All articles by Grant Turnbull

Grant Turnbull

Covid-19: Is this the end of the arms fair?

As the spread of coronavirus continues to disrupt business and travel, events are being postponed and cancelled around the globe. Grant Turnbull asks defence companies about the impact this has had on their business, and whether we will see the return of large-scale events when the pandemic is over.

Facial recognition: essential for security or bordering on Big Brother?

The use of technologies capable of identifying people using their biometric data is on the rise, most notably in the security sector. Grant Turnbull investigates growing concerns that the technology could be used as a powerful authoritarian surveillance tool.

Could F1 technology power laser weapons?

The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory is working with UK industry and the US Navy to explore advanced energy storage options for British warships. Grant Turnbull finds out how the project is adapting motorsport technology to power the next generation of naval laser weapons.

From defensive to offensive: the UK boosts its cyber units

The UK Ministry of Defence has announced additional funding for the British Army to stand up new cyber operations centres across the UK. Grant Turnbull looks at the threats these new units will be up against and how the army can play its part in strengthening the UK’s defensive and offensive cyber capabilities.

DARPA’s Grand Challenge at 15: how far have autonomous military vehicles come?

Fifteen years ago, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) conducted its groundbreaking Grand Challenge, which aimed to accelerate the development of autonomous military vehicle technology. Today, the commercial automotive world is fully embracing autonomous technologies originally pioneered during the early 2000s, but can the same be said for the military?

3D printing: where next for additive manufacturing in defence?

The potential for additive manufacturing – also known as 3D printing – has been recognised for several years, but while printing technologies and processes continue to mature in the commercial sector, technical and institutional challenges still need to be overcome for wider adoption in defence manufacturing. Grant Turnbull finds out more.

From Russia to Nato: the logic behind Poland’s military modernisation

Poland is one of the few countries in the 29-strong NATO alliance that spends over 2% of GDP on defence. With a belligerent Russia on its eastern flank, Poland is continuing to modernise its armed forces. Grant Turnbull finds out what the country wants, and whether it can afford it.

Future military rifles: alternative small arms technologies

For decades, soldiers all over the world have relied on rifles that fire NATO standard 5.56mm or 7.62mm ammunition. Recent conflicts, however, have highlighted inherent limitations for both regular and special forces units, which has spurred the development of alternatives that can meet emerging requirements. Grant Turnbull finds out what could possibly come next.

Boom time: South African Army firepower on display

We recently travelled to South Africa to witness a rare firepower demonstration organised by the South African National Defence Force and domestic ammunition specialist Rheinmetall Denel Munition. The two-day event happens only every four years and includes everything from fast jets dropping bombs, attack helicopters firing rockets and a full-scale armoured infantry attack. Grant Turnbull rounds up some of the highlights.

Measuring Biological Aptitude: enhancing soldier “biological awareness”

For militaries around the world, an ongoing problem continues to be the ability to recruit the right number of highly qualified candidates for specialist roles. Now, the US military is funding research efforts that will give greater insights into the human body – and the underlying biological processes – that could allow more soldiers to better prepare for specialist roles and to achieve new levels of physical performance on the battlefield.