Military

Lockheed Martin developing U-2 spy plane successor, report says

Flightglobal reports that Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs, better known as Skunk Works, is planning a new version of the U-2. “Think of a low-observable U-2,” Lockheed’s U-2 strategic development manager Scott Winstead told Flightglobal. “It’s pretty much where the U-2 is today, but add a low-observable body and more endurance.”

Pentagon to invest $75 million in local tech industry

Announcing the initiative Friday at the NASA Ames Research Center, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter pledged that research into the technology would be headquartered in the South Bay as part of a renewed effort to strengthen ties between the country's military and its private tech sector.

Ashton Carter Creates Pentagon’s First Silicon Valley Partnership

A partnership to develop electronic components that bend—think touchscreens that wrap around your arm, or aircraft wings made of sensors—is the next step in Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's fast-moving campaign to harness Silicon Valley's innovation and invite its companies to help create a next-gen military.

Ben Bernanke on defense spending, the economy and what military training is worth to employers

Defense spending isn’t as big of a driver for the U.S. economy as it was a few years ago, when U.S. troops were still engaged in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But $600 billion a year is still a lot of money, and defense spending remains a major contributor to the economies of some states, such as Virginia and Hawaii. Plus, the Department of Defense funds a lot of research and development, much of which has led to technologies with widespread commercial applications, such as lasers and the Internet.

US Air Force's new flexible 3D printed electronics can monitor health and help us stay safe

They have used 3D printing technology to develop flexible hybrid electronic materials that are small, compact, powerful and above all able to withstand extreme external pressures – thus perfect for use on aircraft and even on bombs. However, the rest of the making world can obviously also benefit from these next-gen replacements of the PCB.

Patriot Air and Missile Defense celebrates 50 years of innovation

Even as the combat-proven Patriot Air and Missile Defense System celebrates 50 years of innovation, revolutionary technologies developed by Raytheon Company are evolving the battle-proven platform to face the threats of today and tomorrow. Although the Patriots rolling out the door of Raytheon's Andover, Mass. production facility have the same name and look as earlier variants, the resemblance is only skin-deep.

US Military Awards New Contracts for XS-1 Space Plane

Three companies have gotten more money to continue developing their concepts for the United States military's XS-1 robotic space plane. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Boeing and Northrop Grumman $6.5 million each for work under "Phase 1B" of the XS-1 space plane program.

When it comes to war in space, U.S. has the edge

It’s hard to say exactly how many weapons are in orbit. That’s because many spacecraft are “dual use.” They have peaceful functions and potential military applications. With the proverbial flip of a switch, an inspection satellite, ostensibly configured for orbital repair work, could become a robotic assassin capable of taking out other satellites with lasers, explosives or mechanical claws. Until the moment it attacks, however, the assassin spacecraft might appear to be harmless. And its dual use gives its operators political cover. The United States possesses more space weaponry than any other country, yet denies that any of its satellites warrant the term.

The US Navy is 3D-printing custom drones on its ships

The U.S. Navy has been testing the use of 3D printers on its ships to produce custom drones outfitted for specialized missions. The project, being carried out by researchers at the Naval Postgraduate School, is investigating whether modern communications and fabrication technology can be combined to give sailors a new tool for whatever mission they are deployed on.

China Joins the Laser Arms Race

Lasers and other directed energy weapons are all the rage in D.C., with a U.S. general recently declaring at a conference dedicated to the topic that "Directed energy brings the dawn of an entirely new era in defense." Indeed, the U.S. Navy has already tested lasers on warships deployed in the Persian Gulf and plans to arm other systems like aerial gunships with the weapons in the years ahead. Lasers are also a crucial part of long-term plans to defeat the threat of higher numbers of Chinese anti-ship missiles.

Starbase summer students boldly go into STEM

For almost 20 years, STARBASE-Kelly, has offered a fun a tuition-free educational program for students from three area school districts around JBSA-Lackland. The program falls under the Department of Defense and is under the sponsorship of the 433rd Airlift Wing. "The program at STARBASE-Kelly is aviation based," said retired Col. Ron Jackson.  "Not all STARBASE programs are aviation based; we take them out to visit the C-5's, our instructors take them to visit the F-16's. We use the airplanes as part of the curriculum and try to make aviation part of the program," he said.

Senator McCain says U.S. national security depends on access to innovation

McCain, who over the last several months has proposed sweeping acquisition reforms, told the audience that “our Defense Department has grown larger but less capable, more complex but less innovative, more proficient at defeating low-tech adversaries but more vulnerable to high-tech ones.” He would go on to explain that “the Department of Defense must be able to access innovation in areas such as cyber, robotics, data analytics, miniaturization, and autonomy – innovation that is increasingly likely not to come from Washington or the defense establishment.”

U.S. military sees more use of laser, microwave weapons

The U.S. military has made strides in developing lasers, microwaves and other directed energy weapons, and could soon use them more widely, top armed forces officials and U.S. lawmakers told an industry conference on Tuesday. The officials described weapons that are in various stages of development and testing by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army, but said more work was needed to scale up the technology for larger weapons, develop tactics for their use, and ensure sufficient funding.

U.S. Army tests drone-blasting cannon

While drones becomes more prevalent, U.S. Army engineers are testing technology that can be used to blast potentially hostile unmanned aerial systems (UAVs) out of the sky. The Extended Area Protection and Survivability Integrated Demonstration program (EAPS ID) at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey has been developing a gun-based solution to defend against C-RAM (counter rockets, artillery, and mortars) technology, according to a U.S. Army press release.

US Navy eyes graphene nanoribbon for ultimate power control system

The U.S. Navy distributes electricity aboard most of its ships like a power company. It relies on conductors, transformers and other bulky infrastructure. The setup works, but with powerful next generation weapons on the horizon and the omnipresent goal of energy efficiency, the Navy is seeking alternatives to conventional power control systems.

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