In the News

Oct. 2, 2019

Navy, Marines express interest in ‘stackable’ modular offensive grenades for the future

The Crane, Ind.-based Naval Surface Warfare Center issued a request for information about the modular grenades last month, along with several other early-stage procurement notices about several flash-bang grenade variants. The Marine Corps also has expressed interest in the stacking grenades. The notices come as the military looks to expand its nonlethal-weapons capabilities for a complex, modern battlefield, where troops might encounter more low-intensity conflict scenarios or situations in which civilians and enemy combatants are intermixed.

Sept. 27, 2019

A new tool in China's kit of repression

Hong Kong’s democracy protesters may be in for a nasty surprise in the coming months. The mainland Chinese have reportedly designed a sonic weapon that can selectively target individuals or groups in a crowd of demonstrators, leaving them unable to control muscle movement and render them easy pickings for riot police to round up.

Sept. 26, 2019

British Royal Navy’s Second Sea Lord Visits NSWC Dahlgren Division

U.K. Royal Navy Second Sea Lord Vice Adm. Nicholas Hine and his delegation were briefed by Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) subject matter experts on programs and capabilities that included the NSWCDD Innovation Lab (I-Lab), digitalization of the U.S. Navy, high velocity tactical development, and directed energy weapons such as the high energy laser, electromagnetic railgun and hyper-velocity projectile.

Sept. 26, 2019

CNO's Surface Warfare Division Director Briefed on Directed Energy at Dahlgren

Rear Adm. Eugene 'Gene' Black, Surface Warfare Division director at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, visited Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD), Sept. 6.

Sept. 23, 2019

AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate welcomes new director

A new leader has taken the helm at the Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate, as Dr. Michael Gregg officially assumed the role of director on Sept. 3, 2019.

Sept. 23, 2019

Air Force creates futuristic fighters

Technology around the world is constantly improving, which influences the Air Force to keep up with these new developments by innovating and finding ways to effectively train Airmen.

Aug. 25, 2019

‘Innovation’ Word Of The Day For Air Force

The Air Force Research Laboratory Tech Engagement Office honored AFRL scientists and engineers who are moving technology out of the laboratory into industry for commercialization purposes.

Aug. 24, 2019

Pentagon’s Non-Lethal Weapons Office Pushing Gray-Zone Warfare Tools

The Pentagon’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate is hoping to reframe the talk about non-lethal weapons amid a push by the Defense Department to boost lethality for high-end warfare. The office’s director, Marine Corps Col. Wendell Leimbach, instead wants to talk about capability gaps in an era of gray zone warfare with Russia and China and where “intermediate force capabilities” – an umbrella term that also includes non-lethal weapons – would give American forces a better chance to compete.

Aug. 23, 2019

Combat Support Training Exercise prepares Army Reserve units to be self-sustaining in tactical objectives

“Get down! Get away from the gate!” yelled Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Nitendra Prasad, Platoon Sergeant, 645th Inland Cargo Transfer Company, Las Vegas, Nevada. A group of Civilians on the Battlefield arrived at a Central Receiving Shipping Point yard, an area where fuel, equipment and supplies are stored, at Tactical Training Area Independence. They were hungry and thirsty. “Food and water, food and water,” the civilians demanded. The Soldiers at the entry control point stood their ground unsure of who was in the crowd. Prasad stated that the unit had intelligence two days prior that there may be suicide bombers in the area and due to that potential threat, Soldiers used extreme caution as they approached the civilians and maintained a safe distance.

Aug. 13, 2019

Naval Information Warfare Centers Win Seven 'Top Scientists, Engineers' Awards

The Assistant Secretary of the Navy (ASN) Research, Development, and Acquisition (RD&A) Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Awards, recognizes scientists and engineers who have made significant contributions immediately recognizable by the research, development, acquisition, test and evaluation community, as well as senior leadership within the Department of the Navy. This year’s awards, presented during a June 28 ceremony at the Pentagon and hosted by Allison Stiller, principal civilian deputy, ASN RD&A, recognized the outstanding and significant contributions of both centers.

Aug. 1, 2019

Non-Lethal Weapons? Will Marines ever use this capability?

I used to believe that a question had an obvious answer. The United States military is the world’s most feared and lethal fighting force with the Marines being among the most aggressive warriors within that force. Beyond crowd control during peacekeeping in lieu of (ILO) operations, considering the tactical employability of non-lethal weapons (NLW) as a young combat arms officer seemed irrelevant and impractical. As a tank officer, and more recently as an acquisitions program manager, I spent the majority of my career enhancing the lethality of the Corps. Given the importance of strengthening warfighting capabilities with limited time and resources, the significance of NLW, even for kinetic and potentially lethal operations, was not immediately intuitive. However, once I moved beyond conceptualizing NLW as essential equipment for only Marine Security Guards and military police, it did not take long for me to understand their utility, relevance, and importance across the spectrum of conflict.

July 29, 2019

U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Sees Fleet’s Future at Dahlgren’s Laser Lethality Lab

U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Max Shuman faced a half dozen Navy officer and civilian engineers while reflecting on lessons learned as his internship concluded at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD).

June 19, 2019

Services Report Progress on Directed Energy Programs

With promises to reduce cost per shot and provide unlimited magazines, each of the services are betting their directed energy technology can give them an edge on the battlefield. The Navy, Air Force, Army and other organizations all have ongoing programs and are reporting progress.

June 19, 2019

Marine Corps at the forefront for ground-based lasers

A drone-killing, directed energy weapon prototype is now in the hands of Marines. The Compact Laser Weapons System—or CLaWS—is the first ground-based laser approved by the Department of Defense for use by warfighters on the ground.

June 4, 2019

Are Non-Lethal Laser Drones the New Stun Guns?

With a less-lethal weapon, there is always the risk that it might be bested by more-lethal means. Escalation and immediate response needs can lead to a shoot-first mentality, with less harmful tools kept as an alternative. But if those less-lethal tools are put on a robot, the danger suddenly shifts. Why not send a drone with a stun gun after a person with unknown armament? Worst comes to worst, it’s just another disabled robot.

May 23, 2019

Marines assess small business innovations during weeklong evaluation

From April 29 to May 3, the Small Business Innovation Research program at Marine Corps Systems Command hosted a Limited Military User Assessment and Engineering Technical Review at the Gruntworks Squad Integration Facility aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. The weeklong event enabled Marines to assess, demonstrate and provide feedback for promising SBIR prototype technologies from MCSC, Program Executive Officer Land Systems and the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate.

May 22, 2019

Inspiring speakers, technologies welcome attendees to AFRL Inspire, Tech Expo

Seven people from Air Force Research Laboratory technology directorates across the country presented inspiring talks at the fourth AFRL Inspire event held May 16 at the Dayton Convention Center in front of more than 500 attendees.

May 21, 2019

Voice From the Community

Dr. Shannon Foley, Human Effects Scientist at the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate is highlighted in the May 2019 issues of Defense Systems Digest.

May 3, 2019

Air Force Research Laboratory completes successful shoot down of air-launched missiles

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) Program successfully completed a major program milestone April 23, 2019 with the successful surrogate laser weapon system shoot down of multiple air launched missiles in flight.

April 25, 2019

Ready, Aim, Fire: Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Lasers

The Defense Department's enduring mission is to provide combat-ready forces to deter war and protect the security of the United States. One of the ways DOD maintains the competitive edge of its troops is through a diverse system of research and development laboratories. DOD laboratories design new tools for cyber defense, evaluate new concepts for autonomous vehicles and advance military-critical technology in areas such as advanced computing, "big data" analytics, artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics, directed energy, hypersonics, and biotechnology.