Global Defence Technology Issue 9

This month we look at the growth of military power in the Asia-Pacific region.


While western nations are seeing their military budgets cut across the board, economic growth in Asia has stimulated a major shift in defence spending from the Atlantic to the Pacific. With expenditure across the region peaking at almost $290bn in 2010 - 80% up on the start of the decade - Asian nations now also top the list for global weapons imports.

In this issue we take a close look at the development of militaries and major defence programmes in the Asia-Pacific region to find out which countries are driving the arms race, and how it will impact on the balance of powers in the east.

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Other topics featured in this month's issue include:

Army


Intelligence experts rely on advanced data extraction software in the fight against terrorism - a recent high-profile example being the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan which led to the capture of the world's most wanted terrorist. We ask an intelligence analysis expert about the information gathering process of such a mission, and find out how cutting-edge software can sift through mounds of information gathered to help intelligence agencies track down terrorists.

We also look at the latest in virtual reality software for military training and find out how the US Army is using new simulators to train the Afghan National Army for the transition of security responsibilities as US troops prepare to withdraw from the region.

Read more in the army section of this issue.

Air Force


NATO's reliance on air power during the Libyan conflict may be seen as an indication of how future wars will be fought. We speak to the RAF to find out if Libya was a special case, and which other factors influence the current and future use of air strikes.

With rocketing fuel prices driving up the costs of keeping an air force flying, we also investigate how far the search for alternative aviation fuels has come, and whether biofuels have the potential to become a viable option in the near future.

Read more in the air force section of this issue.

Navy


We dive down deep into the sea, where naval salvage teams operate in the most challenging environments, counting on first-class equipment to do the job. We speak to diving equipment providers about the technology and materials required for critical situations under water, and how robotics have influenced rescue missions.

With hull inspection and repairs being one of the routine but potentially dangerous jobs under water, we also find out if the advancement of autonomous underwater vehicles could bring about a revolution in the way hull inspection and repair tasks are being carried out.

Read more in the navy section of this issue.

Next Issue

In recognition of the vital role space based assets will play in global security, the European Defence Agency and the European Space Agency joined hands earlier this year. We explore what this relationship between defence and civilian space means for major programmes such as the Galileo satellite grid. We also ask EDA experts how commercial satellite technology can facilitate the process of harmonising Europe's milsatcom infrastructure.

Further highlights in the next issue include a look into the future of armoured vehicles and a special focus on the technology behind armed drones. We also investigate the uncertain future of the US Navy's next-generation weapons and track the progress of Russia's Bulava missile.

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