The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Northrop Grumman and Martin Defense Group Manta Ray program phase 2 contracts to develop long-range unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV). These underwater vehicles are capable of operating without the need for human intervention, whether it be for logistical support or maintenance. Read more for a video and additional information.
It’s not everyday that you see a Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, much less one on Google Maps. This heavy strategic bomber boasts low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses and was actually designed during the Cold War for a crew of two. Read more to interact with it on Google Maps.
The US Navy successfully conducted a high-energy laser weapon system test on December 14, 2021 while the USS Portland (LPD 27) was sailing in the Gulf of Aden. A Solid State Laser, also known as the Technology Maturation Laser Weapons System Demonstrator (LWSD) Mark 2 MOD 0, managed to engage a static surface training target. Read more for two videos and additional information.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has just unveiled a new Unmanned Aircraft System called Mojave, named after one of the harshest and most grim areas the world. This drone is based on the avionics and flight control systems of MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1C Gray Eagle-ER, but focuses more on short-takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities as well as increased firepower. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
China is reportedly working on a hypersonic plane, based on the now defunct Boeing Manta X-47C program. More specifically, Tang’s Two-Stage Vehicle (TSV) X-plane design, which consists of two separate engines on each side. When traveling at lower speeds, the engines function as standard turbine jet engines. Since there are no moving parts, this design enables the aircraft to quickly switch to high-speed mode to accelerate to over five times the speed of sound. Read more for additional pictures and information.
What happens when you combine a tank with an ATV? You get the Polaris Rampage, a tracked military vehicle that comes equipped with a fully enclosed heated cabing that can allow for laptops and other electronics to be used safely within. It boasts a high towing capacity, on-board storage, and can travel up to 50 mph (80 km/hr) over just about any terrain, snow included. Read more for a video and additional information.
ZEVA Aero, led by Washington State University alumnus Stephen Tibbitts, has unveiled a working prototype of N901ZX, an eVTOL vehicle designed for first responders and emergency services. It’s capable of flying at 160 mph for up to 50 miles on a single charge, and unlike other electric aircraft, this one acts as a hovering helicopter initially when it’s lifting off and then tilts horizontally to more efficiently fly like a plane, thus taking advantage of reduced drag. Read more for a video and additional information.
Israel-based Elbit Systems Ltd are developing an airborne laser weapon system that can be attached on aircraft to shoot down drones and other flying targets. They tested an early prototype on a Cessna and managed to take out several drones at ranges of around 1 km, with a far more powerful 100-kilowatt version with a range of 20 km (12.5 miles) set to debut in 2025. Read more for a video and additional information.
Forget tanks, Elbit Systems partnered with Roboteam to launch ROOK. This is essentially a multi-payload military 6X6 Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), complete with an integrated autonomy suite that provides a combination of greater capacity, improved maneuverability as well as must-have on-field agility that are key for greater mission effectiveness. Read more for a video and additional information.
British defense company Ultra Electronics debuted the world’s first commercial mind-controlled drone prototype at a security expo in Malvern, England. Put simply, this system enables a person connected to a computer to control the drone’s movements through their thought. How so? All the need to do is focus their gaze on specific circles on the computer screen for navigation. Read more for a video and additional information.