Flying aircraft carriers could be here sooner than you think

 

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Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie combat drone.

Kratos and AeroVironment are teaming up to make it happen.

For nearly half a decade, DARPA — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — has been hard at work on a (not so) secret project: to build a flying aircraft carrier, a flying piloted “mother ship” capable of launching and recovering drone aircraft.

Little did DARPA know that two of its favorite contractors, defense companies AeroVironment (NASDAQ:AVAV) and Kratos Defense & Security (NASDAQ:KTOS), were about to go one better.

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The U.S. military is buying a $130 million laser weapon

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A team of Lockheed Martin and Dynetics engineers just won a $130 million contract to provide a 100-kilowatt laser weapon for the U.S. Army.

The High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstrator — evocatively abbreviated HEL TVD — laser system is slated to be tested at a missile range in New Mexico in 2022, Defense News reports.

“High energy laser weapons have been a system that the United States has wanted to add into their defense portfolio since the invention of the laser,” said senior VP of contracts at Dynetics Ronnie Chronister in a press release.

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The Weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum

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The information age is evolving the very nature of warfare. Today, each nation increasingly depends on closely integrated, high-speed electronic systems across cyberspace, geospace, and space (CGS). But, it’s a cause of great concern if an enemy can easily use a weapon like a small, inexpensive EMP device. An EMP weapon can deny any individual or entity across a nation the ability to use electromagnetic waves for their digital infrastructure and digital connectivity, e.g. radio, infrared, and radar. Moreover, a nuclear blast can also trigger an EMP effect, as can a solar storm. Individually and collectively, this emerging reality understandably changes the nature of warfare, the focus of the war, and the target of warfare, shaking up the very foundation of security.

Electronic warfare is on our doorstep, and no nation seems to be fully prepared. Since electronic warfare appears to already be on our doorstep, in order to meet the complex EMP warfare challenges that are seriously threatening the very progress and advances nations have made in CGS, it is essential to evaluate how prepared each nation is today in their defensive as well as offensive capabilities. How are nations addressing the security challenges to their CGS?

The weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum is becoming a reality. Acknowledging this emerging reality, Risk Group initiated a much-needed discussion on Electromagnetic Warfare with Colonel Avraham Cohen, Head of National Security Cyber Research Group and the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Sphere-SOC based in Israel on Risk Roundup.

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The U.S. Army is using virtual reality combat to train soldiers

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War Games

The virtual battlefield can simulate millions of “intelligent entities.”

The U.S. military has constructed a massive virtual reality platform to help train infantry soldiers in realistic battlefields filled with millions of artificial intelligence agents.

Futurism first reported on the Synthetic Training Environment (STE) back in April, when the U.S. Army published a whitepaper describing its ability to simulate real cities in the U.S. and North Korea.

Now software developers who contributed to the VR platform opened up about their work in an interview with Digital Trends, describing how virtual reality can help the U.S. train a more combat-ready and versatile military.

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Machine gun-toting drone threatens to change warfare forever

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In 2015, a video showing a semi-automatic handgun being fired from a custom-built dronewent viral, raising concerns for authorities, including the FAA. The development of such a DIY device was only a matter of time, as was the commercialization of the technology. Now Florida-based startup Duke Robotics has unveiled the TIKAD, a custom-built multirotor that can carry and fire various military weapons, including semi-automatic rifles and grenade launchers.

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62% of cybersecurity experts believe AI will be weaponized in next year

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Some 62% of security experts believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will be weaponized and used for cyberattacks within the next 12 months, a Cylance survey released Tuesday found. This makes the growth of AI a double-edge sword, according to Cylance’s blog post on the finding.

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US Army fires 3D-printed grenade launcher

The US Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) has successfully fired the first 3D-printed grenade from a 3D-printed grenade launcher. Part of a demonstration of how such technology can be used to greatly speed up prototyping and modification of weapons while lowering costs, the grenade launcher, called RAMBO (Rapid Additively Manufactured Ballistics Ordnance), was based on an M203A1 grenade launcher and every component, with the exception of the springs and fasteners, was manufactured using additive manufacturing.

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The U.S. appears to be using anti-drone rifles against the Islamic State

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A tweet posted last week by Peter Singer, a co-author of the book Ghost Fleet and a strategist at the New America Foundation, shows his book couched up against what appears to be a Battelle DroneDefender anti-drone rifle in a tent at Fire Base Bell outside Makhmour, Iraq.

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