When Theodore Roosevelt wanted to tell the world that the United States had arrived as a major naval power in 1907, he sent the Great White Fleet around the globe, in a symbol as conspicuous as possible. Today, India is in the midst of naval expansion, and for their fleet, they want the exact opposite of conspicuous. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (India’s DARPA) says all naval ships of the future will have stealth features.
Over the past century, Australia has quietly participated in more major wars than expected. From a disastrous assault on the Ottoman-held Gallipoli in World War I to fighting alongside British forces in World War II and Korea, as well as fighting alongside American forces in Vietnam and participating in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Australia’s military was present in many major 20th and 21st century conflicts. Only 12 countries spend more than Australia on defense, and this year, some of that money is going towards a new armored vehicle.
It’s not often that a military advertises a weapon on what it doesn’t do, but at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exposition in Pretoria, South Africa, that’s exactly what Chinese arms manufacturer Poly Technologies did. The “Shoulder-Launched Rocket with Low Collateral Damage” is a weapon designed to give troops all the utility of a wall-piercing explosion, with a lot less of the accidental casualty downside.
In World War II, mighty bombers came equipped with gun barrels, manned by gunners at the ready to protect the plane from attacking fighters. The B-52 Stratofortress even came with a tail gun for self defense and last used it in combat over Vietnam in 1972. The change in fighter weapons from guns to missiles made tail guns obsolete, but now Lockheed and DARPA are bringing them back. As freakin’ lasers.
Designed to destroy enemy ships up to 300 KM off the coast, the Russian defence system is pretty formidable. But what makes the launch particularly impressive is how the missile launches vertically, then fires secondary rockets to flip it horizontal before streaking over the horizon.
The first post in our "Remembering The Great War" series comes from the September 1914 issue of Popular Science, which is the first time the magazine discusses the war in Europe. In a series of essays, scientists probed various aspects of war, and came down strongly in favor of peace. “Everywhere the energies of men are diverted from scientific and social progress to destruction,” we wrote. Essay topics included the futility of war as a means of creating peace (by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie), the (im)morality of war (by philosopher William James), and even speculations that sending a nation's fittest men to be slain in war could lead to the degeneration of society. The latter essay was authored by the noted ichthyologist, eugenicist, and peace activist David Starr Jordan, who wrote,
When Iraq’s American-equipped army fled their posts in Mosul last June, they left that American equipment in the hands Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the attacking violent insurgent group. Since then, the U.S. Air Force destroyed some of the captured vehicles. Jonathan Zittrain, director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, wonders if there’s a better way to stop stolen equipment from working. He proposes “kill switches,” like those found in iPhones, as a means for keeping American arms, given to allies, from working in the hands of enemies.