Photo credit: U.S. Air Force
The U.S. Air Force’s unmanned X-37B spaceplane just landed today (Oct. 27) after a record 780-days in orbit, making the fifth top secret mission for the military’s mini-shuttle. The Orbital Test Vehicle 5 (OTV-5) mission officially ended with a perfect autonomous touchdown at the Shuttle Landing Facility of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 3:51 a.m. EDT (0751 GMT). Read more for a video and additional information.
Raytheon Co announced that it has delivered the first high-energy laser weapon system (HELWS) to counter-unmanned aerial system to the U.S. Air Force. This anti-drone laser can be installed on small all-terrain vehicles, and a single charge from a standard 220-volt outlet enables it to deliver intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability as well as fire dozens of precise laser shots. Read more for a video and additional information.
Textron Systems has just unveiled a new 10-ton, unmanned tank that will enter the US Army’s Robotic Combat Vehicle effort. Textron’s subsidiaries Howe & Howe Technologies and FLiR Systems Inc. is showcasing the Ripsaw M5 on the exhibit floor at the 2019 Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. currently.
Based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, GM’s new Infantry Squad Vehicle for the US Army looks like something straight from the Halo universe. It was commissioned as a vehicle that can transport up to 9 soldiers, while being carried under a Blackhawk helicopter or fit in the twin-rotor Chinook cargo copter. Around 70% of the ISV’s parts are sourced from the Colorado to help keep costs low, while most of the bodywork was removed to fit a roll cage and skid plates for drivetrain / suspension protection. Read more for a video and additional information.
AM General, a manufacturer of light tactical vehicles, teamed up with the Jeep Brand of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), to introduce the Jeep Gladiator Extreme Military-Grade Truck (XMT). This vehicle is designed to be a military communications truck, and is just one of many variants that AM General can develop to meet specific customer requirements. The 2020 Jeep Gladiator has been touted as the most capable midsize truck ever, with 7,650 pounds of towing capacity and up to 1,600 pounds of payload capacity, making it the ideal platform to develop this tactical vehicle. Read more for a video and additional information.
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, has just introduced RAIDER X, a lightweight survivable compound coaxial helicopter, specifically designed for near-peer threats on the future battlefield. This aircraft enables the reach, protection and lethality required to remain victorious in future conflicts. It can achieve Sspeeds in excess of 250 knots while operating at high altitudes in excess of 9,000 feet, low-speed / high-speed maneuver envelopes out to 60+ degrees angle of bank, and flight controls optimization / vibration mitigation. Read more for a video and additional information.
Sikorsky, now owned by Lockheed Martin, is set to reveal a remote-controlled Black Hawk helicopter next year that makes use of both autonomy software and high-tech sensors. So far, the prototype has managed to hit 172 miles per hour after 54.5-hours of flight time and will make its first fully autonomous flight in 2020. This helicopter will also offer pilots multiple autonomy modes so they can commit more time toward their mission. Read more for a video of some of the autonomous aircraft Lockheed Martin is working on and additional information.
Photo credit: YouTube
What is a Doomsday Plane? It’s a class of aircraft the United States uses as an Airborne Command Post in an event of nuclear war, disaster or other large scale conflict that threatens key military and government infrastructure. In other words, these are flying war rooms staffed by dozens of military analysts, strategists and communication aides who would guide the president through the first days of a nuclear war. Read more for an inside look at the E-4B “Nightwatch”.
The McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II is a single-engine ground-attack aircraft capable of vertical or short takeoff and landing (V/STOL). It’s primarily employed on light attack or multi-role missions, and used by the United States Marine Corps (USMC), the Spanish Navy, and the Italian Navy. This second-generation Harrier Jump Jet are expected to be replaced by the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II some time during 2025. Read more to see what the vertical landing looks like from the cockpit of another aircraft.
HMD Global’s Nokia 800 Tough is the first rugged phone from the company, and it’s not only water / dust proof, but also protected against drops as well as being designed to withstand extreme temperatures, making it an ideal worksites or travels. Despite its basic looks, the mobile phone still has Google Assistant, WhatsApp Facebook, 4G connectivity and more. Read more for a hands-on video, additional pictures and information.