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PHOTO: X-47B First Flight
The US Navy's new X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System, a bat-winged stealth bomber, flew for the first time on February 4th, 2011 at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The fighter-sized, unmanned aircraft, capable of extended missions controlled by a computer, could signal the end of human fighter pilots. Almost as big as the B-2 Stealth Bomber, the craft can carry laser guided bombs and fly at more than 500 miles per hour at 40,000 feet. The Navy intends to launch and recover X-47B aircraft on aircraft carriers. (Photo Courtesy Northrop Grumman/Released)

X-47B Operational Concept Art
Source: DARPA (Click photos to enlarge.)
Massive New Urban Combat Training Facility Opens in California
A massive new urban combat live-fire training center with 1,560 buildings and said to be roughly the equivalent in size to downtown San Diego is ready for use at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California. The facility, which reportedly cost $461 million to build, will train US military units in the combat art of MOUT (Military Operations Urban Terrain). More...
Space Fence
Lockheed Martin's USAF Space Fence program aims to keep track of the several million pieces of debris in orbit around the earth.
Laser Defense for Navy Ships
The Office of Naval Research reports that scientists at Los Alamos National Lab have achieved a breakthrough in the Free Electron Laser (FEL) program, demonstrating an injector capable of producing enough electrons needed to generate megawatt-class laser beams for the US Navy's next-generation weapons system. The breakthrough will enable the Department of the Navy to one day deploy a near instantaneous ship laser defense system that will revolutionize ship defense.
LCD Eyewear for Navy Special Warfare

The Office of Naval Research TechSolutions department is set to deliver to Navy Special Warfare personnel later this year Fast-Tint Protective Eyewear (FTPE) that changes colors to a particular light environment in less than half a second.

Liquid crystal solutions within the lenses contain customized dyes that transition to amber, blue, dark gray or clear when an electric charge is applied. Lenses change colors automatically as wearers move in and out of varying light environments, or lens colors can be changed manually by pushing a button on the side of the glasses. The new glasses will allow operators to maintain ballistic eye protection no matter the light environment, for example when entering a dark room or building.
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