Focus and Analysis

The mortar’s centennial

The article below is a summary of an article written in French by Bernard Amrhein published in the armament engineers magazine n° 109 (   It was in 1915 on the front line and in the mud that Edgar William Brandt first sketched  the plans for a lightweight and mobile howitzer to provide close combat support […]

European defence cooperation is not an Army

Despite the Brexit vote the UK is vowing to continue playing its full role in the EU and says it will oppose any attempts to create an EU army because it could “undermine” the role of NATO. However, not only has European Parliament President Martin Schulz said the UK would not have a veto over closer defence […]

Lessons learnt from Tiger cooperation

The article below is a summary of one written in French by David Colliquet and Cyril Gourd published in the armament engineers’ magazine n° 109 (   The Tiger has already had an exemplary operational career with more than 10,000 flight hours on foreign missions of which almost 8,500 totted up by the French machines alone. What lessons can be […]

Participatory innovation chez Nexter

The article below is based on an article written in French by Frédéric Bouty, published in the armament engineers’ magazine n° 108 ( 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 […]

Camouflage patterns in Syria

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. […]

Bulk purchasing is cheaper

“Bulk purchasing is cheaper” is a well known adage in the consumer world and it’s something that the Atlantic Alliance is going to have to get accustomed to. The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has now made this type of purchasing a speciality, registering almost 50 major acquisitions in this manner in May and June 2016. The last […]

Spain’s missions abroad

One sometimes has a tendency to forget that many soldiers from many countries take part and support military operations all over the world which range from combat missions to diplomatic ones via peacekeeping, training and advising. So today we are putting the spotlight on Spain which currently has 2,116 military personnel deployed outside the Spanish […]

Neuropriming headphones for Special Forces

D-IX, Methedrine, Ritaline, Provigil, and Captagon favoured these days by Daesh: there have been many psychotropic drugs developed and used by warmongers throughout history to help their soldiers remain “stronger, longer.” These “magic potions” could soon disappear, however, in the face of a modern technology which might soon be tested by UK Special Forces. It takes the shape of headphones which send out light […]

Félin adapts

Below is a summary of an article originally written (in French) by Patrick Curlier for the French armaments’ engineers magazine n° 109 ( We will occasionally be publishing other summaries of articles from this magazine with which FOB, obviously, has an agreement! Félin (Fantassin à Équipement et Liaison Intégrés), [probably best translated as  “dismounted soldier with data-linked […]

A National Guard for France

What is this new National Guard announced yesterday, 28 July, by French President François Hollande? Difficult to say just yet because the details will be worked out next week at a Defence Council and will then be debated in September by the French parliament. But this is what we know so far. Hollande specified that […]