That time the Russians designed a hovercraft so insane we had no clue…

In the first spy photographs, an enormous beast reared up out of the Caspian Sea, a metal monster studded with jet engines and spewing a mighty spray of water behind it. The United States called it the Caspian Sea Monster, and that wasn't far from the truth. » 2/25/13 6:20am 2/25/13 6:20am

We All Live in a Flying Submarine

For some military operations, you need a submarine. For others, you need a plane. But what if you need both? DARPA has a plan for that - a submarine that flies. Or a plane that submerges, depending on your point of view.Currently, the flying sub only exists as a set of design objectives issued by DARPA (the Defense… » 11/24/08 2:20pm 11/24/08 2:20pm

Quantum Ghosts and Other Bizarre Military Research

Soldiers who can communicate with each other telepathically. Amputated limbs that grow back with the help of a nano-scaffold. Equipment that can see through dense smoke or fog by exploiting quantum effects. Your tax dollars are hard at work trying to create the most sci-fi military in the world. U.S. military… » 11/06/08 8:20am 11/06/08 8:20am

It's Like a Heatwave Burnin' In the Subcutaneous Layer of Your Skin

The terms "U.S. Marines" and "non-lethal" seem pretty antithetical to each other, but the Leathernecks are close putting in an order for Raytheon's Silent Guardian millimeter wave defense system. As far as non-lethal weapons go, this one's pretty hardcore - it slowly cooks you from the inside. But they swear it will… » 10/14/08 10:40am 10/14/08 10:40am

Air Force Plans Fully Armed, Fully Autonomous Robot Plane

It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. And, also, the U.S. Air Force is thinking of building a few of them - unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability, armed… » 9/23/08 8:00am 9/23/08 8:00am

French Sent Robots to Watch the Pope

Following the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John II, images of the pope waving from inside the Popemobile's bulletproof cube dominated his international visits. But while the Popemobile might be useful against guns and popejackings, it still leaves him vulnerable to aerial attacks. So, during Pope Benedict XVI's… » 9/21/08 1:00pm 9/21/08 1:00pm

Defense Firm Prepares to Terminate the Terminators

It happens to the best of us: Your robot body guard takes a car bomb to the brain » 9/17/08 11:36am 9/17/08 11:36am and suddenly she thinks she's supposed to kill you rather than protect you. Or maybe an enemy combatant has sent an autonomous computerized agent to destroy you, and Sarah Connor is nowhere to be found. How can you defend yourself…

Military Exo-Suits Are On the Way

U.S. military troops won't have to wait decades for useful exoskeleton robo-suits. According to the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (SSC), development plans are on track to deploy the suits in a few years. Which soldiers will get the suits, and what roles will our cyborg supersoldiers play?SSC (also known as Natick,… » 9/08/08 1:00pm 9/08/08 1:00pm

Zephyr Shatters Robot Plane Endurance Record

The U.S. military wants to have robotic eyes in the sky constantly roving and watching what goes on below, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They might achieve that capability very soon, as a test vehicle called the Zephyr just obliterated the old endurance record for an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), nearly tripling… » 8/27/08 8:00am 8/27/08 8:00am

U.S. Navy Developing Lasers and Huge Guns

The year is 2019. The destroyer U.S.S. Mason patrols enemy waters, and is suddenly faced with a barrage of incoming missiles. Almost instantly, dozens of brightly colored lasers beam out of the Mason, intercepting the missiles and destroying them harmlessly in the air. Then a massive deck-mounted gun turns and takes… » 8/20/08 8:00am 8/20/08 8:00am

Five Guns for Wars of the Future, Not One a Death Ray

At some point in humanity's future, our military forces are going to have to fight alien invaders, angry robots or hordes of zombies. Ultimately, a bunch of infantry grunts are going to have to hold the line against the onslaught. And they're going to need guns. Awesome guns. What have the arms merchants of the world… » 8/13/08 8:00am 8/13/08 8:00am

U.S. Military To Be 30 Percent Robotic In Twelve Years

Click to viewThe U.S. military is being taken over by robots. Clearing buildings, recovering unexploded munitions and searching for bombs are some of the deadliest tasks a soldier can face in Iraq, and most of them can be done by robots. Plus, the Pentagon has plans to introduce even more robotic troops into military… » 8/06/08 8:00am 8/06/08 8:00am

Blackswift Will Be the First War Machine In Space

Development of the U.S.'s first hypersonic military space plane, the HTV-3X Blackswift, is zooming forward, with plans for Boeing and Lockheed to work together on the project. When it's ready to fly (possibly as soon as 2010), the Blackswift will give the U.S. the ability to send a missile to any spot on Earth within… » 7/31/08 8:00am 7/31/08 8:00am

Sarah Connor Has Failed — the British Just Built Skynet

With the launch of a new communications satellite, the British military has completed a highly advanced network that will allow robotic military units to be controlled at long range. Sound vaguely familiar? They actually named the thing Skynet. When the T-1000s come knocking, keep an eye out for the "Made in UK"… » 6/13/08 8:00am 6/13/08 8:00am

Boeing Developing Planes with Frickin Laser Beams

As far as air-to-ground weapons go, bombs are effective but not known for their precision. That's why Boeing is hard at work on a project the U.S. military has long lusted after: plane-mounted lasers. Once we get these things operational, putting your munitions factories next to your day-care centers isn't going to… » 5/30/08 8:00am 5/30/08 8:00am

RAF Pilots To Get New Hardware, Stay On Target

While America's military may have been the first to steal the term Star Wars for their own use, Britain's Royal Air Force are the first to design their hardware on Luke Skywalker's fashion sense: » 11/13/07 6:18am 11/13/07 6:18am

The real question is, of course, which is nerdier: The men who designed the helmets in the first place, or the reporter…