30th June 2016

Germany to rent five Heron TP systems

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Germany on 28 June signed a preliminary agreement with Israel’s IAI to rent five Heron TP remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) for €580M, de facto confirming the project announced in January by Germany’s defence minister, Ursula von Der Leyen.  Berlin based its choice on the experience it has acquired with the Heron 1 which has flown almost […]

ANZAC on the Champs Elysées

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For the first time since 1880 soldiers from Australia and New Zealand will be marching down the Champs Elysées during the traditional 14th July military parade. Their presence is symbolic in a month when France will be marking the centenary of the battles of the Somme (1 July), Fromelles (19 July) and Pozières (23 July) […]

This is not a VLFS

Be careful, this is not a VLFS  (Credit: FOB)

One had to have sharp eyes to notice this little model of the future French Special Forces lighweight vehicle (VLFS) amongst the forest of real vehicles on the Renault Trucks Defense (RTD) stand at the recent Eurosatory trade show in Paris. The discreet model was a reminder of the central place held by RTD in […]

Spy’Ranger, the fruit of collaboration between an SME and a prime

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By Nathan Gain and Christina Mackenzie   Spy’Ranger, a tactical mini-RPAS (remotely piloted air system) currently being tested by the French armed forces, has the only EO/IR imaging system in the world capable of transmitting high-definition electro-optical and infrared imagery in real time. We recently had a look at it at Aviation Design, a French small and […]

Of mud, stones and armoured vehicles

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No champagne, no speeches but mud, stones, rain and, above all, armoured vehicles: welcome to the traditional “after” organised by Renault Trucks Defense on the Monday following the end of the Eurosatory land, airland and security show in Paris which ended on 17 June. The principle of the affair is simple: for a few hours, RTD allows a […]

A400M’s parachuting issues may have a solution

Airbus' solution could solve the risk of static line/D-Bag interference during a drop (Credit: Airbus DS)

Modifications on the side doors (paratroop doors) of the A400M should help solve the problem of static line/D-Bag (deployment bag) interference which is the risk of paratroopers making contact with D-Bags on exit. For those of you, like me, unfamiliar with military parachuting techniques let me pass onto you the description and demonstration made for […]

Refuelling helicopters from the A400M

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An Airbus R&D programme launched to try and solve some of the issues linked to refuelling helicopters from the A400M should achieve its flight test phase before the end of this year. The R&D programme was launched after it emerged that the fuel hose needed to be longer. Because the helicopter pilots cannot see the […]

From the sand-box to the tactile table

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No more models, roads drawn in sand, layers of tracing paper over military maps, sticks and strings to demonstrate a manoeuvre. As operational readiness is about to step into the digital era so Nexter this week unveiled a new collaborative tool to prepare missions: FINDMP®.     “FINDMP® was partly developed with lessons learned from operations in […]

Generating power while you walk

The exoskeleton is barely visible on top of fatigues (photo credit: Bionic Power)

When you walk you produce energy, on average about 10-12 watts. So why not harness this energy to recharge batteries? This question was taken up a few years ago by a small Canadian company, Bionic Power, and its prototype answer, described by CEO Yad Garcha as a system which “recharges batteries, it is not the […]

Sharp-shooters’ Strike

The Strike has been deployed on the French Army's Gazelle helicopters. (photo credit: Christina Mackenzie)

When shooting from a helicopter the French Army’s special forces have not in the past been able to use the PGM rifle that can take out a car’s tyres or a go-fast engine up to 2.2kms away from the sharp-shooter, because the rifle weighs some 20kg. Given the French Army’s current operations against insurgents in central Africa it was […]