The Navy has spent seven years testing out the components of a way-futuristic weapon: a shipboard cannon that blasts bullets over vast distances at hypersonic speeds using bursts of electricity. ... The Navy released video of the first tests, viewable above, on Tuesday. The dramatic mini-inferno in the wake of the slug fired from the railgun is the result of “1 million amps flowing through” the gun, said test chief Tom Boucher, the hypersonic speed of the shot, and the actual aluminum of the bullet — “reactive in the atmosphere” — burning off.
The B53 wasn’t just any old megabomb. It was the first bunker buster. U.S. nuclear doctrine called for it to be delivered over suspected underground Soviet command-and-control facilities. The dumb bomb wouldn’t destroy them so much as it would destroy everything remotely near it, leaving — literally — a smoldering crater. That was the U.S. plan for “victory” in a nuclear war right up until the implosion of the Soviet Empire. (related) [more inside]
Warfare: An advancing front
- "The US is engaged in increasingly sophisticated warfare, fusing intelligence services and military specialists" [more inside]
A Tragedy of Errors.
On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools
in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail
in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA
of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature
provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
The Korean DMZ (pdf)
has been a hot tourist
attraction for years
, featuring must-see sites like the Third
, Dora Observatory,
the Dora Mountain Train Station
, the Freedom Bridge
and the Imjingak
Tourist Site, complete with its statue of Harry Truman
. And now, South Korea's border with North Korea -- the most heavily militarized border on Earth,
-- will be patrolled by killer robots
. [more inside]
“In all honesty, we don’t know when it’s coming back for sure”
- The US Air Force's first launch of the X-37b
reusable space vehicle has provoked much speculation, with some even wondering if the Pentagon is reviving Nazi space-bomber plans
. But was the launch of spaceplane an attempt to mask the launch of another secret weapon
How to blog, or counter-blog, for the US Air force, in handy flow chart form
The Victorian Web
is your one-stop resource for England in the Victorian era (1837-1901). The site is much too extensive to give but a flavor. It is divided into 20 categories, including Technology
, Gender Matters
, Economic Contexts
, Political History
, Theater and Popular Entertainment
and Genre and Technique
. Here are a few examples of the articles inside: Inventions in Alice in Wonderland
, The Role of the Victorian Army
, Earth Yenneps: Victorian Back Slang
(and a glossary
of same), Algernon Charles Swinburne and the Philosophy of Androgyny, Hermaphrodeity, and Victorian Sexual Mores
, Evolution, progress and natural laws
and, of course, Queen Victoria
“[O]ur military today oversees spending of about a billion and a quarter dollars every day. Most of that is misspent. Over this past quarter-century, we've reinforced an old industrial-policy military with hardware that makes increasingly less sense, spending most on things that provide the least return. The principal argument for that is: ‘We have to keep the big, old-style military because we might fight a big, old-style war one day.’ But in the future the bigger you are, the harder you're going to fall to ever-more accurate weapons.”
It sounds a lot like science fiction.
It moves at the speed of light and it can penetrate walls. The U.S. military has firepower that uses electromagnetic energy to blind, stun or kill targets. Defense contractors are eager, but the weapons
are not yet being deployed.
Do As I Say
and Not As I Do
. Go Military R&D. It took less than 4 months to develop a laser that is safe to shine at airplanes.
From the secret world of the "black budget"
comes the story of a man who wants to know the truth about the army's research into anti-gravity technology and zero-point energy ("There's enough energy in your coffee cup to evaporate the world's oceans many times over."
). Is he a lunatic
? A "Ufologist
"? Nope, he's an award-winning defense and aerospace reporter for Jane's Defence Weekly
, the highly respected magazine on international military and policy issues. In fact, he says, the loonies may be right! He thinks there probably are saucerlike flying objects, but they're not alien, they're made in the USA (who got the technology from the Nazi's - who else?). He even goes so far as to suggest that the CIA has a program to discredit people who see UFO's. I like my stories rich, and this one is very
rich. (via Atlantic Unbound
MIT's R&D for the US Army of the future appears to be based on a comic book
like in Real Genius, but for real! Combine them with GPS and you get Death Rays!! The technology
is there, but how will it change warfare?
beat out Boeing for a $200 Billion contract
to build the new F-35
fighters jets earlier today. Missile defense, planes that can take off vertically, bombs that fry electronics...military technology is accelerating at a really frightening pace.
Critical review of the U.S. military.
As someone with an interest in the military (my brother is a fire-controlman on the guided missile cruiser Vella Gulf
), I like to see someone taking a serious look at what the future will bring on the warfare front. Maybe it'll help us avoid things like this(1)
(1): Mogadishu, Somalia
(2): Sinking of H.M.S. Prince of Wales and Repulse