David Hambling

David Hambling
Articles
China Catching Up In Underwater 'Glider' Technology 
LONDON - Rather than having propellers or thrusters, a glider adjusts its buoyancy by pumping gas in or out of an external bladder, then glides a shallow path as it rises or falls.
Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Steaming Ahead
Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle will be...
New Camoflage Developments On The Horizon 

The U.S. Army is about to select improved camouflage for soldiers' uniforms. But according to one of the finalists, far more advanced camouflage, offering potential for concealment bordering on invisibility, is just around the corner.

What Is The Future For Light-attack Aircraft? 

Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have been proving grounds for unmanned air vehicle technology, but they have also highlighted the value of manned fighters to provide support for forces engaging irregular opponents. At the same time, such conflicts have been characterized by weak or nonexistent challenges to airpower, so the most expensive attributes of a fighter that enable it to survive against high-end threats are not needed.

Kinder, Gentler Munitions 

An evolving technology could greatly enhance the lethality of weapons. Replacing steel in warhead casings with a novel reactive material (RM) developed by the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) could make bombs and missiles several times more effective.

Oceans May Power UUV

Unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) are breaking free of their tethers. One type, gliders, roam autonomously for thousands of miles, carrying out missions lasting months, collecting data and surfacing periodically to communicate. New ocean energy-harvesting technologies are being developed that will allow these vehicles to operate almost indefinitely.

Mini-Weapons Add Punch To Small UAVs 

A new generation of highly accurate mini-weapons is being developed for small, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for use against personnel and light vehicles.

One factor in development is the need to weaponize small UAVs such as the RQ-7 Shadow from AAI Corp., in use by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, which cannot carry a 100-lb. Hellfire missile.

Mini-Weapons Add Punch To Small UAVs

A new generation of highly accurate mini-weapons is being developed for small, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for use against personnel and light vehicles. One factor in development is the need to weaponize small UAVs such as the RQ-7 Shadow from AAI Corp., in use by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, which cannot carry a 100-lb. Hellfire missile.

No GPS? No Problem 

Navigation via Global Positioning System is ubiquitous. Soldiers, vehicles and even artillery rounds are guided by satellite navigation, as long as the service is accessible.

But what happens when it isn’t? GPS jamming has always been a concern and much effort has been expended in making the system jam-proof. GPS, however, may be unavailable for other reasons: Obstructions can block signals; satellites may be attacked; and a software glitch such as the one that brought down several thousand U.S. Air Force GPS units earlier this year is a possibility.

Micro-Drones Are Silent Killers 

A tactical weapon is emerging that is a fusion of a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and a missile, and which developers claim could be a battlefield game-changer.

Called an expendable micro-drone, it will provide new capabilities to soldiers in urban and other environments.

Micro-Drones Are Silent Killers 

A tactical weapon is emerging that is a fusion of a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and a missile. Developers claim it has the potential to be a battlefield game-changer. Called an expendable micro-drone, it will provide new capabilities to soldiers in urban and other environments.

New Reactor Proposed For U.K. Subs 

Rolls-Royce’s Next Generation Nuclear Propulsion Plant (NGNPP) will deliver what the company calls “a step change in safety, capability and availability” for submarine propulsion. But its significance may go well beyond this application.

The genesis of the NGNPP was in 2007 when the U.K. announced plans to replace Vanguard submarines. This means spending £11 billion-£14 billion ($16.8 billion-$21.4 billion) on four new subs, to be operational in the 2020s.

New Reactor Proposed For U.K. Subs 

Rolls-Royce’s Next Generation Nuclear Propulsion Plant (NGNPP) will deliver what the company calls “a step change in safety, capability and availability” for submarine propulsion. But its significance may go well beyond this application.

Conductive Fibers Could Power Soldier Electrics 

Dismounted troops carry a load of gear that is heavy and cumbersome. In addition to weapons and body armor, they are weighed down with batteries that are essential to electronic devices such as radios, GPS and night-vision gear. The U.K. Defense Ministry reports that a British soldier carries 8.8 lb. of batteries on a 48-hr. mission, and more than 22 lb. for some operations. One way of reducing the load is wearable power systems, which involve webbing or other gear made from textiles with conductive yarn woven into them.

Guided Rockets Add Punch To Helicopters 

The 2.75-in. (70-mm.) folding-fin aerial rocket is widely used for ground attack by helicopters. As militaries look to upgrade the weapons, many of which are unguided, manufacturers are putting the final touches on new laser-guided versions that they say are less expensive and more accurate. After years of development, first sales are expected this year.

 
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