The Syrian Civil War Has Prompted the First Withdrawal from the Doomsday Seed Vault

The Arctic Svalbard Seed Vault is designed to safeguard the seeds of 820,619 plants in the event of massive environmental catastrophe, disease, a nuclear war, or an asteroid impact. Sadly, the ongoing civil war in Syria has caused the first-ever withdrawal of its precious contents. »9/23/15 10:30am

What It Feels Like to Shoot With the Military’s Experimental Smart Scope

You’ve probably never fired an M4 carbine. Until a couple weeks ago, I hadn’t either. But at a recent DARPA demo day, I loaded a magazine (also a first for me), snuggled up to the deadly assault rifle, and looked through one of the most technologically advanced smart scopes ever built. Then I pulled the trigger. »4/28/15 2:10pm

This Trusty U.S. Chopper Is Heading Home After a Decade of War

"We fly like nobody else in the Army," Col. Michael Musiol, commander of the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, recently told Stars and Stripes. He's right. The OH-58 Kiowa family of helicopters has been serving on the front lines—both as an advanced scout and emergency evacuator—for nearly 50 years. But as its tenure in… »12/03/14 11:40am

The Fighter Jet We Could Have Built Instead of the F-35

The mid-1990s found the U.S. military in need of a low-cost, supersonic stealth fighter jet that all three armed services branches could field. Easy, right? The subsequent—and highly contentious—design competition between Boeing and Lockheed saw the winner take home a $200 billion defense contract, which in turn… »7/18/14 12:40pm

KAL 007: The Korea Airlines Flight Everyone Is Thinking About Today

The apparent missile shootdown of a Malaysian Airlines jet over Ukraine this morning will likely go down as one of the worst—and, if initial reports are true, most avoidable—disasters in air-travel history. But it's not unprecedented. A similar infamous incident happened 30 years ago, also involving Russian military… »7/17/14 12:50pm

Nowhere Under the Sea Is Safe from Britain's Newest Nuclear Submarine

Russia isn't the only nation launching a nuclear sub hunter after two decades of development. The UK recently rolled the third of seven £1 billion Astute Class nuclear submarines, the HMS Artful, out of its cavernous dry dock for a year of demanding sea trials and a quarter century of service beneath the seas. »7/04/14 11:30am

Here's What Yesterday's Successful Missile Defense Test Really Means

On Sunday, a ground-based interceptor fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base destroyed a mock enemy warhead launched from the Marshall Islands. The Pentagon hailed it as a major success for the troubled national missile defense system, which has cost $40 billion since 2004. But, in truth, it changes little. »6/23/14 1:20pm

The Navy Wants to Mount an Anti-UAV Laser on a Hummer--A Hummer!

The Office of Naval Research has just announced another breakthrough in its efforts to bring laser-based weapons to future battlefields. What once could only be accommodated by a tractor trailer now fits neatly in the back seat of a Humvee. It's only a matter of time until our armed forces march off to war with GI… »6/17/14 2:20pm