No, we didn't reverse the numbers or misplace a decimal point. The super secret IX-529 Sea Shadow that cost $50 million to build back in 1985 just sold for a decidedly underwhelming $2.5 million. What's worse than the colossal flip-flop on price? It was sold for scrap.
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.
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.