Global Defence Technology: Issue 43

In this issue: The US military’s green energy research, advances in regenerative medicine for injured soldiers, the US Air Force’s vintage bomber upgrades, optionally manned capabilities for legacy systems, the BMD potential of the Type 45’s Sampson radar and more.


Global Defence Technology: Issue 43 | September 2014

It may come as a surprise that the biggest war machine on the planet - the US military - is also one of the world's leading proponents of renewable energy. But this green advocacy is less to do with saving the planet and more with the financial, operational and strategic risks associated with oil dependency. We explore the US military's multi-billion renewable energy initiatives at home and abroad.

As lab-grown organs and limb transplants make the leap from science fiction to reality, we find out how scientists are using cutting-edge advances in regenerative medicine to improve the recovery and lives of wounded servicemen. We also go on a video tour of D3O's laboratory to find out more about its smart armour material and take a look at the first immersive medical trainer using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

Moreover, we investigate why the US Air Force is spending billions to upgrade its Cold War-era bombers, explore how optionally manned capabilities are giving legacy systems new roles, and find out whether the Sampson radar onboard the Type 45 could find an additional application in ballistic missile defence.

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In this issue

Big Green Machine
The US military is investing billions in renewable energy initiatives, with hundreds of projects underway at home and abroad. Grant Turnbull asks how military innovation will affect the commercial sector and contribute to a greener planet.
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Recovery by Regeneration
Lab-grown organs, spray-on skin and limb transplants may sound like science fiction but these medical miracles are transforming the lives of injured servicemen. Grant Turnbull explores recent advances in regenerative medicine.
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Smart Goo
Berenice Baker visits D3O's laboratory headquarters in Brighton to find out how the company develops military armour products using its patented gooey orange smart material.
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Heightened Reality
British soldiers could soon be donning the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to train for medical emergencies on the battlefield. Grant Turnbull takes a look at the world's first immersive medical trainer using the innovative technology.
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New Life for Vintage Bombers
The US Air Force is spending billions to upgrade its fleet of Cold War strategic bombers, but with adversaries building up effective air defence capabilities and a new bomber on the way, is it money well spent? Grant Turnbull investigates
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A Range of Options
As Aerospace manufacturers are looking at ways to bring down the costs of unmanned aircraft, Berenice Baker finds out how legacy systems such as the F-16 and Black Hawk are being equipped with optionally manned capabilities.
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Small Tweaks, Big Effect
The BAE Systems Sampson multi-function radar, fitted to the Royal Navy's fleet of Type 45 destroyers, forms part of the Sea Viper naval air defence system. Berenice Baker finds out whether it could play a role in ballistic missile defence too.
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A Deal with the Devil?
France has yielded to pressure for NATO and EU countries and put the €1.2bn Mistral warship deal with Russia on hold - but it could go ahead in the future. Berenice Baker investigates Frances' position between foreign policy and financial implications.
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Next issue preview

Following a lull in the western armoured vehicle market, manufacturers recently noted a marked surge in interest, not least from Nordic and Eastern European countries. We find out how the 'Putin effect', or the threat of instability spreading from the Ukraine, is causing a renewed preparation for land warfare.

We also take a look at the progress of the Humvee's successor, the US Army's Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, and ask BAE Systems how its Broadsword soldier power system promises to cut the need for batteries and wires.

Moreover, we explore Duke Airborne Systems' first-of-its-kind fully robotic remote weapon station for helicopters and find out how the US Navy's new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System for the Gerald Ford class carriers is doing in its final testing phase.

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