A Beginner's Guide to Navy-Strength Rum

The Royal Navy's successful invasion of Jamaica in 1655 had a lot of terribly negative outcomes. The commanders ended up in the Tower of London. Many of the English sailors fell sick or starved. A lot of Spanish settlers died. But there was one undeniably positive outcome: rum. » 3/27/15 5:30pm Friday 5:30pm

Oh, and if you want to get really…

The Navy's ship-mounted laser cannon has been a long time coming, notes Brian Resnick, who chronicles the 50-year history of the military's "dream" project. "The LASER may be the biggest breakthrough in the weapons area since the atomic bomb," the head of the Army Ordnance Missile Command wrote in 1962. » 12/15/14 10:41am 12/15/14 10:41am

I Wore the Navy's Oculus Rift, and It Showed Me the Future of Warfare

When we think of the future of the military, we think of bigger and better weapons. Laser canons and the like. But what about the people operating those lasers? How can a behemoth like the Navy ready its future sailors for the high-tech combat of tomorrow? Believe it or not, with an Oculus Rift. » 3/13/14 2:48pm 3/13/14 2:48pm

1950s San Francisco, as seen through a submarine periscope

In 1951, the U.S.S. Catfish, a WWII-era diesel submarine, cruised into San Francisco Bay. The crew snapped a handful of pictures through the periscope, showing what the city and Alcatraz looked like from the submariners' perspective. » 5/25/13 5:00pm 5/25/13 5:00pm

State-of-the-art 19th-century torpedo was discovered by Navy dolphins

In the late 19th century, the Howell torpedo was an incredibly advanced piece of military equipment, a breakthrough device in the United States' quest to achieve naval dominance. But only one surviving Howell torpedo was known to exist—until Navy dolphins nosed up another. » 5/19/13 9:30am 5/19/13 9:30am

Just in time for Veterans Day, the sweetest "Luke, I am your father"…

This darling kiddo wanted a Star Wars-themed birthday party where he got to play Luke Skywalker. His cousin was cast as Darth Vader, but when that black helmet came off, this little Luke got a glimpse of his father, who is in the Navy and wasn't expected home until December. After not seeing his son for three… » 11/11/12 7:30am 11/11/12 7:30am

What Battlestar Galactica gets right (and wrong) about space warfare

We loved Battlestar Galactica's nuanced approach to foreign affairs, wartime politics, and classicism, but how likely is it that its portrayal of a futuristic aircraft carrier will translate into our spacefaring military future? Foreign Policy interviewed naval analyst and former U.S. Naval War College research… » 9/29/12 10:30am 9/29/12 10:30am

Navy's newest robot is a mechanized, grenade-tossing firefighter

Add another eerily lifelike robot to the military's rapidly expanding android army. This one is, of all things, a mechanical firefighter. And not only can it climb ladders like its flesh-and-blood counterparts, it's designed to interact with human handlers in a kind of human/robot bucket brigade. » 3/09/12 6:30am 3/09/12 6:30am

In roiling seas, Navy laser sets a ship on fire

A Navy laser set fire to a small ship bobbing in unruly seas this week, the first at-sea demonstration of one of the Navy's ray guns. Check out the Navy's video of a fire slowly consuming the inflatable boat's outboard motors. » 4/09/11 8:30am 4/09/11 8:30am

On its way to ultradestructive megawatt power, Navy's death ray laser…

The Navy's death ray weapon keeps burning through laser records, on its way to the ultimate goal of searing through 2,000 feet of steel per second. » 2/19/11 9:45am 2/19/11 9:45am

Liquid radio — Could temporary jets of seawater be used as functioning…

Apparently so: as PopSci reports, "communications are vital" for vessels at sea, but deck space for "all the large antennas necessary for long-range (and often encrypted) communications" can be hard to come by. » 11/06/10 1:30pm 11/06/10 1:30pm

In 20 Years, The Navy Will Be Full Of Riddicks

The U.S. Navy is looking towards the world of 2030, when its newest recruits will be just retiring. There'll be lasers, remote-controlled planes... and eye surgery to help you see in the dark. » 1/04/10 2:00pm 1/04/10 2:00pm

Navy-Trained Sea Lions Ready to Arrest Enemy Divers

Dolphins aren't the only aquatic mammals fighting human battles. The US Navy has long been training sea lions as equipment retrievers and underwater sentries. Now they plan to outfit a naval base with mine-sweeping, diver-trapping sea lions. » 11/25/09 4:00pm 11/25/09 4:00pm

US Armed Forces Listened for Messages from Mars

In 1924, Earth saw its closest Mars opposition in over a century, and some thought our Martian neighbors might use the event to attempt contact. So for one night, US Naval and Army stations scanned the skies for extraterrestrial transmissions. » 11/08/09 3:00pm 11/08/09 3:00pm

Navy Battleship with a Cloaking Device

Meet the first (semi) invisible warship: it's painted in "low reflectivity" materials that make it hard to see on radar. While not invisible to the naked eye, this Swedish ship, called the Visby Corvette, is for all intents and purposes invisible to many of the instruments Navies would use to pick it up. Researchers… » 3/06/08 7:00am 3/06/08 7:00am

The Navy's Explosive Super Weapon Crushes Speed Records

Here are some photos of the Navy testing its new electromagnetic railgun at the Naval Surface Warfare Center. The railgun fires at 10.44 megajoules, with a muzzle velocity of 2520 meters per second. Click through for more details and a gallery of splodey pics. » 2/01/08 2:40pm 2/01/08 2:40pm