31st August 2016

When low tech works best

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Many of the articles written on this blog (and by all our fellow defence specialists) extol the virtues of new technology: the latest vehicle, robot, radar, and even gee-gaw we didn’t even know we needed. But sometimes, when it gets down to real operations in difficult conditions, then smoothed out sand, sticks, stones and bits of ribbon do […]

Eurosam prospects advance in Turkey

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The saga of the procurement of a long-range air defence system by Turkey is one which contains many about-turns and dead-ends but in the middle, navigating a reasonably straight path, is the Franco-Italian missile group Eurosam. According to the Turkish Daily Sabah, Ankara and Eurosam are moving forward with their negotiations concerning the €3 to 4M contract for ground-to-air […]

Pokémon [no] GO

Military personnel in an increasingly wide number of countries are not allowed to play Pokémon GO on security grounds

I will admit straight out that I have little idea what this Pokémon GO smart-phone and tablet craze is, but clearly the augmented reality game which uses location data, device cameras and data sharing is considered enough of a security risk to have prompted the French Ministry of Defence and at least one defence supplier […]

Thales radars against traffickers

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Drug traffickers, mafiosi and smugglers beware. Thales and Bolivia are keeping an eye on you. La Paz and defence electronics giant Thales on 23 August ratified the final contract for an integrated air defence and civil air traffic management (ATM) programme. The final contract is worth €191M, slightly more than the €185M announced in November 2015 when […]

A400M on the beach!

A400M test aircraft MSN2 testing a sand runway (photo credit: Airbus)

The A400M has been spending the summer holidays on a beach… of sorts, and in a rather unlikely venue: Woodbridge in the UK on the flats of eastern England where it has been testing its capability to operate on a sand runway.   Airbus Defence and Space said in a press release today (24 August) […]

Lithuanian Boxers will be wolves

Infantry Fighting Vehicle prototype for Lithuania 
(Photo credit: ARTEC)

The Lithuanian Army will start reception by the end of 2017 of 88 Boxer vehicles in four specifically developed Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) versions which will be known as “Vilkas” (which means ‘wolf’). The €390M contract for the 8×8 wheeled Boxers was signed in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 22 August by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence with […]

Participatory innovation chez Nexter

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The article below is based on an article written in French by Frédéric Bouty, published in the armament engineers’ magazine n° 108 ( http://www.caia.net/page/517/la-revue). In a group like Nexter Systems, what does a process called “innovation”, with the adjective “participatory” tagged on, mean when it is part of the quality management system of a company? Is it simply stating […]

Final Olympic medal count

Elodie Clouvel, reigning Modern Pentathlon vice Olympic Champion and Vice World Champion

The military contingent (known as l’Armée des Champions, or Army of Champions) of the French athletic delegation to the Olympic Games, which have just ended in Rio de Janeiro, can be proud of the 12 medals it contributed to France’s total of 42. In addition to the ones we wrote about on 15 August and on 10 August, […]

Skeeter, the future spy-drone

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I weigh less than two €2 coins, I measure about 10cm and I can fly at 72kph. What am I ? I am Skeeter, a micro-drone developed by Animal Dynamics (AnDy), a SME created within the zoology department of England’s Oxford University. Specialised in the development of nature-inspired systems, AnDy is one of the companies whose project will […]

Camouflage patterns in Syria

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A fascinating study made by Australia-based Armament Research Services (ARES), looks at the range of camouflage patterns used in the Syrian conflict. The non-state actors, unlike conventional military forces, supplement their everyday T-shirts and cargo pants with a mix-and-match of whatever tactical equipment they can lay their hands on and often take style into account too. […]