Robot Warriors

Legally-speaking, the business of killing even in war can be quite tricky. Consider that the military now operates dozens of armed unmanned vehicles — in the air, on land and in the water. That number is expected to rise exponentially in the near future. The Law of Armed Conflict dictates that unmanned systems can not […]

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JLENS Shocker

JLENS, the US Army surveillance system that has recently completed a functional review, is mostly known for its comically truncated acronym, which stands for (deep breath): Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System. (Exhale) Basically, it’s a very large balloon tethered to the ground carrying a 7,000 pound radar — a derivative […]

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The V-22 Guessing Game!

The location and date of the first V-22 deployment will be announced Friday by US Marine Corps Commandant General James T. Conway. Let the speculation begin! I can think of three most likely options for the location: Iraq Amphibious Ready Group in the Persian Gulf Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa My money […]

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My Q-14 Theory

Bill Sweetman, the freshly-shaven editor of Defense Technology International, asks on the Ares (as in, the mythical God of War; not, as in, the NASA space vehicle) blog: what is the Q-14? This is a good question. All unmanned aerial vehicles are designated by the letter "Q", as in RQ-1 Predator, RQ-5 Hunter, RQ-7 Shadow, […]

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CW Makes a Comeback

Cheers to Sharon Weinberger at Wired’s Danger Room for unearthing the air force’s not-so-secret-anymore interest in reviving non-lethal chemical weapons for the Global War on Terror. However, after reading the text of the report, I don’t see that there’s much to be alarmed about. Here’s the paragraph that describes the extent of what’s really being […]

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Et tu, Libya?

Thumbing through my weekly copy of Space News, I spotted a fascinating Peter de Selding article. For six months in 2006, the satellite comunications service provided by Thuraya of Abu Dhabi was jammed. Thuraya executives believed the source was the US or Israel, both of whom at the time were waging warfare against insurgents and […]

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Data Point: 0.90%

From 2000-2006, ‘real’ (read: adjusted for inflation) US defense spending grew at an average annual rate of 5.45%. Not bad. From 2007-2011, real US defense spending is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 0.90%. Ouch. This data comes courtesy of the US Government Accountability Office, which published its (very helpful) Assessments of […]

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The C-17 Revolts!

Let me get this straight: In 2004, the Air Mobility Command (AMC) said the air force needed 222 C-17s In 2005, the Office of the Secretary of Defense overulled the air force, insisting that the production line be capped at 180 In 2006, Congress gave the air force an extra 10 aircraft anyway, partly overruling […]

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A400M Takes A Break

Bad news last week for the Airbus A400M. Flightglobal.com reports that the turboprop-powered military transport — and Europe’s best hope for knocking the C-130J and the C-17 out of business — will enter final assembly in Spain three months late. The news comes shortly after US Air Force leaders took the unusual step of singling […]

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More about Jane’s

I just received this comment from "J", which I love so much I’m posting for all to enjoy: Although I have also enjoyed Jane’s information products, I have always found their price range to be overly inflated. Maybe they are the best in town, but the mid-to-lower range of analysts can’t afford their work. As […]

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