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Full steam ahead for the Navy’s controversial “Great Green Fleet”

July 30, 2012 4:43 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

The Navy has embarked on an ambitious green energy program, which could cost upwards of $2 billion per year. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus must convince a skeptical Congress, Senate, and public that investing in pricey alternative fuels — in the midst of the worst recession in decades — will reap dividends. 

The first “Code of Conduct” for UAVs

July 3, 2012 11:50 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

A trade group has written the first "Code of Conduct" related to unmanned aerial vehicles. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), which boasts more than 7,000 members across 60 countries, released its treatise in response to growing privacy concerns toward domestic UAV usage.

Losing the space race ex post facto

April 26, 2012 11:27 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The United States is conceding the space race...43 years after winning it. The Space Shuttle's ignominious retirement closes the door on an engineering marvel and an American institution. And the public didn’t bat an eyelash. How did we get to this point? How did space travel become blasé? When Neil Armstrong took one small step for (a) man, half a billion people tuned in around the world.  

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Congress Opens Market for Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Systems

February 22, 2012 11:52 am | by Paul Dempsey, Senior Correspondent, Footwasher Media | Articles | Comments

Buried deep in this month’s controversial Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding bill, passed by the Senate in an unusually bipartisan 75-20 vote were provisions to boost commercial potential for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Assuming President Obama’s signature, the four-year $63B budget bill mandates the FAA to

Army developing self-aware, decision-making network

November 18, 2011 8:39 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The U.S. Army is developing a “self-aware, decision-making network” that will ultimately reduce human decision-making requirements and increase network performance. The Cognitive Algorithm & Network Design Experiment (CANDE) was designed to enable easier network maintenance, reduce human decision-making requirements, increase network lifetime, transfer data with less delay, and reduce energy consumption.

Soldiers test network, shape future of Army

November 17, 2011 5:07 am | by Lt. Col. Deanna Bague, Fort Bliss Public Affairs Office | Blogs | Comments

The Army has committed 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, to evaluate new technologies and network capabilities that are shaping the Army's evolving tactical network.

ECN’s Tale of Two Veterans

November 10, 2011 12:27 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The military deserves our eternal gratitude, and this Veterans Day, we extend our heartfelt appreciation for their immeasurable sacrifices...for their blood, sweat, and tears shed in defense of this great nation of ours. You may not know this, but Electronic Component News has two veterans in its midst. Your humble author, formerly 2nd Lieutenant Lomberg, served three years in the Army Reserve.

In The Beginning: Sealevel Celebrates 25 Years

August 26, 2011 6:13 am | by Susan O'Hanlan, Sealevel Systems, Inc., www.sealevel.com | Blogs | Comments

Sealevel Systems, Inc., proudly celebrated 25 years of innovative, reliable hardware and software products to enable computer connectivity and control.

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3-D Holographic Technology Provides Detailed Human Intelligence

July 26, 2011 9:56 am | by By T'Jae Gibson, US Army (www.army.mil) | News | Comments

Imagine going from looking at the outside of a building, to seeing the internal workings of its electrical system simply by walking around a display case. The sophistication of 3-D holographic technology allows just that.

Retirement of Shuttle leaves void in manned space program

July 7, 2011 11:20 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Articles | Comments

After Atlantis’ two-week mission, NASA will retire the Space Shuttle. Between the Shuttle’s retirement and the completion of the International Space Station in 2020, the U.S. faces a nine-year gap during which we’ll lack the ability to independently ferry astronauts into space. The Space Shuttle fit the textbook definition of government mismanagement. Envisioned as “routine and economical”, the finished product was neither.

Fake parts in U.S. military

June 21, 2011 12:44 pm | Videos | Comments

A new study shows nearly 40% of the U.S. military's supply chain is made up of counterfeit parts.

Japan announces domestic stealth fighter

March 8, 2011 12:18 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Responding to regional threats and the United States’ refusal to share F-22 technology, Japan is developing its own stealth fighter. The “land of the rising sun” intends to fly its first stealth fighter prototype by 2014. Japan and Israel have both expressed interest in the “air supremacy weapon”, the F-22 Raptor.

Unmanned Northrop Grumman X-47B UCAS-D First Flight

February 7, 2011 3:23 am | Videos | Comments

A Northrop Grumman video of the Feb 4 first flight of the US Navy's X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrator from Edwrads AFB, Calif.

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Army to deploy “revolutionary” smart weapon

February 3, 2011 9:23 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The U.S. Army is set to deploy a “revolutionary” airburst grenade launcher, said to be the first small arms “smart” weapon. Described as a “game changer,” the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System (CDTE) could fundamentally transform squad and platoon tactics. Most firefights in Afghanistan take place beyond 300 meters (often up to 500 meters).

Al-Qaida leader: Drone strikes costing fighters, territory

January 27, 2011 8:52 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

In a rare admission of defeat, an Al-Qaida leader in Pakistan conceded that drones are costing fighters and denying the terror network safe havens. This speaks to the continued success of the “drone war”, and will undoubtedly spur proponents of the F-35. According to Ustadh Ahmad Farooq, “There were many areas where we once had freedom, but now they have been lost,” he said.

Chinese fifth-gen fighter shatters U.S. illusions

January 11, 2011 9:56 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

China held the first test flight of its fifth-generation J-20 fighter today. Lifting off at 12:50:08 local time (04:50:08 GMT), the Chengdu J-20 recorded a flight time of about 18 minutes. This can’t be overstated—the J-20 could seriously alter the balance of power in the Pacific. When Secretary Gates capped the F-22 Raptor at 187 planes, it was based on the presumption that the era of conventional warfare was over.

Navy launches first aircraft using electromagnetic system

December 23, 2010 5:57 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The Navy made history on December 18 when it launched its first rollercoaster, er, aircraft, using the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) technology. The F/A-18 Super Hornet, piloted by Lt. Daniel Radocaj, was launched from Naval Air Systems Command, Lakehurst, N.J.

Air Force wants tougher, ''more survivable'' drones

November 8, 2010 4:27 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The U.S. military wants its next-generation RPVs to be more survivable in “contested airspace.” At a breakfast with reporters in DC, Lt. Gen. Philip Breedlove (the Air Force’s chief of operations, plans and requirements) noted the MQ-9 Reaper’s shortcomings, and stressed the need for tougher, more durable RPVs.

Lockheed Martin showcases incredible “HULC”

November 1, 2010 5:46 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

At the recent Association of the U.S. Army conference in D.C., Lockheed Martin showcased its Human Universal Load Carrier (HULC), the defense giant’s answer to Raytheon’s XOS-2 exoskeleton (the “Real Iron Man Suit”). That’s right: it’s HULC vs. Iron Man.

Canada gets cold feet over F-35

October 19, 2010 9:53 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

A report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives calls Canada’s planned procurement of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter “fundamentally flawed.” According to the CCPA, “Canada does not need the F-35, either for North American/domestic roles or for expeditionary roles.”

Raytheon unveils wearable exoskeleton suit

September 28, 2010 12:20 pm | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Coinciding with the release of Iron Man 2 on Blu-Ray/DVD, Raytheon unveiled a real-life wearable robotic suit. The second-generation exoskeleton (XOS 2) purportedly is lighter, faster and stronger than its predecessor, yet it uses 50 percent less power. Before one conjures Sci-Fi fantasies of space marines, it’s worth pointing out what the XOS 2 is not—it isn’t a futuristic robotic battle suit.

“Grey Eagle” UAS to deploy to Afghanistan

September 8, 2010 7:58 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Weaponized versions of the MQ-1C “Grey Eagle” Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) will begin deploying to Afghanistan in the fall. Formerly known as the Sky Warrior, Grey Eagle is the Army’s answer to the Predator. In recent tests at the National Training Center, the Grey Eagle’s on-board laser designator performed flawlessly.

Drones to be equipped with HD cameras?

August 30, 2010 7:17 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

The Consumer Electronics industry is already discussing glasses-free 3D televisions. But for Airmen monitoring drone feeds, they’re forced to stare at grainy, SD video. Yet according to a piece in the Air Force Times, the times they are a-changin’—the military may soon have HD cameras on drones.

Lockheed Martin receives “contract modification” for F-22

August 25, 2010 6:13 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

Lockheed Martin announced that it had received a $111.4 million contract modification from the U.S. Air Force for the 2010 Follow-On Agile Sustainment for the Raptor (FASTeR) sustainment contract. FASTeR entails support for the F-22 fleet, including training systems, customer support, integrated support planning, supply chain management, aircraft modifications and heavy maintenance...

Israel approves purchase of F-35

August 16, 2010 7:27 am | by Jason Lomberg, Technical Editor | Blogs | Comments

As reported by Defense Talk, Israel has agreed to purchase 20 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in a deal worth an estimated 2.75 billion dollars. At $96 million a piece, this would be the most expensive weapons deal ever signed by Israel. As the Swiss Army Knife of fighter jets, and the bulwark of the free world for the next 40 years (not to sound hyperbolic)...

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