Californian sea lions have become U.S. Navy recruits alongside dolphins and human divers, as seen in this amazing picture. The Daily Telegraph reports that this particular fellow put on a display for officials at the NATO Underwater Research Center in La Spezia Bay, Italy.
Three times a year, the Department of Defense (DoD) solicits help from the small business community to transform their high-tech research projects into actual, usable products. While the businesses use this opportunity to fight for some of that sweet, sweet government pork, for us, it's a chance to get a look at the next generation of advanced military gear. With the new solicitations out today, we're counting down the most intriguing projects that the DoD wants to get out of the lab and onto the battlefield.
While most research directed at improving UAVs focuses on upgrading their weapons or sensor packages, the Naval Research Laboratory is also working to ensure that the next generation of killer drones are as fuel-efficient as they are deadly. And a recent test of their hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered Ion Tiger UAV proves how successful they have been: it staid aloft for just shy of 24 hours on a single fuel load.
We at PopSci appreciate new weapons. And lasers. And laser weapons. Which is why we're excited to tell you that the Navy and the Marines have given a company called Applied Electronics about a million dollars to attach lasers onto planes. The weapons would be ultra-short-pulse (USP) lasers, which shoot beams of frequent-pulse light that create a path through the air, via which bolts of electricity can travel toward a target.
In a world of rapidly evolving threats, every branch of the military is looking for a way to respond as quickly as possible. But whereas the Air Force, Army and Marines can simply fly to whatever hot spot flares up next, the Navy, by its very nature, still needs to sail. That's where the Underwater Express comes in.
Currently, the Navy's fastest submarine can only travel at 25 to 30 knots while submerged. But if everything goes according to plan, the Underwater Express will speed along at 100 knots, allowing the delivery of men and materiel faster than ever.
Though we’re likely a decade from seeing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in action, much less in the Air Force's elite Thunderbirds squad, that hasn’t stopped Lockheed Martin from releasing these images of the military’s new fighter jet in full Thunderbirds dress.
There's no fricking laser beams attached to sharks, but Dr. Evil might still be jealous. The U.S. Navy wants to test a high-powered laser against the threat of small boats or even jet skis carrying RPG-wielding riders.
Northrop Grumman came away with the $98-million contract for the Maritime Laser Demonstration (MLD) in early July. Next up: installing a prototype of the laser on a ship and testing it on a remote-controlled small boat within the next 18 months.