prompted a massive wave of innovation.

SpaceX signs landing pad agreement with US Air Force

Cape Canaveral has seen decades of rockets lifting into space, and now it will act as home to the world's first space landing pad. Brigadier General Nina Armagno, commander of the US Air Force 45th Space Wing, signed an agreement with SpaceX; giving the company a five-year lease on Launch Complex 13 (LC-13) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, which will be converted to receive returning boosters and spacecraft making powered soft landings.

The U.S. Air Force Really Wants a Star Wars Fighter Plane

Last week, website DefenseTech.org reported that the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, or AFSOC, is vetting the idea of "adding a laser or directed energy weapon to the AC-130J Ghostrider," the gunship derived from Lockheed Martin's successful C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

China‘s secret plan to topple the US as the world’s superpower

In 1995, Michael Pillsbury, an expert on China who has worked with every US president since Nixon and has, he writes, “arguably had more access to China’s military and intelligence establishment than any other Westerner,” was reading an article written by “three of China’s preeminent military experts” about “new technologies that would contribute to the defeat of the United States.”

US Navy unveils firefighting robot

A firefighting prototype robot was unveiled at the Naval Future Force Science & Technology EXPO in Washington D.C. on Wednesday. The two-legged humanoid robot was developed by researchers at Virginia Tech and is helping ONR evaluate the potential uses of unmanned systems on naval vessels. In addition to damage control, scientists are also exploring the possibility of robot-conducted inspections.

DARPA plans to launch satellites from jets

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been making strides in being able to deliver small satellites into orbit faster and cheaper. On Feb. 5, DARPA gave updates on the Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA) program at the 18th Annual Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Conference.

US Navy’s new ‘Star Wars’-style railgun hits Mach 6

The Navy and Marine Corps’ new ‘Star Wars’-style weapon made its debut in the nation’s capital this week. The Electromagnetic Railgun, developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) with BAE Systems, has the potential to revolutionize naval warfare. The weapon was on display to the public for the first time at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology EXPO at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Wednesday and Thursday.

Intel Chief Warns US Tech Threatened by China Cybertheft

The U.S. defense intelligence chief warned Tuesday that America's technological edge over China is at risk because of cybertheft. Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, told a congressional hearing the U.S. retains technological superiority. But he said China had stolen "a lot" of intellectual property from U.S. defense contractors and that effort continues.

Pentagon: US may lose high-tech military superiority to China, Russia

“I am very concerned about the increasing risk of loss of US military technological superiority,” Pentagon arms buyer Frank Kendall told a House Armed Services Committee hearing. “We're at risk and the situation is getting worse,” he warned, specifying that his concerns lay with the heavy investments into weapons design being done by China and Russia.

The Decline of US Military Innovation

The United States is at risk of losing its military edge. America’s armed forces may still be the most advanced in the world; after all, the US spends more than twice as much on military research and development as major powers like France and Russia, and nine times more than China and Germany. But America’s continued technological leadership is far from assured.

US Navy Secretary announces creation of new task force innovation

The US Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has announced the creation of a new task force innovation (TFI), which will develop a comprehensive innovation agenda. Mabus said: "From non-state actors to rising powers, today's threats to our national security and our interests are not just becoming more numerous, they are also accelerating.

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