How the U.S. Air Force Spied on French Nuke Blasts Special tanker planes snooped on Pacific tests by JOSEPH TREVITHICK During the early years of the Cold War, the United States had a problem. The U.S. had quickly lost its monopoly on nuclear weapons. The Pentagon was most concerned about Soviet and... Read more
The U.S. Army Built a Handheld, Automatic Grenade Launcher
Running around the battlefield with a rapid-firing, grenade-lobbing machine gun sounds like something Arnold Schwarzenegger would do in a movie. But in the 1960s, the U.S. Army experimented with one such weapon. After introducing the crude but functional M-79 in the late 1950s, the ground combat branch saw fully... Read more
That Time an Air Force F-16 and an Army Missile Battery Fought Each Other
During the spring 2003 invasion of Iraq by U.S. and allied forces, U.S. Army Patriot air-defense missile batteries were so dangerously unreliable—and prone to firing on friendly planes—that they provoked a brief, and today largely forgotten, civil war between missileers and fighter pilots. “Many allied pilots believed that the... Read more
The Mach-3 Drone That Spied on China
The Pentagon is concerned about China’s growing capabilities, especially after a stunning display of new military hardware. In response, the military asks the American aerospace industry to develop a vehicle so fast stealthy and smart that nothing can touch it. A super-fast aircraft already in development is pushed forward... Read more
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