Global Defence Technology

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The US defence budget for 2017 is taking a "long-term view", according to Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and seeks to address five evolving challenges in regions including Russia, China and the Middle East. We take a closer look at the Pentagon’s defence spending priorities for the years ahead.

Also in this issue, we ask whether stronger cooperation and consolidation is needed to keep the European defence industry thriving, take a look at the history of women in the US Army, and find out how the US military’s Joint Precision Airdrop System programme is achieving more accurate and secure airdrops without relying on GPS.

Plus, we ask how the UK MoD’s £1.1bn investment into the new fixed wing flying training system will modernise aircrew training, and check in on the US Navy’s Great Green Fleet programme, which has recently launched the first carrier strike group powered party by biofuel.

Read the issue for free on your iPad through our app, or if you’re on a desktop computer you can also read it in our web viewer.

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In this issue

The Long-Term View
The proposed US defence budget for 2017 is taking a long-term view in a bid to address evolving threats and challenges. Clair Apthorp investigates what the new spending priorities mean for individual service branches and equipment programmes.
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Time to Consolidate?
Seventy years on from the end of WWII, the European arms industry remains almost entirely organised along old national lines. The resulting implications, including exorbitant costs and overcapacity, have led many to call for the establishment of a single European defence sector, as Dr Gareth Evans reports.
Read the article.

The Perfect Drop
GPS is a vital enabler of accurate military airdrops, but it has its limitations. Dr Gareth Evans finds out how the development of the US military’s Joint Precision Airdrop System (JPADS) could improve the safety and accuracy of resupply missions where GPS is inaccessible.
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A New Era
In January 2016 all US military occupations and positions were opened to women without exception – a much-welcomed decision which is expected to be implemented with ease. Claire Apthorp takes a look back at how opportunities for women have evolved in the US Army over the past century.
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Sharp Ascent
The UK MoD is investing in the new fixed wing flying training system provided by Ascent Flight Training, will include modern training aircraft and ground based simulators. Claire Apthorp finds out how the programme will modernise flying training.
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Green Sailing
The US Navy has launched its first carrier strike group powered partly by biofuel, a significant turning point in reducing the military’s reliance on imported oil. Dr Gareth Evans checks in on the progress of the Great Green Fleet programme.
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Next issue preview

After five years and $32m spent on its development, the US Marine Corps announced at the end of last year that the Boston Dynamics LS3 (AplhaDog) robotic mule is being shelved because it is too noisy for deployment in combat. We investigate why the programme failed and what has become of other high-profile military robotics projects of the past few years.

We also look into claims that US Marine Corps aviation could break under the pressure of dwindling budgets and inadequate equipment, and investigate the reasons behind a growing number of drone crashed recorded in the US Air Force. Plus, we ask why the UK’s Dstl is turning to synthetic biology in the search for new materials, and take a look at DARPA’s new TERN technology, which will allow UAVs to take off and land from confined spaces in rough seas to achieve efficient long-duration flight.

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