When disaster strikes and causes a humanitarian crisis, the response must be immediate, appropriate and well organised to ensure that the suffering in the affected area is alleviated. While the primary responsibility for disaster relief lies with civilian agencies, only the military has the manpower, equipment and logistics necessary to coordinate a large-scale relief effort.
In this month's special focus we explore the military's vital role in humanitarian assistance and investigate what it takes to deliver effective disaster relief in challenging environments.
We also look at tough high-tech for the front line, the stealth capabilities of the next-generation fighter jets, and the arms race between submarine detection and stealth.
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Topics featured in this issue include:
Tough tech: We trace the evolution of rugged computers and IT equipment for the front line, from the simple laptop to the controlling server, and look at the US Army's innovative trials using smartphones and apps in the field.
Silent warriors in the sky: Stealth is a top priority for the next generation of fighter jets. We explore the stealth capabilities of new jets currently in development, and find out whether they will be able to stay under the rapidly advancing counter-stealth radar. We also take a close look at the technology behind two of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's rivals, the Russian PAK FA and the Chinese Chengdu J-20.
The cat-and-mouse game between submarine and surface combatants has fuelled a race for detection and stealth. We investigate how shifts in the naval battle space are influencing who has the upper hand in this uneasy arms race. We also look at stealthy propulsion systems, a core element behind the secretive tactical flexibility of submarines.
Recent years have seen great leaps in unmanned and autonomous technology across all defence sectors. Next month we take a close look at the future of unmanned vehicles, including new micro air vehicle defence concepts set to change homeland security in the US. We explore the potential of applying visual intelligence to unmanned surveillance platforms and round up some groundbreaking UAV projects in development.
We also find out how future soldier programmes will change life on the front line, and investigate how a shift of naval attention to conflicts in littoral zones is influencing the development of modern vessels such as patrol boats.
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