Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is, for better or worse, the future of American military airplanes. With Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps versions costing over $100 million each, the aircraft is a jack-of-some-trades designed to replace 10 older models now in use by America and its allies. The F-35 has a lot of very different-sized shoes to fill, including one in a cyberwarfare, so it's going to do something new: carry a "cyberpod" cyberweapon.
Drone war is almost synonymous with Pakistan, where for years American drones fought back Taliban and al Qaeda operations across the border from Afghanistan. It's a tremendously contentious policy, with American planes dropping bombs on insurgents within Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (and, often, killing civilians in the process). What happens to the drone war when American forces leave Afghanistan? Turns out Pakistan may use its own drone to battle insurgents. After years of development, Pakistan is putting the finishing touches on the Burraq, an indigenously made armed drone that successfully test-fired a laser-guided missile earlier today.
Moving an army is no easy task, and it's even harder when that army wants to travel by air. Working with NASA and the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army is developing a new fleet of helicopters to carry troops into battle, and into the future. Some helicopter designs from the early 1960s are still in use. There's been decades of innovation since then, and as we can see from the artist's rendering above, the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator design could be radically new.
China's most powerful aircraft engine, the WS-20, is getting closer to finishing its tests. With a power output of 14 tons, the WS-20 will replace the less powerful and less efficient Russian D-30KP, which has only 10.5 tons of thrust. The WS-20 turbofan has been flying on this Il-76 test aircraft since 2014, and it's likely that aerial testing will wrap up in late 2015.
This week the United States announced that, for the first time, it will sell armed drones to select allied nations. Over the past decade, drones have become something of a poster child for America's war on terror. While selling Predators and Reapers to other countries might raise a few eyebrows, the State Department announcement goes to great lengths to clarify sharing this technology doesn't carry with it any major risk.
Every day, people find new places where they shouldn't fly drones. Earlier this week, it was the White House grounds. Before that, a meth-smuggling remote control copter crashed just south of San Diego. There are even maps of where not to fly drones. Now, in a new, short PSA, the Federal Aviation Administration very clearly says where not to fly: the Super Bowl