Items tagged with Military

Many of the nuclear deterrence strategies that the U.S. has today were developed during the Cold War era when military officials had significant time to detect an incoming nuclear attack and decide a course of action for a response. This mutually assured destruction worked, in that any enemy with nuclear weapons knew the U.S. would have time to fire its own nuclear response at them and neither would survive the outcome. However, technology marches on and times have changed, with potential enemy forces around the globe making significant upgrades to nuclear arsenals -- upgrades such as hypersonic cruise missiles and other types of missiles that are difficult to detect. One type of hypersonic cruise... Read more...
The U.S. Navy has come to a conclusion that many drivers of modern vehicles would agree with; adding touchscreen interfaces for controls can often makes things more complicated. The U.S. Navy has now found out after an investigation into the aftermath of a fatal USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) accident that sailors aboard the Navy's destroyers also much prefer traditional mechanical controls over touchscreens. The investigation into the collision found that the touchscreen system in the destroyer, DDG-56, was complex and sailors had been poorly trained to use the system. This resulted in the loss of control of the ship just before it crossed paths with a merchant ship in the Singapore Strait. After... Read more...
While virtual and augmented (VR and AR) reality hasn't taken off in the consumer space in a big way, its hardware and technologies are still being driven, but mostly with a focus on enterprise use as of late. Microsoft unveiled its HoloLens 2 augmented reality headset at MWC 2019 in February. The software giant was clear that the device wasn't aiming at the consumer market; rather it was more for enterprise customers. Later, word surfaced that Microsoft had won a contract with the U.S. military that would see the Army get a version of the HoloLens 2 for use on the battlefield, something that a small group of vocal Microsoft employees complained about, leaving Microsoft's CEO defending the contract.... Read more...
Microsoft is participating in MWC 2019, and at the show, it unveiled its new HoloLens 2 headset. On the heels of unveiling the new product, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is defending the contract that the software giant has landed with the U.S. military that will see it supplying augment reality hardware; a contract worth $479 million. Some Microsoft workers are complaining about the deal and calling for Microsoft to not work with the military. Nadella has stated that he would engage with employees and talk about the company's role as a corporate citizen. However, the executive was clear that Microsoft would not withhold technology from democratic governments calling it a "principled decision."... Read more...
In April we learned that a petition was circulating at Google signed by workers who wanted the search giant to sever ties with the Pentagon and stop working on a military AI project. That AI project is called Project Maven, which is a Pentagon effort to create an AI capable of sorting through footage taken from drones. When we first learned about the petition in April, it had been signed by over 3,100 Google employees. The petition read in part "We believe that Google should not be in the business of war." Reports are claiming that at least a dozen Google employees have now resigned in protest to the company's participation in the project. There is no indication that the petition nor the resignations... Read more...
Just as the U.S. Navy looks to scrap its incredibly powerful railgun, the Chinese Navy have apparently installed a railgun of their own onto one of warships. A leaked image appears to give us our first glimpse at this immensely powerful weapon, but no real details are known about the Chinese weapon at this time. Image via NewScientist The image appears to show parts of the barrel of the railgun wrapped in camouflage (sort of like what we see automotive manufacturers using to hide the lines of their new vehicles during testing). If the weapon in the images is in fact a railgun, it would make China the first nation to install a railgun on a warship. The U.S. Navy has been testing railguns for years,... Read more...
For all the tens of thousands of people around the world that believe in UFOs and aliens, there are vast numbers of people who label the believers as nut jobs and ostracize them as crackpots. This means that many people in the military who encountered unknown objects in the skies over the years never reported the encounter out of fear of being labeled. Just because something is labeled an Unidentified Flying Object or UFO doesn't mean that object is from another world. It simply means that we don’t know where the object came from or what it is. As it turns out, the Pentagon and the U.S. Military have spent millions of dollars on a program to investigate the UFO phenomenon. The Department... Read more...
As North Korea continues to build up its missile program and arsenal, the U.S. and other nations allied against the growingly erratic regime are looking for a way to protect nations from North Korean missiles. The U.S. has a weapon called CHAMP (Counter-electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile Project) that could potentially stop North Korean missiles from launching, or force them to splash down harmlessly in the ocean after launch. The system is launched in a cruise missile from an aircraft and rather than having conventional explosives or nuclear payloads inside, it is fitted with high-powered microwave generators. The idea is that the American cruise missile would fly... Read more...
The U.S. Navy has spent half a billion dollars working to perfect a new type of projectile weapons technology that could be used in current and future naval ships. That gun is the railgun, which has always sounded like something out of a video game or science fiction. Unfortunately, it looks as though the project is possibly going to be scrapped after all the money and time was put into the research and development of the weapon. The strange part is that the weapon isn't possibly being scrapped because it doesn’t work; the railgun works quite well. The beast can toss a projectile down range travelling at 4,800 mph for distances of up to 100 miles. The problem so far is that the high-tech... Read more...
Odds are that most of what regular Americans know about submarines comes from what we see in movies. Those subs always have a large mast that comes down in the middle of a room for the periscope. The person manning that periscope simply spins in a circle to look out and see what's going on above the surface of the water. However, most modern subs don't operate in this manner.  The sub in the image above is one of the U.S. Navy's newest submarines called the USS John Warner. Inside the advanced attack submarine are lot of high-resolution screens that show all manner of detail on the sub including images of what the periscope mast is seeing above the water with feeds from high-definition cameras.... Read more...
US Army recently banned the use of all drones built by drone maker DJI. The military warned that the drones might have unspecified "cyber vulnerabilities." The Army memo was published on August 2nd and read in part, "due to increased awareness of cyber vulnerabilities associated with DJI products, it is directed that the U.S. Army halt use of all DJI products." DJI is a Chinese company and the US government has long had fears of Chinese manufacturers installing spyware or backdoors into products, giving them access to classified and sensitive data. DJI for its part has announced that it is working on something it calls "local data mode" for the apps needed to operate the drones it makes.... Read more...
Where information gathering is concerned, it's hard to imagine any entity on Earth that captures more data than the US military. It's a constant digital battle to fetch new data and analyze it as quickly as possible in an effort to effectively move operations forward. But an obvious problem arises: there's often just too much data to churn through. Fortunately, computer hardware and software continually evolves, and it can help dramatically improve this sort of work. The same applies to our neural functions, which our computers can read and interpret. A great example of this has just been revealed at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Dr. Anthony Ries is a cognitive neuroscientist for the... Read more...
Building exoskeletons to aid persons or animals is nothing new, and in recent years, we've seen numerous examples of them being built with the use of 3D printing. For those who need them, they can reintroduce some lost capability back into their lives or introduce new-found capability. However, as the US Army has now proven, they can be used for other things, as well. Think Deus Ex-like augmentations. The result of mechanical engineer Dan Baechle's efforts is MAXFAS, a mechanical arm exoskeleton that's designed to improve the accuracy of a person's gun aim. It's to be used both on and off the field, and offers a variety of benefits to both novice and skilled shooting veteran alike. For the novice,... Read more...
DARPA has a penchant for putting outlandish ideas forward, but that's sort of the point. Without far-fetched ideas, how is one's military and technological prowess to evolve? For those just catching up, DARPA is the United States miltiary's advanced tech arm, and a new filing makes clear that at least a few mad scientists within its walls are thinking about floating aircraft carriers of a different kind. Presently, floating aircraft carriers float on water, but if DARPA has its way, they'll float on air. Flying aircraft carriers seem like an idea that would take shape within a major motion picture, but the Distributed Airborne Capabilities project is very much a real initiative. With the surge... Read more...
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