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BluefinOne of the most advance undersea drones contracted by the U.S. Navy is getting the workout of its robotic life this week as it plunges ever deeper into the Indian Ocean in search of missing Malaysian Airline’s flight MH370’s locator.

The Bluevin-21 has been on the scene in the Indian Ocean for about two weeks as searchers from more than two dozen countries have been listening for and attempting to triangulate faint signals from the plane’s flight recorder, the so-called “black box.”

“The Navy has hired Phoenix (under our contract with NAVSEA) to bring our AUV to Australia in support of the search,” Phoenix International spokesman Pete LeHardy said.

On Friday, the 16-foot-long autonomous underwater vehicle dove beyond its depth rating of 14,765 feet in search of the box, putting its sophisticated technology at risk of damage. [Continue reading…]

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Russian President Vladimir Putin responded on live television to a question posed by American fugitive Edward Snowden about whether Russia spies on its citizens using a mass surveillance program.

Speaking during a broadcast of the state-owned RT television network, Putin denied that Russia has a clandestine government surveillance system similar to the one Snowden exposed in the United States.

“We don’t have a mass system of such interception,” the Russian president said. [Continue reading…]

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AF-7 Flight 185F-35 Joint Strike Fighter officials are in the early phases of mapping out a fourth software drop designed to ensure the fifth generation fighter can counter threats and weapons expected to emerge in the mid 2020’s and beyond, Air Force officials said.

“Block 4 will be that next block of software that we do. We will gather up all the requirements of what we need as a nation to counter the emerging threats that we can see even past what we can already do,” said Col. Carl Schaefer, the Air Force’s top Joint Strike Fighter integration official.

The fourth increment will build upon existing increments now in development, Schaefer added. [Continue reading…]

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{filenamebase}U.S. military leaders have approved funding to develop a hybrid, stealth motorcycle to be driven by special operations teams in the not too distant future.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has issued a grant to integrate a multiple fuel, hybrid-electric power plant into a dirt bike built by BRD Motorcycles.  The hybrid electric engine will be built by Logos Technologies.

DARPA leaders forsee an electric bike that can drive for an extended range while producing nearly zero engine noise.  [Continue reading…]

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The Littoral Combat Ship program was one of the leading topics at the Sea Air Space Exposition outside Washington D.C. last week as Navy leaders continued to protect it from critics who said the ship is not built for the correct mission sets. A government watchdog even reported that 7th Fleet officials told investigators that the LCS is not suited for the Pacific.

The Navy’s director of surface warfare, Rear Adm. Tom Rowden, sat down with Military​.com last week to discuss the embattled program and why the Navy must continue to add these ships to the fleet. The video above covers his views on the program and where it must go from here. [Continue reading…]

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