R&D

Unmanned Jet Headed to Carriers

Young boys of a couple of generations ago loved to get dizzy, flying their yellow Cox PT-19 with its buzzing .049 Babe Bee engine in endless circles. The “pilot” was connected to the plane via a pair of control lines that allowed the model planes to climb and dive…and occasionally crash.

That’s why the X-47B is so exciting. …

How Drones Can Reinforce Failure

Gaeta, Italy — This report by independent journalist Gareth Porter is extremely important. Porter, one of our finest investigative journalists, highlights one of the central problems in drone warfare: how its imperfect …

Planning for SNAFUS

The Air Force spent a lot of time and money a generation ago when it designed its C-17 cargo airplane to take off and land at short, unimproved runways around the world – “austere” was the word of choice. But it couldn’t imagine that capability would be needed because a pilot would someday err and land at the tiny Davis Islands …

Betting Against a Drone Arms Race

Bold predictions of a coming drones arms race are all the rage since the uptake in their deployment under the Obama Administration. Noel Sharkey, for example, argues in an August 3 op-ed for the Guardian that rapidly developing …

Beijing Doubling-Down on Stealth Fighters

If a single stealth fighter is good, two must be better. The U.S. military, after all, thinks so: look at its F-22 and F-35 warplanes.

And now China is apparently joining the two-stealth-birds-in-the-hand are worth …

Designation Resignation

Battleland was at a party this weekend where someone got the X-37B confused with the X-47B. You’d think the Air Force and the Navy would have a Joint Operating Coordination Committee on Aircraft Designation and Nomenclature to avoid fielding two new aircraft with such similar designations (but you’d be wrong: back in the early 1980s …

Not A Silver Drone…

All this recent reporting on drones and robots might lead one to think the U.S. is nearing the sweet spot, where remote-control war clicks firmly from science fiction to reality. Not so fast, cautions Bill Roggio in an analysis …

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