The world according to Shephard: Week 39
Firepower of all shapes and sizes
As tensions continue to run high on the Korean peninsula, Japan has begun to rethink its ballistic missile defence (BMD) approach as it now eyes Aegis Ashore. Read more here about the challenges facing Japan as it seeks to defend itself against escalating regional tensions.
Recent images have revealed that the Czech Republic is a major supplier of heavy weapons to Azerbaijan. Images released by the Azerbaijan MoD show the Czech-made Dana-M1CZ 152mm SPH and RM-70 Vampir 122mm MLRS during large-scale exercises held by the Azerbaijani military in late September.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines has issued a contract to Glock Asia Pacific to supply it with 74,861 Glock 7 Gen4 9mm pistols and an identical number of holsters. The contract, valued at $24.3 million, will see the first batch of 35,000 weapons delivered with 180 days with the second batch delivered within a further 90 days.
UAV popularity persists
Staying in the Philippines, the army has requested several tiers of new UAVs to boost its ISR capabilities, while the US has contracted a further batch of six ScanEagle tactical UAV systems for Manila. The Philippines armed forces are also acquiring trailer-mounted pneumatic launchers and SkyHook recovery devices.
Meanwhile the German Army’s Special Forces Command is also expanding its ISR assets following the procurement of nano UAS personal reconnaissance systems. The Calw-based command will receive up to a dozen PD-100 Black Hornet nano UAS and will fulfil an operational requirement for an organic ‘over-the-hill’ ISR-gathering micro UAS capability.
However, demand for UAVs is not driven only by defence acquisitions as Beth Maundrill discusses in her blog on the strength of the commercial unmanned market. She reports that defence companies are expected to make a bigger splash in the civil market. Read more here.
Better late than never
The Indian Navy has finally received its first Scorpene, five years behind schedule. The first of six Scorpene diesel-electric submarines being licence-built for the Indian Navy has been delivered. The Project 75 programme to build six Scorpene submarines has been fraught with difficulties and delays, Gordon Arthur reports.
The future of warfare
In Afghanistan the future of warfare may be increasingly dominated by private military corporations, as one controversial proposal for the next phase of the American-led war would see 5,500 private contractors put in charge of advising the Afghan military.
The idea is the brainchild of former Blackwater founder Erik Prince, who claims his proposal would save both American troops’ lives and the government $30 billion dollars a year.
One trend in the future nature of warfare is clear – marines are increasingly deploying in small groups in remote and primitive areas, complicating operational logistics.
As a result the Expeditionary Energy Office is currently searching for a solution to the problem by reducing fuel and water demands through the use of hybrid power solutions and improved distribution.
Finally, the warfighters will increasingly utilise technology developed in the commercial sector. One such example is Gotenna, who is releasing a military variant of its mesh networking tactical radio.
The Gotenna family of products integrate with smart phones to allow direct communication and have already been used by organisations including US Army Special Forces Groups.
Following a great week at DSEI, which saw thousands of exhibitors come together across two enormous exhibition halls, Grant Turnbull gives his verdict on ‘the movers and shakers’ of the show.