The use of commercial-off-the-shelf equipment and systems in military applications continues to increase as militaries try to cut the costs of new development programmes. In this issue we explore the latest technological developments in military electronics and power supply systems in the air and on the ground.

We also look at the logistical challenges of keeping an armed force up and running in today’s conflict zones, review the bidding race for the US Air Force’s new generation of aerial refuelling tankers, and investigate how, in times of sweeping budget cuts, more and more navies opt for modernisation and refurbishment of old vessels instead of building new ones.

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Special Focus: Powering Military Operations

Demand for electrical power on military vehicles and aircraft has never been greater, while the pressure on military budgets urges developers to look for more cost-efficient power solutions. We look at recent developments in electronics and power supply systems for military vehicles and aircraft.

Soldiers also need durable and long lasting power sources to fuel military applications during field operations. We speak to experts to find out if fuel cells could be the portable solution the military has been searching for.

Read more in the special focus section of this issue.

Army: Transforming Military Logistics

Napoleon’s famous maxim said that ‘an army marches on its stomach’. But for today’s increasingly technology-reliant forces, logistics is a challenge that requires much more than keeping warfighters fed. We look at the challenges of maintaining a supply chain in today’s combat zones, and investigate how commanding officers can use their resources to find safe transport routes for troops and supplies.

Read more in the army section of this issue.

Air Force: Fuelling the Next Generation

Earlier this year Boeing beat EADS to provide a new generation of aerial refuelling tankers to the US Air Force. In the wake of this landmark $35bn deal we examine the battle between the two bidders to find out what it takes to win a large-scale contract in this technical sector. We also look at two other major aerial refuelling tanker projects in the US and Europe.

Read more in the air force section of this issue.

Navy: Make do and Modernise

In times of tight defence budgets, upgrades to existing fleets and second-hand ships are becoming a cost-efficient alternative to new build programmes for navies worldwide. We investigate the trend and look at some major recent modernisation programmes. We also explore the role of repair vessels and find out if they have a future in modern navies.

Read more in the navy section of this issue.

Next Issue: Joining Forces

As governments cut defence budgets in a bid to reduce financial deficits, the notion of joint military forces is becoming ever more attractive. Next month we profile existing agreements and examine the possible consequences for military contracts and equipment. We also take a look at developments in the US and UK defence markets.

We also investigate future warrior systems inspired by nature, such as cutting-edge camouflage technologies and biometric designs for the battlefield, and look at recent contracts, upgrade programmes and new technology for mine countermeasure vessels.

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