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What The Future Of GPS, Bombers, Fighters Should Be

Posted by Steve Callicutt on


  The core task of the men and women who buy America’s weapons is to envision the adversaries and environments of tomorrow and buy forces that are up to the challenge. This involves generating a similar set of assumptions to those used by operational strategists. Today, three assumptions underpin U.S. acquisition strategy that will leave tomorrow’s forces… Keep reading →

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Magic Carpet Ride: Navy Software Eases Carrier Landings

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER: So easy, a journalist can do it. That could be the slogan for the Navy’s new Magic Carpet software, which simplifies the most stressful task in aviation: landing on deck of an aircraft carrier. I’d never pretend I could fly a real plane. But in a simulator, with Navy engineer Buddy… Keep reading →

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Why Northrop Won The LRS Bomber

Posted by Robert Haffa on


How did Northrop beat world’s largest defense companies, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin team, in the crucial competition for the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRSB)? First, and probably most importantly, Northrop Grumman is the only company in history to design, develop, manufacture, and maintain a long-range stealth bomber—the B-2 Spirit. Thanks to pre-award briefings, we know that the… Keep reading →

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Boeing To Pentagon: Be Careful When You Pause IRAD Programs

Posted by Colin Clark on


PARIS: The Pentagon’s decision to pause as it reconsiders what path to pursue with the drone fighter known as UCLASS prompted Boeing to send a warning note today that the US military had better keep its commitments if it wants companies to invest their own money in new technologies. Pressed by Rep. Randy Forbes and Sen. John McCain… Keep reading →

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Mabus Sticks With UCLASS Approach (& Unisex Uniforms); Hill Says, Not Enough

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[UPDATED with Congressional reaction] ROSLYN, VA: Ray Mabus likes robots. The Navy Secretary has declared the F-35 will be “the last manned strike fighter” the service ever buys and invested heavily in unmanned aircraft, boats, and submersibles. But Mabus has frustrated drone advocates on one major program: the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft. This morning, Mabus defended… Keep reading →

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Learning From Termites: Navy, Marines Seek New Breed Of Drones

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


NATIONAL HARBOR: Navy Secretary Ray Mabus may want to move drones to the top of his priorities, but what kind of unmanned systems do the Navy and Marine Corps want to buy? Don’t think Predator or even the Navy’s new 131-foot-wingspan Triton. Imagine a swarm of buzzing, scuttling or swimming robots that are smaller but smarter. While a… Keep reading →

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X-47B Drone Set For Refueling Test Tomorrow

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATED Thursday with test results NATIONAL HARBOR, MD: “Tomorrow, actually, the weather looks good,” said Capt. Beau Duarte, the Navy’s head of carrier-launched drone programs — at least, he added cautiously, as of “right now.” If the weather holds, the Navy’s experimental X-47B drone will refuel in mid-air — the first time an unmanned aircraft has… Keep reading →

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Northrop Ad To Run During Super Bowl: Hints At Next-Gen Bomber

Posted by Colin Clark on


http://youtu.be/H-vkdUBNOOc It will be one of the great weapons competitions of the 21st century. Northrop Grumman is competing against a team of Boeing and Lockheed Martin to build the Long Range Strike Bomber. The company has also created design teams to work on so-called sixth generation fighters for the Air Force and the Navy. With… Keep reading →

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Navy Defends UCLASS Goals As Drone Decision Looms

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


It’s crunch time for UCLASS. On September 10th — after multiple delays — the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer and his Defense Acquisition Board will sit in judgment on the proposed combat drone. The question: how best to bring the robot revolution to the deck of the 90-year-old aircraft carrier. The “Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and… Keep reading →

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X-47B Drone & Manned F-18 Take Off & Land Together In Historic Test

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


[UPDATED: Key test goal met] Robots may be the future of war, but for now they’re going to have to share the battlefield with humans and human-operated vehicles. That’s especially tricky in the tight confines of a Navy carrier’s flight deck, where one miscalculation could drive a drone into a manned aircraft, the bridge island, a… Keep reading →

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