In this issue: The potential of hypersonic flight for aerial combat, the US Army’s Synthetic Training Environment, AI-equipped drones for airfield repairs, the Patriot missile system’s role in Korea, Guam’s strategic importance for the US, and more.

Home to strategically important US operating bases for decades, Guam has been thrust into the spotlight recently after a war of words ended up with North Korea directly threatening a missile attack. We explore the global importance of the military bases on Guam and the significant capability they represent for the US.

We also take a look at the US Army’s new Synthetic Training Environment which consolidates live and virtual training into a single platform, and profile the importance of the US-built Patriot missile system in the conflict between South and North Korea.

Plus, we catch up with projects exploring hypersonic flight for aerial combat capabilities, check in on the US Navy’s search for AI-equipped drones for airfield repair, and find out how Australia’s research into acoustic signatures could help keep naval vessels safer at sea.

In this issue

Tip of the Spear
North Korea has threatened Guam before, but until now it has always seemed a hollow threat; however, Kim Jong Un’s ramped-up missile programme could change that. Dr Gareth Evans explores the global importance of the strategic US base.

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Patriot’s Place in Korea
On the ever more dangerous border between South and North Korea stands a battery of US-built Patriot missile systems. As the world waits to see whether raucous rhetoric will spill over into war, Claire Apthorp asks whether the system’s capabilities will be enough to deter and defend.

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Mixed Realities
In the last few years training grounds have become increasingly virtual, but this is only the beginning. Dr Gareth Evans finds out how training environment built to fuse the real world with the virtual into one training platform could change future soldier training.

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Taking Aerial Combat Hypersonic
At Mach 5, you can circle the globe in less than seven hours. Dr Gareth Evans reports on how the aerospace industry is looking to take advantage and spawn new generations of weapons and technology.

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Smarter Maintenance
The US Navy is looking for a drone equipped with artificial intelligence to speed up the repair of damaged airfields. Claire Apthorp looks at the current airfield maintenance process to find out where the weaknesses lie, and ask how intelligent unmanned systems could improve the speed and efficiency of repairs.

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Understanding Acoustic Signatures
Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group has invested several years into developing a tool to model acoustic signatures for all classes of naval vessels. Acoustic signatures allow friendly forces to recognise their own vessels, but can also give away position. Claire Apthorp finds out how new modelling is improving the safety of military vessels at sea.

Read here.

Next issue preview

Japan’s defence ministry is seeking a record budget of $48bn for 2018 in an effort to upgrade its missile defence capabilities in the face of growing threats by North Korea. We take a look at the major equipment projects that will benefit from the budget boost.

We also speak to Airbus Cyber Security about changing trends in malware and how the threat to communications infrastructure specifically is harming military readiness, and speak to researchers and engineers shortlisted for the 2017 Women in Defence Awards.

Plus, we look at a new pre-hospital care system designed to save lives in the field, find out how the US Air Force is working to save fuel costs, and ask whether the UK’s shipbuilding industry is ready for a renaissance as set out in the government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.

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