Global Defence Technology: Issue 70

In this issue: The tanks of tomorrow, unmanned technology and the frontline soldier, Rolls-Royce speaks out about UK budget policy, a new marketplace for surplus equipment, solving engineering problems on the Littoral Combat Ships, and more.


The tank had its 100th anniversary in September, but as new technologies change the face of modern warfare, does it still have a role on the battlefield? We chart the evolution of the tank on an interactive timeline and find out what the future holds for tanks and armoured fighting vehicles.

We also speak to Rolls-Royce about its threats to pull out of the UK defence sector in the light of increased pressure on budgets, find out how the emergency of autonomous technology will affect the role of the frontline soldier, and take a look at GovPlanet EU, a new platform for the purchase of surplus government military equipment.

Plus, we investigate the recent engine problems plaguing the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships which have led to technology reviews and re-training for engineering crews.

In this issue

Value for Money?
As Rolls-Royce warns that pressure on defence budgets could force it to pull out of the British defence sector, Claire Apthorp investigates whether UK Government's penny-pinching approach is putting the industry's future at risk.
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100 Years of Tanks
The first tanks rolled across a battlefield on15 September 1916. To honour the 100th anniversary of the memorable event, Claire Apthorp looks back at the evolution of tanks in the UK and US.
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Tanks of the Future
Having been a mainstay of modern militaries for so long, will the tank continue to play a role on tomorrow’s battlefields? Dr Gareth Evans finds out how tanks and armoured fighting vehicles are evolving to meet the challenges of future warfare.
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Autonomy and the Soldier
As new autonomous technology emerges, are the days of the soldier numbered? Aled Catherall, defence & security technology lead at Plextek, considers whether technology has the ability to completely replace soldiers one day.
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Not Your Average Online Shop
This year GovPlanet EU was launched as a platform for the purchase of surplus military equipment in the UK. Dr Gareth Evans takes a look inside the service to find out how it promises to provide a risk-free solution.
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LCS: Dead in the Water?
In September, just three days after she was commissioned, the US Navy’s latest Littoral Combat Ship USS Montgomery became the third in as many weeks to experience significant engine problems. Dr Gareth Evans investigates the ongoing breakdowns affecting both LCS variants.
Read the article.

Next issue preview

As climate change makes the Arctic region and its natural resources more accessible, overlapping claims by the five Arctic littoral states have raised concerns about future conflict in the region. All five have started to strengthen their military presence and capabilities in the Arctic, but their actions suggest that the focus remains on the defence of current national territories. Drawing on research from SIPRI we ask whether there is reason for concern surrounding overlapping maritime claims in the Arctic and a potential new cold war emerging in the region.

We also take a look at the next generation of wearable sensors for frontline troops and explore the potential of high-speed drones in autonomous roles to support fourth and fifth generation fighter aircraft. Plus, we find out what Airbus’ new satellite image library offers to defence customers and check in on the progress of Australia’s Future Submarine Program.

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