Global Defence Technology: Issue 49

In this issue: Russia’s massive arms investment, a look inside the extreme weather testing facility for military aircraft, why the US Army’s JLENS surveillance blimp is causing privacy concerns, adapting the US Navy’s submarine hazard avoidance tool for surface vessels and more.


Global Defence Technology Issu 49

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A giant aerostat floating at 10,000ft over Washington, D.C., providing surveillance data to the US Army has prompted concerns about privacy, but the government insists the JLENS is no 'spy blimp'. We take a look at the system's capabilities and its deployment for the detection of airborne threats.

Also in this issue, we examine Russia's extensive defence procurement, which has single-handedly slowed the decline of global arms sales, and ask whether the country can afford this level of spending. Plus, we take a look inside the world's largest climatic testing facility where military jets are tested to their limits, and find out how the US Navy is adapting its submarine mission planning software for surface fleets to help crews avoid underwater hazards, speed up mission planning and improve accuracy when planning routes.

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In this issue

Russia's Revamp
As Russia pushes ahead with its multi-billion-dollar defence modernisation plan, Dr Gareth Evans investigates what the Kremlin's extensive equipment shopping list means for the Russian economy and the country's frail relations with the West.
Click here for the full article.


No Man's Land
Ongoing unrest and armed struggles over disputed areas are dividing nations around the world. From Crimea to the Senkaku / Diaoyu Islands, we chart the history of the most disputed borders.
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Making the Weather
Dr Gareth Evans takes a look inside the world's largest climatic testing facility, which can simulate just about any weather conditions on the planet to test the performance of military aircraft before they are deployed.
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Spy in the Sky?
The US Army's newest aerial surveillance asset, a tethered aerostat that floats at 10,000ft, carrying powerful radar systems to provide defensive radar coverage over a large area, has been criticised as a giant 'spy blimp'. Claire Apthorp investigates the system's capabilities and the privacy concerns it has raised.
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Safe Passage
Unmapped underwater hazards, errors in nautical charts and the shifting geography of the seabed pose navigational challenges to submarines and surface vessels. Claire Apthorp takes a look at the US Navy's new software designed for faster, easier mission and route planning.
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Submarine Hunters
Helicopters with anti-submarine warfare capabilities are widely deployed by naval forces as a means to counter submarines at long ranges. We take a look at the best.
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Next issue preview


With the F-35 roll-out still under close scrutiny, the US government has already announced funding for a successor. We find out how the DARPA-led project for this "next-generation X-plane" and a newly launched "aerospace innovation initiative" aim to avoid the pitfalls that have plagued the F-35 programme.

We also take a look at the newest virtual reality and simulation accessories for soldier training and find out what's new in the development of micro-sized surveillance drones.

Going out to sea, we investigate Canada's choices for the future of its naval capabilities, take a look at possible alternatives to the UK's scrapped Nimrod project and ask whether the Littoral Combat Ship's revolutionary approach to flexible concepts of operations will prove viable for today's and future operating requirements.

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