Each equipped with $48,000 worth of GPS components, electronic maps, and wearable computers, troops of the Army's 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division are heading to Afghanistan as part of the resurrected Land Warrior program. The Army is hoping the revised, eight-pound set of gear will be more beneficial than when the $500 million program was canceled in 2006.
If you're seeing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen tonight, prepare yourself for a parade of hardcore military hardware unlike any you've ever seen. As was the case with the first Transformers film, the U.S. Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office played a significant role in assisting with and supervising the placement of military gear.
But what happens when the F-22 Raptor--a weapons system in jeopardy of being canceled entirely--plays a central role in the film, while unmanned drones are flying nearly constant missions over Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? We talked to the USAF Entertainment Liaison Office to find out.
As unmanned drones become a larger part of how America makes war, fully autonomous fighting robots seem less a possibility than an eventuality. But how do we ensure that these future autonomous weapons conform to the ethics we would expect from a human combatant?
"Programmable matter" is such a far-out concept that it’s difficult to imagine it even existing outside the movies. But, thanks to some creative work done by scientists funded by DARPA (who else?), it might actually become a reality, creating materials that can be programmed to alter themselves at the molecular level into various shapes and then disassemble to form entirely new ones.
Since the airship glory days of the early part of the century, blimps have certainly lost some of their cachet, relegated to hovering over sporting events and not much else. However, the Army is about to test launch an unmanned hybrid airship to be used for surveillance missions in Afghanistan.
Ever since the four-wheeled Sumerian donkey chariot was replaced by the two-wheeled horse-drawn variety, war and technological innovation have gone hand and hand. In no conflict was this more apparent than World War II--arguably the first modern war. As soldiers fought from one end of the globe to the other, scientists developed many of the technologies that underlie not only today's wars, but our daily lives: nuclear power, radar, jet propulsion and the personal computer.
The U.S. Navy is still looking for an energy ray to defeat IEDs. However, unlike previous attempts, the new technology they're dreaming of would render the explosives inert, rather than prematurely detonate them.
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), also often referred to as roadside bombs, have been the deadliest weapon used by anti-U.S. forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The devices prey on the U.S. military's dependence on roads for logistics; they target supply convoys and patrols alike. Unfortunately, many of these mines can't distinguish between U.S. Marines in a Humvee and an Iraqi or Afghan family in an Opel, leading to many civilian deaths as well.
A possible threat to national security. Accusations of both media hype and underreporting. Cassandra-esque warnings of the dual catastrophes of under- and overreaction. More swine flu news? Thankfully not. This time the issue is another media darling: cyberwar.