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November 13, 2014

Global Defence Technology: Issue 45

In this issue: Boosting European land defences against Russian tanks, innovative body armour from head to toe, the British Army’s contribution to the Bloodhound supersonic car, missile defence for commercial airliners, the benefits of quantity vs quality in modern naval fleets, and more

By Berenice Baker

Global Defence Technology: Issue 45

Russia’s recent actions have caused military planners to reassess their approach to future land warfare. With potential new adversaries including tanks or well-organised foot soldiers, we find out how Western countries are looking to boost the lethality of their armoured vehicles with technological upgrades.

We also investigate the dangers of the US Army-developed malaria preventative mefloquine, which medical experts suggests should be banned as it can cause strong psychotic reactions, and take a look at innovative body armour ideas from head to toe. Moreover, we ask whether Lockheed Martin’s cluster munitions alternative really represents a more humanitarian option and find out more about the British Army’s involvement in the Bloodhound supersonic car project.

Since the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine in July, calls have been made for commercial airliners to be fitted with military-style missile defence equipment. We find out how useful such measures would be. We also round up opinions in the ongoing debate on whether modern navies can benefit more from small numbers of highly capable platforms such as the UK’s Type 45, or large fleets of cheaper vessels.

Click here for this issue.

In this issue

A Deadly Drug?The US Army-developed malaria preventative and treatment mefloquine can cause strong psychotic reactions and has been implicated in several military incidents, including the Fort Bragg murder-suicides of 2002. Berenice Baker asks consulting physician epidemiologist Dr Remington Nevin why he is calling for a comprehensive banClick here for the full article.

Europe Vs Putin’s TanksRussia’s recent actions have caused military planners to reassess their approach to future land warfare. With potential new adversaries, including tanks or well-organised foot soldiers, Western countries are looking to boost the lethality of their armoured vehicles. Grant Turnbull investigates these shifting strategic prioritiesClick here for the full article.

Total ProtectionBody armour for infantry soldiers has become so specialised, purpose-designed protection is available for seemingly every individual body part. Berenice Baker looks at how some of the best new innovations could safely dress a future infantry soldier from head to toeClick here for the full article.

Cluster Alternatives: Just as Bad?Lockheed Martin has demonstrated an alternative warhead for its Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System designed to deliver the same effect as cluster munitions but without the lingering danger of unexploded ordnance. Berenice Baker asks, is this alternative really a humanitarian option?Click here for the full article.

Supersonic DreamsIn 2016 a team of British engineers is hoping to smash the current land speed record with the jet-powered Bloodhound vehicle. Grant Turnbull finds out about the role of British Army engineers involved in the projectClick here for the full article.

Missiles for CiviliansBerenice Baker investigates whether existing technology could have prevented the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 tragedy, and asks what other procedural and legislative measures could keep passengers and aircrew safeClick here for the full article.

Quantity Vs QualityProcurers of large defence equipment face the age-old question: do you want a highly capable platform in limited numbers, or a cheaper, less capable platform in greater numbers? As Grant Turnbull finds out, the debate still divides opinions among experts todayClick here for the full article.

Best of Both WorldsAmphibious assault vehicles, capable of thwarting the enemy across land and water, are growing in popularity as flexible systems become paramount. We profile the best amphibious infantry fighting vehicles based on performance, armament and protectionClick here for the full article.

Next issue preview

Only forty years after their bitter conflict, the US and communist Vietnam are forging closer political, economic and military ties. We take a look at this unlikely alliance that has been forged in the shadow of a rising China and numerous territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

We also explore the problems arising from the increased use of private militaries in conflicts, chart the past hundred years of the Royal Navy’s Submarine Service on an interactive timeline and investigate why the Australian Government might choose to buy Japanese submarines rather than building the next generation domestically. Moreover, we take a look at several aircraft set to take off in the new year, including Aeroscraft’s massive cargo airship, the Scorpion budget jet and the US Navy’s Triton unmanned aircraft system.

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