Global Defence Technology: Issue 41

In this issue: Brazil’s move on the international defence market, keeping non-lethal weapons safe, the future of the British defence industry as an era of mega-projects ends, the latest in close-in weapon systems and more


Global Defence Technology: Issue 41 | July 2014

Despite being a country that prides itself in not having fielded its forces against another nation's for 50 years, Brazil is Latin America's biggest defence spender, investing heavily in modernisation as well as aiming to break into the export market. We take a look at the country's defence strategy and ask whether it can leave its mark among the big players as an arms exporter.

We also investigate whether demands on soldiers' fitness have become too great, take a look at non-lethal weapon development and the training required to use them safely, and profile the fastest military jets on the market.

Moreover, we ask whether SpaceX has made a wise move in suing the US Air Force for the right to compete in the military space launch market, find out what the end of the current mega-projects will mean for the UK's defence industry and review the latest upgrades to Raytheon's Phalanx and the LaWS system being field-tested by the US Navy.

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In this issue

Brazil's Big Plan
Brazil is investing heavily in defence modernisation. With a burgeoning indigenous industry also setting its sights on exports, Dr Gareth Evans asks whether the country can leave its mark among the big players in the global industry.
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A Heavy Burden
Being on the frontline requires peak physical fitness as any slacking could be lethal. Grant Turnbull investigates how, with technological innovations lacking, soldiers are looking at other, potentially dangerous, ways to keep strong on the battlefield.
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Shock Tactics
New technologies are reducing the need to use lethal force, offering soldiers non-lethal alternatives such as low-energy lasers and directed energy weapons. Grant Turnbull takes a look at the extensive research and training that goes into ensuring these weapons don't turn lethal.
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SpaceX vs the Status Quo
Elon Musk is challenging the monopoly of United Launch Alliance by suing the US Air Force for the right for his company SpaceX to compete in the US military space launch market. Chris Lo asks whether this bold move could prove to be more damaging than it is worth.
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Fast and Furious
Speed and agility are decisive advantages in any form of aerial conflict. We profile the fastest military aircraft in service with armed forces across the world.
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Silence after the Storm
As several significant British and European defence programmes are coming to maturity, Berenice Baker looks ahead to find out why there is little evidence of a next generation of mega-projects to replace them.
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Laser Quest
Close-in weapon systems remain a shipboard necessity for detecting and engaging missiles and aircraft at short range. Julian Turner reviews the latest upgrades to Raytheon's Phalanx and the LaWS system being field-tested by the US Navy.
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Next issue preview

In response to recent US sanctions over Crimea, Russia has threatened to stop exporting the rocket engines used on the US Atlas V rocket which launches vital military satellites into space. We find out how the US Government became dependent on Russia for such a key capability and whether this has compromised national security.

We also take a look at Michelin's new anti-landmine tyres and GE's smart fleet maintenance system, explore the viability of new hybrid flying truck concepts and investigate recent criticism of the F-35's stealth capabilities. Moreover, we look into unanswered questions surrounding the launch of the first Queen Elizabeth carrier and review the politics and technology involved in this year's RIMPAC exercise.

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