31st May 2016

Blood donors urgently wanted

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Acute haemorrhaging is the first cause of “avoidable” death in war or civilian trauma. A functional failure of the blood-clotting mechanism, called “coagulopathy” sets in very quickly in 30% of severe bleeding cases and causes persisting blood loss with a mortality rate estimated at about 40%. The treatment of haemorrhagic shock involves immediate transfusion of plasma, red blood cells […]

French light vehicle programme (finally) launched

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The French Army’s unprotected polyvalent light tactical vehicle (VLTP NP) programme has – finally – been launched! The call for tender, open to French and foreign firms, for “about 4,000 VLTP NPs” to replace the Peugeot P4s still in service in the French army was notified on 17 May. Originally programmed for delivery in 2014, the first vehicles should  now be […]

Saber Strike 2016

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by Nathan Gain and Christina Mackenzie   Some 10 000 personnel from 13 countries today started the annual “Saber Strike” exercise which will run until 22 June 2016. The exercise is aimed at improving joint operational capabilities between the three Baltic states and Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States.     […]

Spanish Armed Forces day

Members of the Spanish armed forces hoist the flag on the plaza de Colón in Madrid during a previous year's Armed Forces Day

Culminating tomorrow, 28th May, is a Spanish Armed Forces event that we think is probably unique in Europe: Armed Forces Day. It combines the pomp and circumstance of a military parade in Madrid, like the 14th July in Paris, a memorial to those who have given their lives for their country, like the Cenotaph ceremony […]

Motorbike stealth

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James Bond and Batman dreamt of it, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has – almost – done it: a stealth motorbike. The first two prototypes developed for the US Special Forces, Logos’ Silent Hawk and LSA Autonomy’s Nightmare, faced off this week at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) in Tampa, Florida, just two years after DARPA launched the project. […]

Leonardo and Centauro

The new name was approved during the Finmeccanica shareholders’ meeting on April 28 with 99.74 percent of the votes in favour. Pictured here: Mauro Moretti, Leonardo-Finmeccanica CEO and general manager. Leonardo-Finmeccanica Photo

One of the stands at almost every defence and aerospace show that always stands out thanks to its resolutely red, Italian design is Finmeccanica. Well, not Finmeccanica anymore, but Leonardo-Finmeccanica until the end of this year and then just Leonardo from 1 January, 2017. The difficulty being that with the new name if you want […]

Australian Tigers finally operational

Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters land at RAAF Learmonth after conducting security operations during an Exercise Northern Shield scenario.

Information published by the Australian National Audit Office and reported by FOB in February was accurate then: Australia’s Tiger helicopters will indeed be fully operational in 2016. Eleven years after the first helicopter entered service, the 22 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) Tigers finally reached final operating capability (FOC) on 18 April, according to the monthly Australian Aviation. “Tiger is ready to go […]

Strength in numbers, Scandinavian style

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Nordic defence industries could get an encouraging leg-up after the ratification this month of an addendum, on joint procurement of military materiel, to the Nordic Defence Materiel Agreement (NDMA) signed on 10 March 2015 by Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Headed by NORDEFCO, the inter-state organisation which manages defence collaboration, this new addendum should facilitate joint procurement by the four […]

A tour of the PJGN, the French gendarmerie’s judicial arm

Two anthropologists in their human identification laboratory. Photo credit: Christina Mackenzie

The PJGN is the French acronym for a little known service, the judicial arm of the French gendarmerie which has a 27,000m² state-of-the-art home in brand new buildings (opened just a year ago) in Cergy Pontoise, in the north-eastern suburbs of Paris. Founded in 2011 by merging the IRCGN, the gendarmerie’s criminal research institute (Institut de Recherche Criminelle de la Gendarmerie Nationale) and the […]

Things to look out for at Eurosatory, part 2

One of the armoured drop-off vehicles setting the sentry-beacon into position. Photo credit: Atermes

Continuing my description of some of the products that will be on show at Eurosatory next month that I was able to preview yesterday (18 May). Proengin was showing its AP4C which detects the four chemical warfare agents that are present in either vomiting, blood, nerve or blister agents. These are: phosphorus (present in all […]