military stories

 
Science is hard at work developing ever more freaky robots to take over the world. To that end, DARPA, in partnership with private-public-hybrid Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a "cost-effective" modular robot hand that is scarily close to mimicking a human hand's movements.
 
Yesterday, the Air Force conducted a third test flight of its X-51a "Waverider" hypersonic cruise missile, hoping for 300 seconds worth of sustained scramjet-powered flight at over Mach 5. It could have gone worse, but not by much: a faulty control fin caused the vehicle to break apart and crash into the ocean just over 30 seconds after launch.
 
America has a mighty, might navy, with giant, powerful ships that are (or soon will be) outfitted with laser canons and hypersonic railguns, but these fearsome war machines have one major weakness: land. DARPA's new CAAT demonstrator can project some of this power onto the shore, using big air-filled flappy bits to allow vessels to travel on water or land.
 
The F-22 Raptor is unquestionably the most advanced combat aircraft the world has ever seen. It's also by far the most expensive. But whether it's the hands-down best is up for debate, especially after multinational Red Flag combat exercises in Alaska. In the words of one German Eurofighter Typhoon pilot, "we have had a Raptor salad for lunch."
 
Have you checked out the military's own versions of Facebook or YouTube or Wikipedia recently? No? That's probably because they're heavily censored and restricted, which is just what you want with social and crowdsourced media, and this is why the Pentagon now wants its own version of Reddit, called Eureka. Makes sense, right? ...Right?
 
Engineers and students at the Naval Postgraduate School in Southern California are building drones, launching systems, and the necessary software to create a force of up to fifty unmanned aircraft capable of dogfighting. That would add a new layer to drone warfare, where drones capably engage one another.

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