The F7U Cutlass Could Get You Killed
Rex Beisel designed the legendary F4U Corsair fighter, a World War II piston heavyweight that served through the Korea conflict and was “one of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps’ finest fighters,” according to the National Naval Aviation Museum. But Beisel also invented the F7U Cutlass jet, which was... Read more
The U.S. Navy Had a Weird, Hand-Cranked Grenade Launcher
Originally published on May 25, 2015. Since the very first firearms appeared on the battlefield, weaponeers have looked for ways to send more bullets at the enemy. So when the Pentagon cooked up the 40-millimeter grenade in the late 1950s, American engineers wasted little time in developing plans for... Read more
In 2010, the U.S. Navy Surfaced Three Missiles Subs as a Warning to China
Nuclear powers rarely go to war with each other, but that doesn’t mean they don’t threaten to do so. Indeed, military posturing is an integral part of what Forrest Morgan, an analyst for the RAND Corporation, called “crisis stability.” In other words, “building and posturing forces in ways that... Read more
How a Malaysian Playboy Controlled the Most Powerful Naval Force on the Planet
It was the middle of September 2013 and the U.S. Justice Department had laid a trap. Its target was the Malaysian millionaire defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis. But no one called him by his real name. At six feet tall and more than 300 pounds, he earned the nickname... Read more
U.S. Stealth Drone Helped Test Huge Bomb
Two years ago, the U.S. Air Force brought the stealthy RQ-170 Sentinel drone and the Massive Ordnance Penetrator—two of America’s most secretive weapons—together for a single test. The Pentagon denies that it intends the huge MOP munition—which only the B-2 stealth bomber carries and which can punch deep into... Read more
The U.S. Navy’s New Cruiser Is … the Navy’s Old Cruiser
The U.S. Navy’s 22 Ticonderoga-class cruisers have been its biggest and most heavily-armed surface combatant warships since the mid-1980s. For years, the sailing branch tried and failed to design an even more powerful ship to replace the Ticos, but the high cost proved prohibitive. Now the Navy has finally... Read more
Good News and Bad News in New U.S. Sub Design
The U.S. Navy has finally selected which of five candidate designs it will use for its new “Block V” Virginia-class submarines, meant to replace the sailing branch’s existing underwater arsenal vessels starting in around a decade’s time. According to the U.S. Naval Institute, the Navy has chosen the least... Read more
Now We Know What the Navy’s Next Submarine Will Look Like
For several years now the U.S. Navy has been planning to replace older attack and cruise-missile submarines with an improved version of the cutting-edge Virginia-class undersea boat. And in late October, Adm. David Johnson, the sailing branch’s top sub-builder, finally unveiled the new vessel’s possible configurations during a conference... Read more
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