Global Defence Technology: Issue 72

In this issue: New capabilities in air-to-air refuelling, a look at NATO’s new comms system, trends in protected mobility for armoured vehicles, the world’s first explosives sniffer drone, the future of UAVs in maritime ISR, closing capability gaps in the Royal Navy, and more.


Air-to-air refuelling is an essential mission component and as a new generation of tankers emerges, their roles could go far beyond providing fuel. We take a look at future capabilities in development, including automated operations, ISR support and unmanned options.

We also take a look inside the communications system being rolled out at NATO’s new headquarters, report on the trends in protected mobility for armoured vehicles discussed at the International Vehicles conference in London, and speak to the developers of the world’s first drone-based explosive detection sensor.

Plus, we explore the future of UAVs in maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and ask whether enough is being done to close the emerging capability gaps in the Royal Navy after decades of underfunding.

In this issue

21st Century Comms
NATO’s new communication system provides command and control capability for meetings, international communication and operational mission collaboration across the agency’s highly protected restricted network. Claire Apthorp finds out more.
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Trends in Protected Mobility
At this year’s International Armoured Vehicles Conference in London, host NIMR Automotive shared insights into current and future trends in protected mobility. Katie Woodward reports from the event.
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Meet the World’s First Sniffer Drone
The world's first drone-based explosive detection system has been unveiled in Israel. Chris Lo speaks to SpectroDrone’s developer Laser Detect Systems to find out how the integrated laser-based aerial platform is pushing frontiers of drone capabilities.
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Tomorrow’s Tankers
Air-to-air refuelling stands as one of the key enabling technologies of modern air supremacy, and a new generation of tankers could take capabilities far beyond refuelling, as Dr Gareth Evans finds out.
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Restoring Sea Power
After decades of declining budgets, the Royal Navy is a shadow of its former self, with significant capability gaps that need to be addressed. Dr Gareth Evans finds out whether enough being done to reverse years of mismanagement and funding cuts.
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Chasing Opportunities in VTOL UAS
The Skeldar V-200 has served as an essential asset in the EU NAVFOR anti-piracy mission. Claire Apthorp speaks to manufacturer UMS Skeldar about the growing importance of UAVs for maritime ISR roles.
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Next issue preview

Powering military bases in remote hostile areas, which are often cut off from reliable fuel supplies, is a critical capability and one that requires significant funds. We speak to the minds behind a new energy storage partnership about a project that aims to solve this problem by creating a hybrid solar battery and storage system for the US Air Force.

We also investigate the Trump administration’s plans for the US military, hear from IFS about the key trends set to disrupt the defence industry in the coming year, and take a look at the progress about the UK’s land vehicle projects. Plus, we find out how NATO manages the relocation of its Deployable Air Command and Control Centre, and take a look at the British MoD’s £30m project to produce a laser directed energy weapon capability demonstrator.

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