Back in late August a US Air Force B-52, flying from Minot AFB in North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, was found to have been armed with nuclear cruise missiles—unbeknownst to the flight crew (or anyone else in the military for that matter). After an investigation, the final reports are in and heads are rolling. Proper procedures, which have multiple checks to ensure this type of thing does not happen, were ignored. Many military careers have just effectively ended, with 4 colonels being relieved of their commands and 65 airmen losing their certification to work with nuclear weapons.
Archive for the 'Military' Category
The linked article is a somewhat lengthy history of the politics behind the building of the Pentagon, including how it got its shape.
Turns out that crossing the international date line will crash the on-board computers for the new F-22 stealth fighter plane. Oops…
Previously the fodder of first-person-shooter video games, railguns are becoming a reality. The US Navy is actively developing railguns with an expected range of 200-250 miles, more than ten times that of current 5-inch guns. They expect to use the railgun in place of the (much more expensive) Tomahawk missile. This is not just a vague concept—they’ve already developed and tested a prototype at 1/8th power. We can expect to see them deployed in about 13 years.
Anti-missile flares on military planes create really cool smoke “angels”. Also, here’s a video of the flares being set off.
US Marines have found that Silly String is useful for detecting the near-invisible trip wires used to set off explosive traps in Iraq. Now that’s improvisation!
I guess there’s something to be said for lack of sophistication.