15th June 2016

Compacting Jim

Safran Electronics & Defense, (formerly Sagem) revealed the new compact version of its best selling Jim binoculars at the Eurosatory land, airland and security show in Paris this week. A version which has already been bought “in tens of units” by France and another NATO nation. FOB understands that the United States is also trying […]

Measuring the risk of impaired performances

Another example of a brilliant innovation from a tiny enterprise — Physip has just four employees — is Meegaperf, a bonnet with two electrodes to detect physical and mental exhaustion. Developed thanks to the French DGA procurement agency’s RAPID programme, Meegaperf has applications in both military and civilian sectors such as air traffic control, remotely […]

Paint dabblers at Eurosatory

There was a bit of excitement at lunch time today at the Eurosatory trade show in Paris when around 50 militants from a group calling itself the “Désobéissants” (the disobedients) managed to dabble a Leclerc main battle tank with red, yellow, blue and green paint before moving onto a troop transporter which they spotted with red paint before […]

Baudet-Rob2, another mule

Mules are definitely the fashionable beast of burden these days. Another one, Baudet- (actually the real name of a breed of donkey) Rob2 was attracting attention on the French Ministry of Defence stand yesterday (13 June) on the first day of the Eurosatory trade show. This mule comes in four different sizes to carry loads […]

KMW+Nexter = KNDS

After Kant, Newco and then the most difficult to remember intermediate name of Honosthor, Krauss Maffei Wegmann and Nexter have finally opted to call their new group KNDS by simply picking the first letter of each of their names and adding DS for Defence Systems. In a joint statement issued on 10 June, the companies explained that […]

Before the doors open

When one visits a major trade exhibition one rarely thinks about the armies of people who worked so hard to ensure that everything was ready in time. FOB explored the alleyways – that looked a bit like a battlefield one has to admit – on this Saturday prior to the opening of Eurosatory, the largest […]

Robotic mule

The DGA French procurement agency is asking industry how it thinks the intelligence of autonomous platforms is going to evolve. Or, put more simply, how are unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) going to make the shift from being remotely controlled — which limits the distance they can be from the operator to about 1km — to being […]

The chicken and the egg

Every good invention can be twisted for evil intents and RPASs (remotely piloted air systems) are no exception. First developed to allow soldiers to see “over the hill”, they are now found in many toy shop and are cheap enough that they can be afforded by almost everybody. Clever clogs have already used their toys to fly […]

2015, an exceptional year for French defence exports

French defence industry export orders more than doubled to a record figure of €16.9bn in 2015 against 2014. Behind these figures lie a number of successes “scored by Team France for defence exports,” according to Jean-Yves Le Drian, minister of defence, in the 2016 parliamentary report on armaments’ exports published on 1 June. The detailed, 104-page report gives a […]

UK cannot act alone in defence matters

Defence attachés are not usually very loquacious in public. But the British defence attaché to France, Air Commodore Paul Lyall, has warned that “the United Kingdom does not have the means to act alone for its defence, no more than France does.” He was answering a question posed by the French Senate’s Committee for Foreign […]