Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Joseph Dunford, holds an NRL-developed Close-In Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft (CICADA) Mark III unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) displayed at the 2015 Department of Defense (DoD) Lab Day, May 14.

The Naval Research Laboratory is testing a new mini-drone about the size of a compact disc designed to glide into areas with special acoustic, meteorological or chemical-detection sensors, service officials explained.

The Close-in-Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft, or CICADA, is a small unmanned system engineered to travel in groups and bring special detection technologies to remote or hard to reach areas. The project, while in development for several years, is still in the laboratory phase awaiting funding to transition into operational use, Navy officials said.

“A particular concept for certain kinds of missions would be to overwhelm an adversary with a bunch of very cheap, highly disposable UAVs that as themselves do not fly very well but were primarily used in large numbers to deliver payloads that would perform a useful mission,” Aaron Kahn, senior aerospace engineer, Navy Research Lab, told Military​.com in an interview. [Continue reading…]

Su-24A Russian Su-24 all-weather attack jet crashed Monday killing both pilots and bumping up the tally of Russian military that have crashed in the past month to five.

The Su-24 crashed shortly after taking off in western Russia near Khabarovsk. Another Russian Su-24 crashed in February.

Monday’s crash was one of five to have occurred in a Russian air force fleet that is showing its age since military leaders have increased exercises and flights.

Two MiG-29s fighter jets, a Tu-95 Bear bomber and a Su-34 Fullback heavy strike fighter have crashed over the past month. The Russians temporarily grounded their MiG-29 and Tu-95 fleets to investigate the causes of the crashes.


Recent cyber attacks on government computer systems have prompted the Marine Corps to speed up its plans to transition from a Corps-centric security credentialing system to a Defense Department-wide system spelled out in April.

In a July 1 message, Brig. Gen. Kevin Nally, C4 director with Marine Forces Cyberspace Command at Fort Meade, Maryland, said all system administrator and privileged user accounts on Corps systems, networks and enclaves must be changed to use DoD public key infrastructure credentials or smart cards.

Public key infrastructure, or PKI, is the security architecture for validating the identities of individuals or systems accessing information stored on and moving through a network. [Continue reading…]


3D printing 2The Office of Naval Research will meet with 200 industry reps later this month in advance of the Navy’s deep dive into additive manufacturing — aka 3D printing.

The Navy wants to give its ships at sea the capability of making parts as needed, something that not only will come in handy in emergency but would preclude the need to carry many spare parts that — ideally — never have to be used.

In September, the Navy expects to formally ask for proposals and will use the upcoming July 15 Industry Day to brief industry officials about what it’s looking for and get them to think about how to improve existing 3D printing technology, ONR said in an announcement Monday. [Continue reading…]

PutinRussia’s Aerospace Defense Forces will not have their new military nuclear warning satellite systems in place until months later than anticipated, the Moscow Times reported June 30.

Citing the TASS news agency, the Times reports that Russia has delayed the launch of its new military satellites by at least four months, leaving the country unable to detect a potential nuclear attack from space.

[Continue reading…]