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.
The U.S. Air Force’s Boeing X-37B spaceplane just broke its spaceflight-duration record by spending 718-days in orbit as of today (Aug. 27). All of its missions thus far have been classified, but some believe that it’s being used to test reconnaissance and spy sensors, specifically how they hold up against radiation as well as other hazards of orbit, while other say that it’s used for testing a version of the EmDrive electromagnetic microwave thruster. Read more for a video and additional information.
DARPA’s OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) was formed to explore tactics to be used by systems of over a hundred unmanned air and/or ground drones. Recently, the group conducted their second field experiment, which took place at Fort Benning, Georgia, where teams of autonomous air and ground robots tested tactics on a mission to isolate an urban objective. Read more for the video and additional information.
Russia’s defense ministry showcased its latest unmanned aerial vehicle for the first time in public on Wednesday. The Okhotnik (Russian for Hunter) was seen taking off, performing tactical maneuvers and landing after the 20 minute demonstration. This wedge-shaped combat drone was developed by the Sukhoi company and is a major leap compared to other unmanned aerial vehicles previously developed in Russia. Read more for a video and additional information.
MartinUAV’s V-Bat drone was tested by the US Navy this past week on their fast transport ship USNS Spearhead. It’s capable of infrastructure-independent vertical takeoff and landings while also retaining the high efficiency of a fixed-wing aircraft for long-endurance missions since it can be launched as well as recovered in a 9-square-meter area even in dense urban terrain or on the tight decks of ships. The drone can fly at speeds of up to 90 knots and can dash to different areas quickly while cruising around for eight hours at 45 knots at an altitude of up to 15,000 feet. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Marines aboard the U.S. Navy’s USS Boxer used a new directed energy weapon, called “MRZR LMADIS” (Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System) mounted on a Polaris MRZR vehicle to take down an Iranian drone that came within a thousand yards. It’s the “first known kill by a new generation of electronic warfare and directed energy weapons” by the US, according to USNI News. Read more for a video and additional information.
The Squad X experimentation program was started to give infantry Marines the same resources that mounted forces have by using autonomous robots engineered by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In a test at Twentynine Palms earlier this year, a group of these autonomous ground and aerial systems provided intelligence as well as recon support for Marines equipped with sensor-laden vests as they moved between natural desert and mock city blocks, all the while ground-based units provided armed security for the primary force. Read more for a video of this test.
Photo credit: The Aviationist
Lockheed Martin’s classified SR-72 project leverages technology from the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 to help it fly at speeds exceeding Mach 6. It’s set to have a strike mission, and reported plans call for a “Flight Research Vehicle” to be built in the early 2020s. Best of all, the pilots who get to fly this plane will not be required to wear the bulky suits that SR-72 Blackbird pilots wore since the initial plans call for the SR-72 to be a drone. Read more for another video and additional information.
Earlier this year the U.S. Army announced that the Soldier Sensors and Lasers (SSL) division of Rock Island Arsenal’s Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (RIA-JMTC) delivered the first 60 complete Black Hornet systems to unspecified units. This Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS), weighs in at less than a tenth of a pound, measures just under seven inches long, and comes complete with a docking station for two drones, a hand-held touchscreen device as well as a controller. The U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment will begin using the devices next month in Afghanistan. Read more for two additional videos and information.
Photo credit: Roberto E. Rosales / Journal
Say goodbye to drones in restricted airspace, and hello to the Tactical High Power Microwave Operational Responder (THOR). Engineers at Kirtland Air Force Base only took 18-months and $15-million to complete the project. “We create a counter electronic effect, we target the drones and drop them. We implement a hard kill on those drones, and drop them out of the sky,” said Amber Anderson, the Program Manager for THOR. Read more for a video and additional information.