The Fighter Jet We Could Have Built Instead of the F-35

The mid-1990s found the U.S. military in need of a low-cost, supersonic stealth fighter jet that all three armed services branches could field. Easy, right? The subsequent—and highly contentious—design competition between Boeing and Lockheed saw the winner take home a $200 billion defense contract, which in turn… » 7/18/14 12:40pm 7/18/14 12:40pm

B-2 Spirit: America's Best Airplane Since the SR-71

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the B-2 Spirit's inaugural flight. Through its quarter-century of service, the original Stealth Bomber has earned its place among the most elite warbirds in the USAF fleet and remains a vital weapon of the US arsenal to this day. It's a plane that could start—or stop—WWIII… » 7/17/14 11:40am 7/17/14 11:40am

America's Littlest Black Ops Whirlybird Is Armed to the Teeth

Operation Eagle Claw was supposed to free 52 diplomats held during the Iran Hostage Crisis. Its failure not only shamed President Carter's administration and paved the way for Reagan's successful 1980 presidential run, it also instigated the formation of the Army's Special Operations Command, and the development of… » 7/16/14 11:40am 7/16/14 11:40am

Nowhere Under the Sea Is Safe from Britain's Newest Nuclear Submarine

Russia isn't the only nation launching a nuclear sub hunter after two decades of development. The UK recently rolled the third of seven £1 billion Astute Class nuclear submarines, the HMS Artful, out of its cavernous dry dock for a year of demanding sea trials and a quarter century of service beneath the seas. » 7/04/14 11:30am 7/04/14 11:30am

This Army Mine Sweeper Will Drive Itself in Search of IEDs

Among the most dangerous jobs on the battlefield, being the soldier driving the minesweeping truck at the head of convoys is probably the last one you'd want. Your job is to drive over IEDs and landmines, detonating them before the vehicles behind you do. But thanks to a recent advancement in autonomous vehicle… » 7/02/14 11:40am 7/02/14 11:40am

The 10 Maddest of the Mad Science Projects Funded by DARPA

Founded in 1958 to prevent technological surprises such as Sputnik, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funds projects that are both outside the box and off the wall. Although DARPA gave us the Internet and GPS, plenty of its blue-sky ideas have crashed back down to Earth. Here are ten of them. » 6/30/14 2:41pm 6/30/14 2:41pm

If Einstein Had Never Been Born, Would We Still Have Nuclear Weapons?

Albert Einstein and his equation E=mc² are famously connected to the modern atomic age. But as nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein writes in this counterfactual account of history, the great physicist mattered less than you'd think in the invention of the nuclear bomb. » 6/28/14 9:00am 6/28/14 9:00am

This Super Simple Tourniquet Will Save a Soldier's Life in 25 Seconds

Throughout both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, IEDs have been the leading cause of death and dismemberment for US servicemen and women—mostly because the pelvic and upper leg injuries that they generate can't easily be treated with conventional tourniquets. That's why a former combat medic went ahead and redesigned… » 6/24/14 11:40am 6/24/14 11:40am

This video explains why everything is going to hell in Iraq right now

It seems that, after hundreds of thousands of deaths, Iraq is in a worse state than before the 2003 invasion? How the hell did this happen? Who are these crazy ISIS killers terrorizing everyone and taking over the country? You'll understand it all after watching this easy-to-follow video explainer. » 6/19/14 8:39pm 6/19/14 8:39pm

Spies in the Skies: How Aerial Surveillance Tipped the Balance of WWII

When General Werner von Fritsch, the then commander-in-chief of the German Army, predicted in 1938 that "the military organization which has the best reconnaissance unit will win the next war," few doubted that, in aerial reconnaissance and photography, the Luftwaffe reigned supreme. This, however, proved to be far… » 6/18/14 3:00pm 6/18/14 3:00pm

The Navy Wants to Mount an Anti-UAV Laser on a Hummer--A Hummer!

The Office of Naval Research has just announced another breakthrough in its efforts to bring laser-based weapons to future battlefields. What once could only be accommodated by a tractor trailer now fits neatly in the back seat of a Humvee. It's only a matter of time until our armed forces march off to war with GI… » 6/17/14 2:20pm 6/17/14 2:20pm

These Revolutionary Optics Could Make Battlefield Lasers a Reality

Weapons that shoot light rather than bullets are quickly becoming a reality, however their huge bulk and even larger energy consumption still demand that they be mounted on vehicles such as battleships and tractor trailers. But thanks to this newly developed optics system from the US Army Research Lab, tomorrow's… » 6/16/14 4:20pm 6/16/14 4:20pm

SOSUS: The US Navy's Long-Range Undersea Ears for Spotting Soviet Subs

At the end of World War II, just as relations between the US and the Soviet Union were beginning to freeze, America found itself dangerously vulnerable to Soviet ballistic missile submarine attack. To counter this potential nuclear threat to the Eastern seaboard, the US Navy set about devising an ingenious system of… » 6/12/14 11:40am 6/12/14 11:40am