Global Defence Technology: Issue 31

The US Army is pursuing an ambitious equipment modernisation plan for 2014. We ask how it will balance the challenge of supporting troops in Afghanistan with uncertain future theatres, while the threat of sequestration looms.

As the international spotlight falls on lethal autonomous robotics, we investigate the concerns being raised about the use of "killer robots" in war zones. We also take a look at a system designed by ThalesRaytheonSystems to protect radar systems against potential cyber attacks, and review the latest technology unveiled at this year’s Paris Air Show.

Moreover, we consider whether the benefits PRISM claims to offer outweigh possible privacy breaches and profile Syria’s naval capabilities

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In this issue:

Special report
Guardian Angel or Big Brother?

In the wake of the NSA controversy, we investigate if the benefits prism claims to offer to national and international security are worth what some consider a breach of the right to privacy.
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Syria: a Naval Perspective
The Syrian navy is the smallest component of the country’s armed forces with an estimated budget of only £90m annually, yet it is the first line of defence on its eastern Mediterranean flank. As the situation in Syria and deliberation on possible intervention escalate, we examine Syria’s naval posture.
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Future-Proof Forces

The US Army office responsible for financial management has released an ambitious equipment modernisation plan. We ask how realistic it is in light of budget cuts.
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The Killer Robot Debate
As lethal autonomous robotics that can select and engage a human target without further intervention become a reality, we ask Professor Christof Heyns why he called on the UN to prevent their use.
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Clear Skies

Cyber attacks can potentially penetrate military radar networks, giving false signals or disguising real ones, or enabling enemy aircraft to penetrate protected airspace. GDT looks at the risks and solutions.
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Best in Show
Home-grown talent shined at this year’s Paris Air Show, with European suppliers showcasing aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, payloads and missile defence systems. We cover the best of the show.
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Deep Impact

Detailed design work is underway on the UK Royal Navy’s next-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. We report on the successor’s Rolls-Royce- powered nuclear propulsion system and enhanced missile capability.
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Beyond Expenditure
Much of today’s nuclear weapons debate is framed around expenditure rather than strategic planning. We ask whether the government be thinking about money when it decides whether to renew Trident.
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Next Issue

In the next issue we wrap up the latest technology on show at this year’s DSEI event in London. We also take a look at new developments in robotics and find out how companies are working to equip military robots with ever better on-board decision-making capabilities.

Air defence systems often evolve rather than being designed from the ground-up. We look into a radical new approach that enables militaries to simulate what-if scenarios through realistic interfaces to design missile defence sites.

Moreover, we explore advanced new missions for UUVs, including a system that enables autonomous vehicles to adopt new behaviours and two DARPA concepts that can launch drones and detect enemy submarines.

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