Global Defence Technology: Issue 69

In this issue: Could Russia gain a technological edge over Britain? Plus: the benefits of base sharing, protecting GPS guided weapons from spoofing, the next step in electric vehicles, contenders for the T-X jet trainer programme, lessons learned from DCNS’ data breach, and more.


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A leaked document has revealed that British forces could find themselves significantly under-equipped in the event of conflict with Russia. But was the leak a crafty tactic to boost defence coffers, or are UK forces really falling behind in areas such as advanced weaponry, covert tactics and hacking? We investigate how exactly Putin’s troops gained the edge and what the UK MoD can do about it.

We also explore the growing trend of military allies sharing bases and infrastructure, hear from QinetiQ about how threats to GPS-guided weapons can be countered with advanced satellite technology, and take a look at the General Motors fuel cell electric vehicle being tested by the US Army.

Plus, we round up the contenders for the US Air Force’s T-X jet trainer programme and ask what lessons defence contractors can learn from the recent data breach at DCNS, which leaked classified information about the combat capabilities of a French submarine class.

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In this issue

Keeping Up with Putin’s Troops
A leaked document has revealed that British Forces could find themselves heavily outnumbered in the event of war with Russia. But was the leak a crafty tactic to boost defence coffers, or are UK forces really falling behind in areas such as advanced weaponry, covert tactics and hacking? Dr Gareth Evans reports.
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Base Swap
As asset sharing and joint logistics continue to trend upwards among military allies, Dr Gareth Evans examines the practical and political requirements for the sharing of bases and military installations.
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GPS: The Weak Link?
GPS-guided weapons can fall victim to spoofing, which could lead rockets or missiles astray. While some adversaries are keen to exploit this vulnerability, work is underway to ensure that the next generation of GPS satellites is more resilient to attacks, as Claire Apthorp finds out.
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Fuelling the Future
General Motors and the US Army have unveiled the Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 fuel cell electric vehicle, which the army will use to demonstrate the capabilities a fuel-cell electric powertrain can bring to the military. Claire Apthorp takes a look under the bonnet.
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T-X: The Competition Heats Up
Aerospace contractors are gearing up for the competition to replace the T-38 Talon as the US Air Force’s next jet trainer. The T-X programme aims to bridge the gap between primary training on the T-6 Texan II and advanced fighters such as the F-22 and F-35. Claire Apthorp takes a look at who has joined the race and what they are planning on bringing to the table.
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Keep Your Secrets
Keeping secrets is difficult in today’s connected world, especially when the tools necessary to steal sensitive information are readily available. A data breach involving French shipbuilders DCNS’ Scorpene class submarine is a case in point, as Dr Gareth Evans finds out.
Read the article.

Next issue preview

The tank had its 100th anniversary in September, but as new technologies change the face of modern warfare, do tanks still have a role on the battlefield? We chart the evolution of the tank on an interactive timeline and speak to experts from the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) about what the future holds for tanks and armoured fighting vehicles.

We also speak to Rolls-Royce about its threats to pull out of the UK defence sector in the light of increased pressure on budgets, find out if autonomous technology could replace the frontline soldier, and take a look at GovPlanet EU, a new platform for the purchase of surplus government military equipment. Plus, we investigate the recent engine problems plaguing the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships which have led to technology reviews and re-training for engineering crews.

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