The series of earthquakes that rocked Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California on July 4 and 5 of this year will end up costing the service more than $5 billion to return the essential weapons and aircraft testing facility to mission capable status.

Now it looks like those quakes have foisted a new cost on another service: critical testing time for a mothership-deployed swarm system eerily reminiscent of those damn Protoss carriers from StarCraft.

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There are #squadgoals, and then there are squad goals — and only one of them includes a potential future accompanied by autonomous robots.

Hot on the heels of the Marine Corps's head-to-toe overhaul of infantry rifle squads, a handful of grunts at the Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California recently conducted field testing alongside a handful of autonomous surrogate vehicles engineered by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Squad X Experimentation program.

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(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency photo)

Only a few have gone through the extensive background checks needed to access Plum Island, where a secretive branch of the U.S. government runs exercises to prepare for all-out cyber war.

The speck of land in the Long Island Sound, owned by the Department of Homeland Security, is largely deserted. The main attractions are a defunct lighthouse and a center that studies infectious animal diseases.

It is also the perfect setting for the U.S. government to stage mock cyber attacks on the power grid.

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Jean-Louis de Bougrenet de la Tocnaye and his stand-alone contact lens with a flexible micro battery (IMT Atlantique)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is reportedly interested in a new wirelessly-connected contact lens recently unveiled in France, the latest in the agency's ongoing search for small-scale technology to augment U.S. service members' visual capabilities in the field.

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The Pentagon just took a major step towards putting unmanned helicopters in the field.

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Flickr Creative Commons/Chris Dilworth

We could be on the verge of a "new class of biological weapon," scientists warn.

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