Global Defence Technology: Issue 74

In this issue: The EU army that isn’t an army, BAE Systems on cyber security skills, innovation in explosive trace detection, Airbus’ high-altitude pseudo-satellite, the UK’s $1bn deal for US-built Predator B aircraft, piracy in Somalia after Operation Ocean Shield, and more.


In November, EU states agreed to create a new non-combatant military headquarters and create joint “battlegroups” for preventative intervention. We take a closer look at the project’s scope and ask whether this could be the beginning of a much-debated EU army.

We also get the latest on innovation in explosive trace detection, hear from BAE Systems about the growing requirement for cyber security skills in the defence industry, and review the success of NATO’s now completed Operation Ocean Shield.

Plus, we take a look at Airbus Defence and Space’s Zephyr, a new breed of high-altitude pseudo-satellite, and explore the capabilities of the UK’s new fleet of Predator B remotely piloted aircraft which will be purchased from the US under a contract worth $1bn.

In this issue

A New Union
More than 60 years after the idea of a European army was first floated, the EU passed a controversial resolution to establish a European Defence Union, which might finally pave the way for comprehensive and complete military integration. Dr Gareth Evans reports.
Read the article.

Talking Cyber Security Skills with BAE
Reflecting the climate of concern around the now ever-present threat of cyber attacks, BAE Systems is recruiting 80 graduates into its cyber security business in 2017. Claire Apthorp finds out more from BAE’s head of global talent Christina Kimberley.
Read the article.

The Smallest Trace
In an evolving frontline environment, are K9 dog detection squads still the best option, and can new detection technologies really make a difference? Simon Williams and Nicholas Dale find out.
Read the article.

Zephyr: The UK's New Satellite Plane
Airbus Defence and Space’s Zephyr, a new breed of solar-powered aircraft designed to circle in the Earth’s stratosphere, is set to take to the skies in 2017. Claire Apthorp explores its capabilities.
Read the article.

The Protector Gears Up
Following the news that the UK has ordered a fleet of the new Certifiable Predator B remotely piloted aircraft from the US in a deal worth $1bn, Claire Apthorp took a look at the new technology.
Read the article.

Operation Ocean Shield: Mission Success?
Since the end of NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield, two ships have been hijacked within two weeks near the cost of Somalia – a development that has raised questions over the success of the mission. Dr Gareth Evans asks what's next for a war which is far from over.
Read the article.

Next issue preview

A DARPA project to develop a robot for satellite servicing has come under fire over claims that it violates national space policy guidelines that discourage public competition with commercial space activities. We look into the clash between government and private sector space projects and ask whether US space policy guidelines are holding back innovation.

We also investigate calls for an overhaul of NATO and ask what direction the organisation is likely to take, and explore new opportunities for manufacturers presented by Finland’s massive military upgrade plan. Plus, we look into Boston Dynamics’ most recent robot project and the company’s uncertain future, ask why the US Air Force is struggling to retain its fighter jet pilots, and find out whether the British Royal Navy will be facing a capability gap after the retirement of the Harpoon missiles.

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