The Sparkle Guns that Keep Military Air Transports Safe

Commercial airlines aren't the only planes under attack from shoulder-fired rockets and missiles these days, a number of slow-moving vehicles in the US Air Force have come under increased threat of being shot down. That's why the USAF is outfitting many of them with sparkling laser blasters to confound inbound threats. » 12/24/14 12:20pm Wednesday 12:20pm

The SR-71 Blackbird Took Its First Flight 50 Years Ago Today

No other plane in history has captured the hearts and minds of the American public quite like the SR-71 Blackbird, providing the West with an unprecedented look behind the Iron Curtain during its 33 year operational career. But before it was cracking the skies over Russia at mach 3.3, the Cold War spy plane had to… » 12/22/14 3:43pm Monday 3:43pm

China's Laser-Guided Grenade Launchers Are Deadly from Half a Mile

Not to be outdone by their their American counterparts' M203 grenade launchers with fancy new SAGM rounds, China's People's Liberation Army has been hard at work ripping off the design developing an under-barrel grenade launcher with similar laser-guided capabilities. There's nowhere to run (or hide) once you're in… » 12/22/14 1:15pm Monday 1:15pm

The Air Force's Stealth Cruise Missile Just Got Even More Stealthy

In order to keep its pilots out of enemy cross-hairs but still be able to deliver devastating strikes against hardened bunkers, the USAF has spent the better part of two decades developing a family of long-range, semi-autonomous cruise missiles called the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile. And the latest JASSM… » 12/18/14 1:42pm 12/18/14 1:42pm

Close encounters with Russian warplanes as tension increases in Europe

Things are not looking good over the Baltic Sea. Poland has announced that Russian naval and air force activity in the Baltic Sea region is "unprecedented," with Sweden being the most affected country, which have resulted in numerous close encounters. According to the BBC, these are some of the incidents we know about: » 12/12/14 1:04am 12/12/14 1:04am

The Pentagon's New Non-Lethal Mortars Seem Like a Very Good Idea

An estimated 174,000 civilians have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Who knows how many of these casualties could have been prevented if the United States and its allies were using deadly weapons, especially in dense urban areas. So it's great news that the Pentagon has developed a non-lethal mortar round. » 12/11/14 5:52pm 12/11/14 5:52pm

China's New Pain Laser Makes It Feel Like Your Organs Are Boiling

Sure, it looks like somebody strapped a satellite dish to the roof of a box truck and painted it camouflage, but that doesn't make China's newest nonlethal weapon any easier to stomach. In fact, take a gut shot from this thing and your stomach will feel worse than a kitten in a microwave. Yet somehow, it won't kill… » 12/11/14 11:40am 12/11/14 11:40am

The U.S. Spent $7 Billion Developing This Helicopter It Never Built

The Kiowa Warrior is slated to retire in 2025, the Chinook in 2035, and both the Apache and Black Hawk will be gone by 2040. We thought we had a suitable replacement for all of these platforms in the Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche. But then, this next-gen stealth chopper vanished in a puff of bureaucratic smoke. » 12/05/14 11:40am 12/05/14 11:40am

This Trusty U.S. Chopper Is Heading Home After a Decade of War

"We fly like nobody else in the Army," Col. Michael Musiol, commander of the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, recently told Stars and Stripes. He's right. The OH-58 Kiowa family of helicopters has been serving on the front lines—both as an advanced scout and emergency evacuator—for nearly 50 years. But as its tenure in… » 12/03/14 11:40am 12/03/14 11:40am

This New Global Satellite System Is Bringing 3G to the Battlefield

The US military is undergoing a radical change in its communications capabilities. Not only is DARPA's Persistent Close Air Support cutting response times by nearly 90 percent, but a new satellite-based comm system will soon deliver a 3G smartphone experience to soldiers anywhere on the planet. » 12/01/14 11:58am 12/01/14 11:58am

Short film: What happens when plastic toys go to war

This wonderfully made animation plays up war as something that's actually fun. There are guns that shoot out flowers and grenades that are actually caramel apple lollipops. But because war is actually a horrific thing, the short film takes a dark turn. If only it were always flowers and lollipops. » 11/26/14 11:57pm 11/26/14 11:57pm

The story of the Marine who survived all his squad in a twist of fate

This is the heart wrenching story of Marine Lance Cpl. Travis Williams. He lost all his squad mates—11 of them—when their vehicle exploded on their way to a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq. And all because, at the last minute, someone tapped on his shoulder. He was lucky. Perhaps, he thinks, too damn lucky. » 11/15/14 3:52am 11/15/14 3:52am