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Iron_Dome

The U.S. government raced to approve more funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system, which has been used extensively in recent weeks to shield Israel from rockets fired from Palestinian fighters in Gaza.

The Senate on Friday voted to authorize $225 million for Israel to replenish its stockpile of Iron Dome interceptor missiles as a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic group that controls Gaza, collapsed amid ongoing clashes.

The House of Representatives was expected to take similar action later in the day before both chambers of Congress adjourned for August recess. [Continue reading…]

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F-35B_night

Increasingly sophisticated radar in China and Russia may soon be able to pierce the stealth armor on F-22 and F-35 fighter jets, according to a news report.

The stealth coating on the U.S.-made fifth-generation fighters shields the aircraft from high-frequency radars operating in the Ku, X and C bands and some of the S band, but not from low-frequency systems utilizing L, UHF and VHF wavelengths, according to an article by Dave Majumdar at USNI News.

China and Russia are now working to develop low-frequency radars with more computing power designed to track stealth aircraft with more precision — enough to target them with a missile, according to the report, citing an unnamed former senior U.S. Navy official. [Continue reading…]

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Iraqi_Cessna_Hellfire

The government of Iraq plans to buy several thousand more Hellfire missiles made by Lockheed Martin Corp. in what would be its largest-ever purchase of the weapon.

The Defense Department’s notification of the sale to Congress this week comes as the Shiite-led government in Baghdad is trying desperately to thwart advances made by the Sunni-led Islamic extremist group, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL (also known as ISIS), which now controls vast swaths of the northern and western part of the country and areas in Syria.

The State Department has approved the sale, would include 5,000 AGM-114K/N/R Hellfire missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $700 million, according to a Pentagon press release. Congress has a month to block the deal. [Continue reading…]

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MTGR

Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system isn’t the only high-tech hardware the country’s military is deploying in its latest fight against the Islamist militant group Hamas in Gaza.

Israel Defense Forces have for the first time deployed an unmanned ground vehicle known as the Micro Tactical Ground Robot made by Tel Aviv-based Roboteam to scour underground tunnels for Hamas-controlled weapons caches and command posts, according to an article by Barbara Opall-Rome of Defense News.

The portable, remote-controlled system weighs about 20 pounds and has a maximum speed of 2 miles per hour, range of about 1,600 feet and battery life of four hours. Outfitted with five cameras, an internal microphone and infrared laser pointers, the machine can collect and relay encrypted information. [Continue reading…]

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Def-tech-expl-detectorA Vanderbilt University professor has come up with a faster and less expensive way to test for explosives residue on surfaces.

Prof. Sharon Weiss has modified white gold leaf paper so that its surface provides signal amplification of 100 million times – so that a laser and detector to identify the chemical molecules of whatever it has been applied to.

“We start with a very thin, white gold film and use a simple chemical soak and one-step direct imprinting process to create what is essentially a fancy gold sponge,” said Weiss, an associate professor of electrical engineering and physics who also serves on the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center’s Research and Technology Directorate at Aberdeen, Md.

[Continue reading…]

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