Weapon Wednesday – Low Yield Nukes on the Horizon

USS Nebraska Successfully Tests Trident II D5 Missile

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ronald Gutridge
  • The W76-2 warhead is a new, low-yield nuclear weapon
  • The Pentagon believes other countries—especially Russia—could use low-yield nukes early in a conflict, so it needs its own.
  • The W76-2 has an explosive yield of 10 kilotons, or 10,000 tons of TNT, or less. read more

Weapon Wednesday – New F-35 Survival Kit

Eielson Airmen prepare the F-35 for Arctic operations

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Aaron Larue Guerrisky
  • The F-35 has smaller accommodations for pilot survival gear than previous aircraft.
  • As a result, the first F-35 squadron to be based in cold weather has been working on a smaller survival kit.
  • An accident during testing revealed the kit actually works at 25 degrees lower than originally planned.

A survival kit designed to keep F-35 pilots alive in freezing conditions has proven its worth all the way down to -65 degree Fahrenheit. The new kit, designed by the airmen that will fly with it under their seats, is designed to be smaller than previous kits while protecting pilots from the elements until rescue. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Japan’s Lithium Ion Submarine

image

Japan Ministry of Defense
  • Submarines use batteries for quiet propulsion underwater.
  • Until recently, submarines used lead acid batteries, which were heavy and less energy efficient.
  • The adoption of lithium ion batteries is a huge improvement over the older batteries but carries some risks. read more

Weapon Wednesday – The Army’s New and Better Bullet

image

U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. David Bedard
  • The U.S. Army is on the verge of retiring the Vietnam-era 5.56-millimeter caliber bullet.
  • The Army believes the older bullet has insufficient range, armor penetrating power.
  • The new bullet and gun combination will shoot farther, penetrate thicker armor, and weigh less, likely involving new technologies to help the service reach its goals. read more

Air Force Drone Killing Laser

The Raytheon HELWS uses a Multi-spectral Targeting System
The Raytheon HELWS uses a Multi-spectral Targeting System
Raytheon

The US Air Force has taken delivery of its first high-energy laser for shooting down Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). Built by Raytheon, it will be used in overseas deployments as part of a year-long experiment to test the laser weapon and to train operators in real-world scenarios. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Army’s 1,000 Mile Cannon

image

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Keeler
  • The Army is developing a long range cannon with a range in excess of 1,000 miles.
  • The Army wants a prototype by 2023.
  • The cannon, along with Army hypersonic missiles, will allow the service to strike targets far behind enemy lines.

The U.S. Army is pushing ahead with plans to field a cannon with an astounding 1,000-mile+ range. The cannon, along with hypersonic weapons, will allow the service to attack long range, strategic-level targets far beyond the reach of existing Army systems.

According to Defense News, the Army’s program manager for long range fires, Col. John Rafferty, the service expects the gun to have a range of 1,000 nautical miles—or 1,150 statute miles. The technology behind the cannon is described as “cutting edge” that’s so advanced that the service is not sure if the gun would be affordable.

Read more

Weapon Wednesday – The History of Nine-O-Nine

The bomber involved in Tuesday’s fatal crash in Connecticut never made it to war, but served as a search and rescue plane and water bomber.

image

Getty Images
  • The original Nine-O-Nine was a decorated veteran of the air war over Europe.
  • The second plane served as a water bomber and nuclear test target.
  • The restored “Nine-O-Nine” crashed in 1987 and was subject to an extensive rebuilding. read more

Weapon Wednesday – The Navy’s First Carrier-Based Drone

The MQ-25A Stingray won’t drop bombs or dogfight, but it will stretch the legs of planes that do.

image

BDP
  • The MQ-25A will be the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to be stationed on an aircraft carrier.
  • The drone will refuel other carrier aircraft, dramatically increasing their range and ability to stay in the air.
  • The MQ-25A will hit the fleet in 2024. read more

Weapon Wednesday – A-10 Warthog Staying Relevant

My favorite aircraft of all time gets some needed upgrades.

A-10 Thunderbolt II

Smith Collection/GadoGetty Images

Weapon Wednesday – New Polymer “Leaves No Trace”

image

Paul Kohl
  • Researchers have developed a polymer that disappears in an instant when you push a button to trigger an internal mechanism or the sun hits it.
  • The polymer has specifically been developed for the Department of Defense.
  • Scientists are regularly looking for better ways to hide materials, like invisibility cloaks. read more