The world according to Shephard: Week 32
Despite August’s title as the ‘silly season’ it has been anything but that for Shephard Media as the world of aerospace and defence shows no signs of slowing down.
Out with the old, in with the new
The New Zealand Defence Force is seeking replacement explosive ordnance disposal robots. The new UGVs and neutralisation systems will be used for civil, military and counter-terrorism scenarios by the New Zealand Army’s EOD detachment, or ‘Bomb Squad’.
Meanwhile the Brazilian army has received its first VBTP-MR Guarani 6×6 amphibious armoured vehicle equipped with a 30mm remote-controlled weapon station. The army’s 15th Mechanised Infantry Brigade became the first active unit to receive the vehicle and is part of a new tranche of 1,580 Guarani vehicles now being delivered.
New unmanned technology is currently being developed by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and IAI. The new unmanned MMMWV was publicised in a video released by the IDF. Beth Maundrill spoke with IAI about the new technology. Read Beth’s blog here.
Finally, this week the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) said a farewell to its Heron, as it flew its last mission ahead of its withdrawal from service. The RAAF’s No. 5 Flight which was responsible for the Heron mission in Afghanistan will be disbanded at the end of the year. The RAAF is acquiring a replacement capability through Project AIR 7003 which is scheduled to be delivered after 2020.
Up in the air
This week Helen Haxell looked into the ups and downs of the military and civil helicopter markets for the first half of 2017.
Helen reported that the last six months in the civil helicopter sector have witnessed significant recovery with flight returns, concept aircraft and new platforms dominating the commercial market. She commented that ‘if last year was the ‘annus horribilis’ for the civil helicopter sector that notion has definitely not crept into 2017.’
As for the military helicopter sector it has been a frantic year so far. As progress has continued across US military helicopter programmes, the Black Hawk has garnered the majority of headlines with developments in the Middle East and across Asia-Pacific.
In the UK, preparations for the arrival of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth ramp up as vessels and personnel from the navy and Royal Marines take part in the NATO Exercise Saxon Warrior off the coast of Scotland.
Across the Atlantic in South America, the Mexican Navy has continued its patrol vessel fleet expansion as it strives to tackle a wide range of challenges from cartels and narcotics activities to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Richard Thomas looks into the navy’s latest Tenochtitlan-class patrol vessel, the ARM Bonampak which is well suited to operations in the littorals and EEZs.
While in the Arabian Gulf, US Navy patrol ships assigned to Patrol Coastal Squadron One have carried out proficiency fire testing of their MK 60 Griffin Missile Systems. Five vessels launched surface-to-surface Griffin missiles at moving target sleds to demonstrate their ability to hit surface targets such as small boats.