Archive: DARPA

The Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim) USS Ponce (ASB(I) 15) conducts an operational demonstration of the Office of Naval Research (ONR)-sponsored Laser Weapon System (LaWS) while deployed to the Arabian Gulf. Photo: U.S. Navy.

Air Force Officer Sees Expectation Management As Key To Directed Energy Program Success

Setting achievable expectations is critical to the Defense Department fielding its first directed energy weapon, according to a key Air Force officer. Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) chief Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski said Thursday previous directed energy efforts failed from the weight of grandiose expectations for the technology level available, like megawatts of power, resulting in […]

Deep Learning Analytics Develops DARPA Deep Machine Learning Prototype

An Arlington, Va.-based company called Deep Learning Analytics has developed a deep machine learning automatic target recognition (ATR) program prototype for DARPA that will help assist aircraft pilots in finding targets. Deep Learning Analytics is nine months into a 40-month contract for DARPA’s Target Recognition and Adaptation in Contested Environments (TRACE) program, according to company […]

An X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator, the predecessor to the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike vehicle, completes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), July 10. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy.

Iron Man, Not Terminator: Machines Will Improve Human Performance In Third Offset

Many of the technologies that will define the U.S. military’s third offset strategy have yet to be invented, so Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work–the concept’s most vocal champion–often explains his vision in terms of science fiction works in popular culture. The defining concept within the third offset is the development of seamless interaction between humans […]

An Air Force F-22 Raptor. Photo: Air Force.

DARPA Developing Aircraft Brains That Can Think, Learn Mid-Mission

The Defense Department’s top secret laboratories are working on artificial intelligence (AI) that will allow military aircraft to think, learn and adapt to threats mid-flight. Arati Prabhakar, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, said the ability of robotic brains to operate in the physical world is still relatively limited, so fears of rogue […]

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HASC Grants Army $90 Million For Fast Fielding Of Vehicle Active Protection Systems

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) has heeded the Army’s call for Active Protections Systems (APS) for its combat vehicles, adding $90 million for off-the-shelf missile shields in its markup of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. In its markup of the 2017 NDAA released Monday, HASC prescribed $80 million for an unfunded Army requirement […]

The 20-percent scale model of the Aurora LightningStrike Vertical Take-off and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) undergoes a flight test in Maryland. Photo: Aurora Flight Sciences.

Aurora Flies Subscale VTOL X-Plane For DARPA At U.S. Facility

Aurora Flight Sciences successfully flew a subscale vehicle demonstrator (SVD) of its LightningStrike Vertical Take-off and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) at a U.S. military facility for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the company said Monday. The flight was meant to meet a DARPA risk reduction requirement for the test craft that focused […]

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter

Carter Urges Tech Professionals to Bring Expertise to Pentagon

SAN FRANCISCO–Defense Secretary Ashton Carter made a pitch to a crowd of Silicon Valley technology professionals at the RSA security conference on Wednesday: Work for the Pentagon and help the nation solve some of its toughest problems, from cyber operations against the Islamic State to protecting its networks against foreign adversaries. “The idea that you’re […]

An illustration of Tern, Northrop Grumman's next-generation unmanned system for maritime ISR and strike. Photo: Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Wins $93M to Develop New Drone for Small Deck Ships

Northrop Grumman [NOC] landed a $93 million contract for a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that could revolutionize the flight decks of small surface ships: an autonomous drone capable of conducting surveillance and striking targets. During phase three of the Tern program—which originally stood for Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node—Northrop Grumman will complete its final design, […]

A Soldier aims an XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement weapon system at Aberdeen Test Center, Md.

Study: Precision Small Arms Will Give Ground Troops Leg Up In Future Fight

The proliferation of highly capable electronics and advanced military weaponry could dull the edge U.S. ground forces have over their enemies in future ground conflict, but precision-guided small arms could sharpen the Army’s lethality, if not reverse that trend, a new think tank study finds. A litany of procurement programs and government and private laboratory […]

PFC Marcus Beedle leads the mule-like robot known as the Legged Squad Support System on a patrol through open terrain at Fort Devens Mass.

Deputy Defense Secretary Says Troops Teamed With Robots Will Keep Russia, China At Bay

Where precision-guided and nuclear bombs staved off war with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said thinking machines helping U.S. troops make faster, better decisions will deter Russian and Chinese aggression in the future. The scientific community is at an inflection point in regards to autonomy and artificial intelligence, […]