Category Archives: military
A few years ago, I was browsing around one of Columbus’ best comic shops and stumbled upon a great graphic novel. Titanium Rain, by Josh Finney (author) and Kat Rocha (illustrator), chronicles a combat pilot that’s a part of an elite unit that has undergone cybernetic enhancements to increase their combat potential.
The timeline: in the near future
The battlefield: a Chinese civil war (I love the name Jade Empire)
Throw in a few early prototype mechas & some UCAS (Unmanned Combat Air System) and you have the makings of a great story!
So while I wait on volume 2 of the story to be delivered, I read at Wired the other day that the next step in the evolution of the UCAS had its maiden voyage earlier in the week. Boeing’s Phantom Ray will have a 1500 mile range, will be able to fly up to mach 0.85 and will serve as a hunter/killer, a reconnaissance platform, and/or an electronic warfare sentinel. I envision that for many near-future battles, UCAS hardware like the Phantom Ray will become the military’s tip of the spear (a role currently served by cruise missiles).
Stealthy and quick, the looks of the Phantom Ray alone will strike fear into the hearts of any enemy on the wrong side of America’s wrath. I’ve said it before, I would not want to go up against the US anytime soon.
Saw three great posts this evening in my Google Reader:
First, the V-22 Osprey has finally taken flight in combat. The good folks over at The Danger Room has some pics of the tilt-rotor hover-to-plane transforming craft over in AfPak. I remember seeing the first flights of the Osprey and then reading about the tragic crashes that followed. It’s good to see that enough progress has been made to make the ship combat-worthy.
Also from The Danger Room, a sharp-eyed French photog caught the above image of a “mystery” plane also in use in AfPak. Dubbed the Beast of Kandahar, the Air Force recently confirmed that the image is of a new unmanned stealth reconnaissance plane, the RQ-170 Sentinel. The question on everyone’s lips is why do you need a stealth drone for use against guys running around the mountains with Kalashnikov’s. Anything to do with Iran being right next door? Hmmmm? Inquiring minds want to know.
And finally over on Bad Astronomy, Phil Plait highlights a great picture from the Cassini team of Saturn’s north pole. If you have not seen the above image, then be amazed! Yes, for some reason the storm raging at the top of Saturn rotates in the form of a hexagon! Wow! Scientists are still working to explain this one. I’m baffled! I can’t wait to read the theories they develop.
If you are a regular reader, you know that I love hard-core sci-fi. I’ve also become quite the military buff after becoming a huge fan of Tom Hanks’ and Steven Spielberg’s Band of Brothers. Now comes word that they are putting the finishing touches on a 10-part mini-series for the Pacific theatre of WWII. Here is the trailer for the new show which is set to debut in March 2010:
I’m super pumped about this. I just might have to get my HBO cut on so that I can watch it.