TAMPA, Florida — Dial down the godawful soundtrack and try to ignore the choppy camera work, but re-watch Lockheed Martin’s promo video depicting its two-year-old Human Universal Load Carrier exoskeleton. Because inside of the year, an improved version of this combat exoskeleton could be headed to Afghanistan for combat trials. That’s right: cyborg soldiers might, might just be months away from becoming a front-line reality.
Archived posts from category ‘Infantry’
Snipers are an infantry soldier’s worst nightmare. They can strike with no warning, often when you least expect it, almost always firing at long range and from concealment. The only thing that protects the average grunt from the sniper’s killing prowess is the sheer difficulty in hitting a man-sized target at extreme ranges with a tiny projectile. Sniping is deadly, but luckily for a shooter’s targets, it’s also really hard.
Japan: The Big Cost of Small Arms
by KYLE MIZOKAMI Japan is a wealthy country, but it’s also an expensive country to live in. From the insanely high cost of real estate in big cities to the notorious $6,100 watermelon, things can get pricey in Japan. Weapons, it turns out, are no exception. Japan has the sixth largest defense budget in the [...]
There’s a new Afghanistan war plan. Last fall, NATO commander General Stanley McChrystal rolled out more restrictive rules of engagement, heralding a “population-centric” approach to the war. U.S. President Barack Obama announced more U.S. troops. While U.S.-led forces in eastern Afghanistan doubled their efforts to prop up faltering local governance, troops in the south identified [...]
by DAVID AXE A secretive contingent of New Zealand Special Air Service commandos was involved in last weekend’s bloody battle in Kabul — and one enterprising freelance photographer took a picture to prove it.
Axeghanistan ’09: Ambush Video
It was a war we thought we’d won. But after eight years of escalating violence, the Afghanistan conflict has morphed into something perhaps unwinnable. U.S.-led forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to deny sanctuary to Al Qaeda, a goal we’ve largely achieved. But in years of occupation, Washington has apparently conflated counter-terrorism with nation-building. Now the [...]
Reich in Afghanistan: Afghan Gun Fun
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/nmkEfo1JsBk" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /] by DAVID AXE U.S. and French troops in Wardak, Afghanistan, use guns, mortars and grenades — first in training, then in combat. Jason Reich shot this footage in August 2009. (Video: Jason Reich)
by DAVID AXE Our own Kevin Knodell penned the following post, then decided he didn’t want to publish it. He felt the message was too personal for public consumption. But Kyle and I argued otherwise, and Kevin relented. So consider this a post published under duress. Here’s Kevin: First Lieutenant Brian Bradshaw was killed in [...]
by DAVID AXE From the ever-entertaining China Military Report, this little treat: a photo of soldiers from the Heilongjiang frontier forces, getting marksmanship training from an “old hunter,” wearing a bunny deer suit. (Photo: China Military Report) Related: Huge Chinese Heli-Carrier to Reinforce Giant, Submarine Aircraft Carrier Chinese Blog Proposes Giant, Submarine Aircraft Carrier China [...]
by DAVID AXE The U.S. Army was developing a new, semi-robotic, tracked howitzer, as part of the Future Combat Systems family of vehicles. But Secretary of Defense Robert Gates killed FCS, in April. The howitzer — the so-called Non Line-of-Sight Cannon — was funded separately from FCS, so wasn’t subject to the FCS termination. But [...]
by DAVID AXE During the Cold War, U.S. military forces operated in big, firepower-heavy formations, designed to fight equally big and powerful Soviet formations — or what the Pentagon calls “peer” opponents. Times have changed, but the military hadn’t — until now. In recent months, reformers have successfully fought for sweeping changes to military force [...]
Army’s Virtual Training World
Last week I broke the story of the Army’s attempt to design a “first-person thinker” video game for training future generals. Now one senior Army game-designer tells me that the ground combat service wants to go one step further … and build a “Massive Multiplayer Online Game” (MMOG) where a wide range of Army training [...]