The price tag on the Marine Corps' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (PDF) has gone up 168 percent--just one of the military's flagship programs that cost more, take longer to produce, and deliver less, according to a government report.
The military has doubled the amount it will spend on new weapons systems since 2000, but many are behind schedule or cannot deliver on the crucial technological innovations, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) found in an annual review of 72 high-profile programs.
Proposed spending has rocketed from $790 billion to $1.6 trillion since 2000, a 26 percent increase, according to the … Read more
You really have to hand it to the United States. After putting up a remarkable ruckus in November when a Chinese rocket annihilated an old satellite and spread undetermined amounts of debris orbiting Earth, the United States government has decided to do the same to a malfunctioning spy satellite that could rain sizable and toxic debris somewhere on the planet if not destroyed. And China's government urges caution.
The situation is hard to grasp. According to the International Herald Tribune, China and Russia have recently called for a ban on all space weapons, which the United States has opposed. … Read more
This was sent to us by a tipster. I don't normally spend my time reading RifleGear.com, but from the likes of this item, maybe I should.
Awhile back we were treated to a hilarious Photoshop job called the HK-47--an assault rifle decorated with images of everybody's favorite nonpornographic, nontentacled Japanese import, Hello Kitty. We were sad to learn that it was, well, Photoshopped.
After years of development, a new class of weapon that uses computer-controlled electronic ignition instead of primers to fire projectiles may be finally taking its much coveted place in the U.S. military inventory.
Brisbane, Australia-based Metal Storm has delivered a four-barrel weapon to the Naval Surface Warfare Center for testing that uses a small electrical current instead a conventional firing pin to deliver stacked rounds at an astounding rate.
How astounding? Try 1 million rounds per minute. That's the rate, by the way, not the volume; still, there's no way you want to be anywhere near the … Read more
The next time an officer in blue pulls out a weapon, say cheese. Because attached to the barrel might be a lipstick-sized camera that starts videotaping the moment the pistol is drawn from its holster.
Such gun barrel cameras are part of a high-tech law enforcement agenda designed to help prove who's in the right--and the wrong--during a shootout. Of course, there's no accounting for the occasional "malfunction." Nor would we be surprised if some of those clips mysteriously found their way onto YouTube. That aside, it sure beats Thailand's idea of shaming errant cops … Read more
As regular readers of this blog very well know, our overlord Mike Yamamoto is terrified of Hello Kitty and believes wholeheartedly that the pink-and-white feline is trying to take over the world. So, you can imagine, when I found evidence of an (unofficial) Hello Kitty assault rifle on BoingBoing (appropriately called the HK-47), I decided that maybe I ought to believe Mike and start getting worried.
Unfortunately, there isn't really a Hello Kitty assault rifle. The site that BoingBoing links to, "GlamGuns," is a parody site. You can't really commission them to create you a Hello … Read more
Does the right to bear arms also apply to robots?
That's no longer a question for idle speculation. And the answer appears to be a quiet but distinct yes.
These aren't autonomous robots, of course (so begone, you Terminator nightmares, at least for now). They're standard-issue remote-controlled machines like Foster-Miller's low-to-the-ground Talon, which has been put to good use in dangerous places for less-aggressive duties such as finding and neutralizing roadside bombs. That means a human operator well versed in the rules of engagement would make the actual decision on whether to shoot.
But their use … Read more
In its quest to develop laser weapons, the Pentagon is aiming both high and low.
The sky-high plans for the Airborne Laser call for a squadron of 747s that would train chemically generated laser beams on ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) to knock out those missiles long before they become a threat to targets in the United States. A "lethality" test of that system is scheduled for 2009, though if past delays are any indication of future performance...
For a more down-to-earth system, look no further than a truck-mounted solid-state laser now in the early stages of development. Rather … Read more
News.com reporter Daniel Terdiman visited the Titan Missile Museum in Sahuarita, Ariz., as part of his Road Trip 2007 around the Southwest.
Located about 20 miles south of Tucson, the museum is located on a former Titan missile launching site. There, crews of four worked 24-hour shifts during which two people always had to be together to ensure safety and security. In this image, the tip of the missile--with warhead removed--is viewed from above through a glass window that allows museum visitors to peer down into the silo.
See more of his photos from the exhibition here.