Readers of this blog are still fascinated to read about military technology developed behind the old Iron Curtain. Case in point: A post about Russia’s nuclear attack submarines being transported for upgrades was our most popular of the year.
Another top story detailed structural cracking found on the Pentagon’s most advanced — and expensive — fighter jet, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (and that was before an engine fire caused the aircraft to be temporarily grounded and miss its international debut in the United Kingdom).
Others were about helicopters, rail guns, even stealth dirt bikes. We hope you enjoy taking a look back at the 10 most popular stories on DefenseTech in 2014:
10. Air Force Begins Massive B-1B Overhaul
The Air Force is in the early phases of a multi-year technological overhaul and upgrade of its B1-B Lancer long-range bomber fleet which will outfit all 62 aircraft with a wide-ranging suite of new displays, computer technology and avionics, service officials said.
9. Congress Reacts to Chinese Hypersonic Missile Test
The Chinese military executed a hypersonic missile test last week and three members of Congress are already saying the Chinese “appear to be leaping ahead of us” in regards to developing the technology.
8. U.S. Plans to Build a Stealth Dirt Bike
U.S. military leaders have approved funding to develop a hybrid, stealth motorcycle to be driven by special operations teams in the not too distant future.
7. Sikorsky Unveils S-97 Raider Light-Attack Helo
Helicopter-maker Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. unveiled its next-generation light-attack helicopter, the S-97 Raider, during a ceremony in Florida.
6. F-35 Nickname Controversy Brewing with Reaper
New military aircraft get their official nicknames and with time they receive an unofficial nickname from the ranks. Some unofficial nicknames like the A-10 Warthog or the B-52 BUFF stick. Others like the B-2 Boomerang don’t catch on quite as well.
5. Helicopter Drone Makes First Flight from Navy Destroyer
A helicopter drone developed by Northrop Grumman Corp. has made its first flight from a U.S. Navy destroyer, the company announced.
4. Navy Rail Gun Showing Promise
Navy developers are moving into a second phase of testing for an electromagnetic rail gun that Navy leaders hope to mount to surface ships in the future, service officials said Wednesday at the Navy Surface Warfare Association Annual Symposium.
3. U.S. Military Begins Testing ‘Smart’ Rifles
The U.S. military has begun testing several so-called smart rifles made by the applied technology start-up TrackingPoint Inc., company officials said.
2. Report: F-35 Cracks in Tests, Isn’t Reliable
The U.S. Defense Department’s newest and most advanced fighter jet has cracked during testing and isn’t yet reliable for combat operations, the Pentagon’s top weapons tester said in new report.
1. Russia Releases Photos of its Submarine Fleet
The Russian Defense Ministry released photos of a cargo ship transporting two of its nuclear-powered attack submarines in a pretty stunning set of photos.