Military

Watch SpaceX nail Falcon 9 landing after launching US spy satellite

Watch SpaceX nail Falcon 9 landing after launching US spy satellite

Today was a good day for SpaceX, because not only was its Falcon 9 rocket at the center of a military launch - a longtime goal of Elon Musk's - but the entire mission went off without a hitch too. Well, we assume the whole thing went off without a hitch, as we don't have many details on the mission itself. The landing, however, was just about as perfect as SpaceX could want, with the Falcon 9 rocket landing safely back on Earth.

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US Navy creates zinc-based batteries less prone to exploding

US Navy creates zinc-based batteries less prone to exploding

Lithium-based batteries are great, except when they're not -- these batteries are prone to catching on fire and exploding, hence many product recalls over the years. A safer alternative comes in the form of zinc-based batteries, but these aren't popular due to the difficulty of recharging them. The U.S. Navy's Research Laboratory is changing that with a newly developed 3D 'sponge' battery electrode made with zinc.

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U.S. Navy bans e-cigarettes from all of its ships and aircraft

U.S. Navy bans e-cigarettes from all of its ships and aircraft

We've seen enough incidents involving e-cigarette batteries to know they can be dangerous. The issues tend to revolve around either poorly constructed 'vaping' devices or users improperly storing the batteries and shorting them out via loose change and key rings. While we've seen these incidents happen at home, in courtrooms, and at convenience stores, the U.S. Navy has seen them elsewhere: on its own ships, where the vaping devices are now banned.

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What is the MOAB GBU-43/B “Mother Of All Bombs”?

What is the MOAB GBU-43/B “Mother Of All Bombs”?

Nicknamed the "Mother of All Bombs", the MOAB GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb was the most destructive non-nuclear weapon designed (when it was first designed). The first use of this bomb on the battlefield was earlier today, April 13th, 2017, in the Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. This bomb has a blast radius of more than a mile, and was originally designed to replace a bomb made for Vietnam War troops to create helicopter landing spaces in wooded areas.

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Lockheed Martin to empower US Army with 60 kW Laser cannon

Lockheed Martin to empower US Army with 60 kW Laser cannon

Although popularized as deadly weapons in science fiction, real-world applications of lasers have been mostly benign. Almost coming full circle, however, lasers are about to make those fictional scenarios real. Lockheed Martin has just announced that it has successfully designed and tested a 60 kW-class laser weapon, breaking records as far as lasers are concerned. And, of course, this technology will be delivered to the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command for “defensive applications”.

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US ally uses Patriot missile to shoot down $200 quadcopter

US ally uses Patriot missile to shoot down $200 quadcopter

One of the more effective weapons the US military and its allies have at their disposal is the MIM-104 Patriot missile system. The surface-to-air missile is primarily used as an anti-ballistic missile these days, but one unnamed US ally recently found an unintended use for the system: shooting down quadcopter drones obtained from Amazon.

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R.A.M.B.O. is the US army’s 3D-printed grenade launcher

R.A.M.B.O. is the US army’s 3D-printed grenade launcher

Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone in one week? It’s definitely an action-packed past few days. No, there isn’t going to be a new Rocky or Rambo themed game. We are, instead, veering off into the real world for once. Short for “Rapid Additively Manufactured Ballistics Ordinance”, which is really just a convoluted way to name something after an iconic fictional soldier, R.A.M.B.O. is the US army’s latest, and so far most successful, attempt to 3D print its own weapons.

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Kyocera Torque X01 is an ultra-durable, military-grade flip phone

Kyocera Torque X01 is an ultra-durable, military-grade flip phone

Flip phones may have fallen out of favor in many parts of the world, but they’re still popular in Japan, and so it’s not surprising that a new model has popped up there. What is interesting is the model’s biggest feature: extreme durability covering 18 military standards set by the US Defense Department. Drop it on concrete, use it in a dusty room, take it in the pool...the Kyocera Torque X01 can withstand it all and more.

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Watch the U.S. Navy catapult giant trucks into the ocean

Watch the U.S. Navy catapult giant trucks into the ocean

The U.S. Navy is testing the capabilities of its new so-called 'supercarrier' ship, the nearly $13 billion U.S.S. Gerald Ford. Construction began a few years ago, and the ship is now what is known as a pre-commissioning unit; if all goes according to plan, the U.S. Navy will commission the ship in April 2017. Ahead of that, however, the Navy is testing the ship's jet catapult system, doing so using really big trucks.

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Army tests “hoverbike” successfully, Star Wars fans rejoice

Army tests “hoverbike” successfully, Star Wars fans rejoice

The USA Department of Defense has witnessed the first successful public test of the Army's latest in futuristic vehicles - the hoverbike. This device is officially known as the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV), and can be seen tested without a pilot in a video shared by the United States Army Research Laboratory this week. The video shows a small-scale prototype test flight, and may move on to flights with pilots in the near future.

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BLAST military project can detect brain injury from explosions

BLAST military project can detect brain injury from explosions

The Office of Naval Research is funding a new project to develop BLAST, the Blast Load Assessment Sense and Test technology. This system, once created, will help identify potential traumatic brain injuries in soldiers and other military personnel who are within range of some kind of blast, potentially getting them necessary medical attention promptly. Such technology may help prevent serious brain injury resulting from multiple traumatic blast exposures.

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DARPA program seeks way to control drone ‘swarms’ from the ground

DARPA program seeks way to control drone ‘swarms’ from the ground

DARPA's latest program, the OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics (OFFSET) effort, aims to find a solution for easily controlling large swarms of drones from the ground, with these 'swarms' being composed of at least 100 units. The defensive research agency envisions these swarms of drones — which could also feature ground robots when necessary — being used for all sorts of things: gathering intelligence, surveillance, offering protection, wielding firepower, and more. The Marine Corps and U.S. Army are the intended recipients of such technology.

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