The U.S. Air Force has a 370-foot-long surveillance airship sitting in a hangar in North Carolina right now, 95% complete. In two weeks, the blimp will be ready to fly, just in time for the USAF to scrap the entire program, dismantle the hardware, and pack it all into shipping containers for storage. Sigh.
With Call of Duty: Black Ops II the series is moving into the near future in a big way. While UAVs and autonomous rovers were featured prominently in early titles (especially in multiplayer), in Black Ops II, you'll fend off entire drone armies — and use them to your advantage, too. We caught up with the game's director, Dave Anthony, about drone technology, weaponry and the moral and ethical concerns of having machines take a human life. He told us about five fearsome drones you'll come across as you play the game: the lumbering CLAW, agile aerial interceptors that go nose-to-nose with fighter jets, familiar quadrocopters and more.
Blimps had their heyday between World War I and World War II, and since then, they've more or less been left behind by the airplane. Some things, though, blimps are just plain better at, and the Army is getting ready for the first flight of their "Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle," aka "spy blimp."
The United States has the F-22. Russia has the Sukhoi T-50. And now, a series of recent pics shows that China has begun testing a second prototype of its own fifth-generation stealth aircraft, the Chengdu J-20.
We won't blame you for not keeping track of Scandinavian military anniversaries. That's our job. This year happens to be the 100th anniversary of the Norwegian Air Force, and it's celebrating by giving one of its F-16s a fancy new paint job and shoving it up the backside of a C-130 Hercules in flight.
Flying aircraft carriers are staples science fiction and steampunk. It's an idea that sounds like it would be completely crazy in reality, but it's not crazy enough to keep the Air Force commissioning a report on the idea from Boeing back in 1973.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which might as well be known as the Science Fiction as Reality Society, has announced plans to create and implant nanochips in soldiers that will monitor their health. As you might have guessed, this plan has raised a little bit of controversy with the fear that this could turn the Earth into Total Recall.
Apparently, if you want to demolish a house in Kasota, Minnesota all you need to do is call Drive-A-Tank. They let us regular folks take tanks for a spin around town and maybe even crash through a home or two. Check out the video below to see the destruction from start to finish.
Last year, Northrop Grumman demonstrated a laser system that could disable small boats by setting their motors on fire from a distance. In a press release yesterday, it showed some images highlighting entirely new levels of destruction wrought by its latest laser system, Firestrike.
The military has been investing in several different kinds of fancy bullets over the last few years, from bullets with smart microgrenades to bullets with fins that can steer to their target. And in order to be able to use the right bullet for the right task, the Army wants a gun that can custom-select ammo at hundreds of rounds per minute.