What’s that object circling the terrorist hideout? Is it a drone? Is it a missile? No, it’s a loitering munition, otherwise known as a “kamikaze drone.” And the U.S. Navy wants them. Loitering munitions (the U.S. military actually doesn’t like the name “kamikaze drone”) are among the more peculiar weapons of the Drone Age. They … Continue reading U.S. Navy SEALs Want Kamikaze Drones
By the time the First World War erupted in 1914, Imperial Germany had spent a fortune building a potent fleet of battleships to challenge the Royal Navy. And what did these battleships do for most of the war? Nothing, because Kaiser Wilhelm II feared the humiliation of losing his battlefleet. Will today’s China also hesitate … Continue reading Is China Too Scared to Risk Its Navy in Combat?
One potentially fearsome new weapon is the drone swarm, a flock of hundreds of small unmanned aerial vehicles working together like a hive mind to overwhelm a target. But U.S. thinktank RAND has another idea: a “targeting mesh” of small, unarmed drones that would saturate a target area with sensors that would identify high-value targets … Continue reading Think Drone Swarms Are Scary? The Newest Weapon May Be “Drone Meshes”
Suggesting fighter and bomber pilots are truck drivers isn’t very nice. But military aircraft are essentially delivery trucks. They fire cannon, drop bombs, take photographs or haul cargo. But ultimately, their utility is a function of the payload they carry. So if a lumbering transport aircraft can haul missiles as well as a sophisticated bomber, … Continue reading Flying Bomb Trucks: Will “Arsenal Planes” Make Bombers Obsolete?
Jet lag is nature’s reminder that while humans can fly around the world, they still leave their body clocks at home. It’s taxing enough for most of us, but particularly so for military personnel — such as pilots and special forces — who may be deployed to distant locations on short notice. DARPA, the Pentagon’s … Continue reading Tired of Jet Lag? DARPA’s Bioimplants May Help
Artillery pieces were once towed by horses – until the truck was invented. Then the big guns were pulled by trucks – but the guns needed time to set up, and the trucks couldn’t keep up with the tanks in rough terrain. Then in World War II, howitzers were put on a tank chassis to … Continue reading Why Did China Put Its New Howitzer on Wheels Instead of Tracks?
Call it a sign of enemies reconciling. Or, an ironic twist of history. Just days before the 80th anniversary of the German mechanized blitzkrieg that conquered France in six weeks, Germany and France signed an agreement to jointly build a new tank. The Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) idea has been floating around since 2012 … Continue reading German Tanks Conquered France In 1940. So Why Are France and Germany Building a Tank Together?
Did Iran convert an old ground-launched artillery rocket into a new air-launched ballistic missile? A YouTube video, allegedly taken by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), shows an Iranian Su-22 – a Russian-made fighter-bomber — launching what appears to be a long, slender missile (the launch begins at about the 30-second mark in the video). … Continue reading Did Iran Convert a Dumb Rocket Into a Guided Aeroballistic Missile?
The Arctic makes a great hiding place for submarines. Sailing under the polar ice caps, subs can avoid detection and attack by surface ships and submarines. For Russia in particular, with much of its navy based in the far north, the Arctic offers its ballistic missile subs a sanctuary from Western sub-hunters. The problem is, … Continue reading This Russian ICBM Will Punch Through Arctic Ice
India fears that it is militarily inferior to China. But are those fears overblown? A new study argues that if another Sino-Indian conflict erupts, India is much stronger than it appears. “We assess that India has key under-appreciated conventional advantages that reduce its vulnerability to Chinese threats and attacks,” write scholars Frank O’Donnell and Alex … Continue reading Think China Could Defeat India In a War? Think Again
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