U.S. Rolls New Low Yield Nuke

USS Nebraska Successfully Tests Trident II D5 Missile

U.S. NAVY PHOTO BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS RONALD GUTRIDGE/RELEASED

The Trump Administration is racing to field a new nuclear weapon designed to counter Russia and enhance nuclear deterrence.

The W-76-2 warhead will be delivered to the U.S. Navy for deployment on ballistic missile submarines in late 2019. Proponents claim the new warhead will enable the U.S. to respond to Russian nuclear weapons proportionately, but critics claim the W-76-2 is just another nuclear weapon and similarly dangerous. read more

Weapon Wednesday – D-30 Howitzer Making a Comeback

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SPC Nicholas Vidro

U.S. troops tasked to advise and equip armies in smaller developing countries are learning how to operate an older, Soviet-era artillery piece. The Texas-based 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade is learning to operate the D-30 howitzer, a light artillery piece widely distributed during the Cold War so it can in turn train foreign militarizes on how to use it. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Russians Train for Drone Attacks

russian military drone

GETTY IMAGESVITALY TIMKIV\TASS VIA GETTY IMAGES

Drones are a growing presence on the battlefield and recognizing that trend, the Russian Defense Ministry has ordered that all branches of its military begin training in anti-drone combat.

Russian newspaper Izvestia reports that the first test of these new tactics came in October during training exercises on the Black Sea. Ground forces will also begin training to repel drones. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Coming Soon – Submariner Top Gun

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U.S. Navy

The Navy is taking a page out of its own “Top Gun” book, but this time for submarines instead of F-14s. The service is creating a unit designed to teach submariners how to fight their Russian and Chinese counterparts. The “aggressor squadron” is part of the Navy’s push to prepare for—and, with any luck, avoid—a major war with another major power. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Navy SSN(X) will Succeed the Sea Wolf Class Submarine

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GETTY IMAGESPAUL HENNESSY

The U.S. Navy is designing a big, powerful attack submarine to fight the wars of the future. The new class will be considerably larger and more capable than the current Virginia class, with an emphasis on undersea combat. The new sub, SSN(X) will be a quiet, deep diving, heavily armed submarine meant to take on all comers in the mid 21st century.

Traditionally, the U.S. Navy’s nuclear attack submarine (SSN) fleet was given the mission of chasing down enemy surface fleets and attack submarines. This hunter-killer role required a submarine to locate enemy ships, stalk them, and then unleash a deadly ambush with missiles and torpedoes. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Japan’s Supersonic Glide Weapon

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Yoshikaze Tsuno

Japan’s military, which has spent decades focused solely on self-defense, is making a new kind of weapon to deliver an explosive payload at supersonic speeds. The unconventional tech is designed to soften up enemy defenses with precision strikes before Japanese marines hit the beach, in a bid to help the country take back territory seized by potential adversaries in the future. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Is This the Next Army Battle Rifle?

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FDM TECHNOLOGY

The U.S. Army has ordered a prototype of a weapon designed in a garage in Colorado Springs. The weapon is electrically fired, has four barrels and can fire all four rounds at once in a single devastating salvo. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Are Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems a Good Idea?

Salon Eurosatory 2018

GETTY IMAGESCHRISTOPHE MORIN/IP3

As the power of artificial intelligence grows, the likelihood of a future war filled with killer robots grows as well. Proponents suggest that lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWs) might cause less “collateral damage,” while critics warn that giving machines the power of life and death would be a terrible mistake.

Last month’s UN meeting on ‘killer robots’ in Geneva ended with victory for the machines, as a small number of countries blocked progress towards an international ban. Some opponents of such a ban, like Russia and Israel, were to be expected since both nations already have advanced military AI programs. But surprisingly, the U.S. also agreed with them. read more