Articles About Defense Tech
First, it was the mess in Syria.
Then we had to deal with the whole Team Bernanke “taper drama.”
And now we’re barreling into yet another “Fiscal Cliff” street fight.
With U.S. stocks trading at unsustainable highs, I can sympathize with those of you who look at these headlines with fear; you view each day’s events as just the latest potential investing calamity, and worry they might ignite a single-day sell-off severe enough to eviscerate years of diligent saving and personal sacrifice.
I can even understand why many of you would like to scamper to the supposed safety of the sidelines.
But don’t do it.
The sidelines, you see, aren’t as safe as you might think. Missing the good days can be worse than riding out the bad ones. And you run the very real risk of getting left behind: 57% of American investors don’t even have $25,000 to their name.
But there’s a way to stay invested – to keep pursuing the life-changing profits that the “right” tech-sector stocks can deliver – even as you muscle aside the painful gut punches that today’s volatile markets can inflict.
I’m going to tell you about it today.
And I’m even going to show you the one stock that will let you put this “Fiscal Cliff” defense strategy to work.
It promises to spot terrorists – before they strike.
It will predict killer storms – warning us when and where they’ll hit.
The new technology trend known as “Big Data” is sweeping the globe, and is expected to facilitate stunning – even life-saving – transformations in intelligence-gathering, meteorology, medicine, finance, and virtually every other field you can think of.
But only if a major problem can be solved.
That problem – a critical obstacle, really – is one that keeps getting in the way. It’s called the “memory wall” and it’s the one digital barricade that every computer engineer in the world wants to hurdle.
Today I’m going to give you a peek at the potential solution to this digital bottleneck – a solution so revolutionary that a respected trade journal recently named it one of the 10 technologies most likely to transform the electronics industry.
I’m going to introduce you to the “Killer Elite” that cracked this computing conundrum.
And I’m going to tell you how you can profit from an innovative breakthrough that most retail investors aren’t even aware of yet.
Let me explain…
I’ll never forget my conversation with defense-industry leader Bob Beyster.
Armed with a doctorate degree and decades of experience, Beyster ranked as one of the U.S. defense industry’s true visionary thinkers. That came through loud and clear when I interviewed him for Signal magazine back in early 1999.
Beyster could talk with ease about everything from the impact of the dot-com boom of the 1990s to the future of information technology at the Pentagon.
This University of Michigan-educated scientist was a walking, talking encyclopedia of global tech trends. He gave me loads of insight into the major shifts that would reshape our world far beyond defense – from changes in telecommunications to how the Web would slash business costs for thousands of global firms.
With fond memories of that chat, I have been a faithful follower of the groundbreaking company Beyster founded some 35 years ago.
I’m referring to Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC), now headquartered in McLean, VA.
At one time or another, I’m sure that we’ve all been outraged by stories of rampant government waste – especially in areas of aerospace- and defense-related research.
But today I’m going to tell you about a NASA-related tech program that led to a big payoff. In fact, investors who knew what to look for could’ve turned $10,000 into $41,900 – a 319% return – in just 29 months.
I’m relating this story for a couple of reasons. It shows you why I spend so much time looking at the research that’s underway in labs at both the university and national level. And it also explains why I write to you so frequently about cutting-edge science where I believe there’s a big potential payoff.
My ultimate goal, you see, is to tell you about profit opportunities like this one before they occur.
Israel has a radical new ballistic-missile defense system, known as the Iron Dome, and it has saved countless lives during the last couple of weeks.
The Iron Dome is not a literal “protective bubble” set up over a city.
But it might as well be…
This portable system is made up of three components: 1) a detection and tracking radar system, 2) the Battle Management & Weapon Control (BMC) – basically a computer control center – and 3) units that fire missiles.
The radar detects incoming missiles and tracks their trajectories. Then, using this data, the BMC calculates where the missiles will likely hit and determines whether they pose a threat – and only then does the firing unit launch an interceptor (also a missile). In this way, they take out the incoming rockets in midair, where it’s safe to do so, far before they can reach their target on the ground below.
This is no easy feat. Think of standing in a field with a bow and arrow and trying to shoot down another arrow launched from a few hundred yards away. What’s more, the system can handle multiple threats simultaneously and works in any kind of weather (day or night).
Designing something that complex boggles the mind, as does the fact that it works so well. Thanks to an unending stream of breakthroughs in computing, sensors, radar, software, and guidance systems, we’re at the point where one “arrow” can now shoot down another in a matter of seconds.
The Iron Dome is a clear game-changer in defense technology.
And the investment potential is just as big…
For decades, researchers have toiled away in the quest to provide nuclear power that is cheap, safe, and stable.
And for just as long, skeptics have said their work will never pay off.
But a team from Sandia National Labs has just hit a new milestone that is paving the way for a viable nuclear-fusion concept at last.
This breakthrough is crucial for two reasons.
First, U.S. environmental groups still largely oppose our current type of nuclear power. It’s based on nuclear fission – in which one atom inside a reactor gets split into two. Nuclear power plants use the resulting release of energy to warm water and produce steam to drive turbines.
But the nuclear accident in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami last year gave fresh ammo to global foes of fission-based power, who say it is patently unsafe. Indeed, two weeks ago, Japan said it would close all nuclear plants by the 2030s. Not only that, but here in the U.S., we face a lot of trouble getting rid of spent nuclear rods without hurting the environment.
Then there’s the terrorist threat. Some security experts warn that we can’t be certain terrorists will never take over a nuclear-power plant. If they did that, they could possibly destroy the plant or steal enough nuclear fuel to make a bomb.
Those two reasons alone have many scientists still hoping for a breakthrough that will make nuclear fusion work.
You see, in a fusion reactor, there’s no possibility of some catastrophic accident releasing destructive amounts of radioactivity. That’s because nuclear fusion can only take place in precisely controlled limits of temperature, pressure, and magnetic field. If the reactor sustained damage, those parameters would be disrupted, and it would immediately shut down.
And it gets better.
See, Earth already relies on fusion energy – that’s what powers the sun.
By using the same fuel the sun does, namely hydrogen, we would have enough raw material in our oceans to last us thousands, if not millions, of years. So if we could get “high-gain” fusion to work, we could get 1,000 times more power out than the energy supplied by the fuel.
But that’s the big problem facing this field. As of now, it still takes more power to get two atoms to fuse together than you get back out from the process. That means it isn’t economical. (Think of it as trying to line up several stars and use them to replace the sun.)
Now along comes Sandia and its new advance.
The lab has created a system in which controlled nuclear fusion could work at break-even or better within the next few years. The team says this has “extraordinary energy and defense implications.”
And to think – it all hinged on coming up with a new type of “liner”…
Few things push the frontiers of the future more than an army’s desire to defeat its enemies.
Just look at what happened to America after World War II. Our need to counter Soviet power delivered a tidal wave of innovation.
Defense spending led to the Internet, microwave ovens and GPS devices – not to mention millions of jobs from one of the great tech booms in history.
Now comes the “New Cold War” – one that will also prove a boon to a wide range of tech industries.
This time the United States is racing against China.
You see, the Pentagon recently announced plans to check Chinese ambition with a wide range of responses. They fall under a new program called “Air Sea Battle.”
It has U.S. President Barack Obama’s backing. The president told our Pacific Rim allies the U.S. will provide a safety net in the region. It’s a clear signal to the Pentagon to get cracking on key research and development (R&D).
This certainly comes at an awkward time. The U.S. faces a daunting debt crisis. With Washington’s failure to reach a budget compromise, big defense cuts loom.
That will hurt in the short run, no doubt. But over the long haul, as it has done several times in post-war history, the Pentagon will find ways to push new technology in an era of tight-money.
Forced to do more with less while challenging the Chinese, the Department of Defense (DoD) will invest in high-value technology.
Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about.
Consider the impact this will have on cybersecurity and warfare. China tries to hack our defense computers and steal our most sensitive secrets almost daily.
Needless to say, we want to put an end to that. But we also want to learn how to shut down China’s computer networks so we can defeat them without firing a single shot.
Consider what happened to Iran’s nuclear program in late 2010.
Used as a cyber weapon, the Stuxnet virus crippled Iran’s computers, putting the country’s plan for atomic weapons at least two years behind schedule.
Of course, there’s a civilian spinoff, which along with countless other viruses, poses a threat to average Americans, as well as U.S. corporations.
Making networks more secure would help banks, hospitals, and other firms protect sensitive data from hackers. It also will aid the fast-growing world of mobile commerce, which will soon become a major target for crafty cyber thieves.
That’s not all.
I can explain the impact of President Obama’s new defense budget to investors in one word – mergers. Indeed, the M&A field will remain a driving force in the defense sector for at least the next two years. The good news for tech investors is that Obama’s focus fits with the Pentagon’s push for more high-tech breakthroughs. […]
The mainstream media was all over Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) co-founder Paul Allen’s recent announcement proclaiming he intends to “transform” the space industry. But they missed the real story – one that will make a few savvy investors a small fortune. If you want big profits from the next generation of space travel, keep an eye […]