As governments cut defence budgets in a bid to reduce financial deficits, the notion of joint military forces is becoming ever more attractive. In this month’s special focus we profile existing agreements, such as the landmark treaty between France and the UK, and examine the possible consequences for military development programmes and contractors.

Drawing on detailed market date, we also take a look at expected developments in the defence industries of the US and the UK over the next five years.

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Further topics featured in this month’s issue include:

Army: Future Soldiers, Inspired by Nature

We explore a new generation of camouflage, concealment and deception techniques that are being developed with the aim of countering ever-more accurate weapons and detection devices. Inspired by advances in cutting-edge scientific fields such as biomimetics, fractals, imaging analysis and nanotechnology, they are set to redefine the battle space of the future. We also look at new development programmes that draw on biomimetics to design military robots based on humans and animals.

Read more in the army section of this issue.

Air Force: Replacing the Sea King 7

With the UK considering a replacement for the aging Sea King 7 helicopter for the Royal Navy, we profile a number of aircraft with airborne early warning mission capabilities that have been suggested as potential candidates.

Read more in the air force section of this issue.

Navy: The Hunt Is On

Recent contract activity has reaffirmed the seriousness of the threat mines pose to navies worldwide. We look at some of the contracts awarded to establish the current trends aboard mine countermeasure vessels.

We also take a look at the Sandown and Avenger classes of vessels, examine their minehunting capabilities and explore how the technology used has been refined and upgraded over the years.

Read more in the navy section of this issue.

Next Issue: The European Missile Defence Shield

NATO is assembling a missile defence shield in Europe to protect member states from potential attacks by enemy nations. Despite the recent, more collaborative approach supported by the US under the Obama administration, the size of the project and the international spread of resources require both technological innovation and careful political negotiation to bring it together. We take a look at the driving forces behind the initiative.

We also look at innovations in weapon-location systems, find out which emergency equipment the US Air Force relies on, and investigate how new operational requirements are shaping the future of naval communications and networking.

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