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Number 32
November 2020






"Marines Explore Robots & 5G Networks For Future War."

Breaking Defense, August 31, 2020

(single source)

Could mini-drones and ground robots, coordinated via 5G, replace vulnerable manned convoys? The U.S. Marines, in partnership with Robotic Research, are experimenting with automated refueling vehicles capable of carrying small quantities of ammunition, batteries or combat rations, for example. This logistics program combines several ready-to-use systems - land robots, mini-UAVs, static sensors - sharing their data over a 4G or 5G network. In the event of communication disruption due to a malfunction or enemy action, each aircraft has sufficient autonomy to reach its destination.

''The U.S. Army Wants Ammunition-Carrying To Help Fight Future Wars''...


The National Interest, September 16, 2020


(source cross-checking)


TheU.S. Army is experimenting with Artificial Intelligence (AI) equipped robots to carry ammunition logistics. This intelligence is coupled with a real-time ammunition requirements management system. It is even possible that robotic ammunition platforms could help identify the type of ammunition needed for a particular attack.

"Adding Chameleon-like capabilities to defense drones."


Defence Talk, 9 September 2020


(single source)


TheUniversity of South Australia's Future Industrie Institute, in collaboration with the Department of Defence, has successfully used new types of polymers (electrochemical materials) to create panels that can change colour depending on the electric fields they pass through. The panels, which can be used to cover drones, are based on existing technologies that have already been improved to adapt to the world of defence. Indeed, their switching speed is increased and their energy consumption greatly reduced. These panels can now be produced at low cost and remain light. Relevant for the use of SRI (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) UAVs thanks to their ability to blend into the sky, they could cover a variety of vehicles.

"New Russian Infantry Fighting Vehicle unveiled at Moscow show"


" 'Манул' назвали переходным этапом между БМП-3 и бронемашинами будущего"

Kym Bergmann, Defence review asia, 18 September 2020 / Rossiyskaya gazeta, 29 August 2020


(source cross-checking)


Russia continues to renew its heavy segment, with the presentation of the new Manul infantry combat vehicle at the Army 2020 show. The BMP Manul is expected to replace the BMP-3 (while the T-14 Armata is expected to replace the T-72). Like theArmata, it is seen as the transitional element between the current generation and the "tank of the future". No launch date has yet been specified.

"Russia considers creating stealth parachute"


"Russian tech firm to develop robotized cargo parachute system"

TASS, August 26, 2020.


(single source)

During the Army 2020 armament exhibition (Kubinka, August 2020), the industrialist Technodinamika presented the progress of its research on the creation of a parachute undetectable by night vision means. The "invisibility" effect would be obtained by spraying a chemical product on the polyamide fabric of the parachute and ropes. However, while these types of parachutes should be less visible, they are still detectable by thermal cameras. At the same time, Technodinamika announced that a robotic parachute system, capable of delivering 250 kg loads using satellite coordinates, is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

"Russia's newest anti-drone systems can fight against microdrones."


"Беспилотники не пройдут: "Купол-ПРО", "Луч-ПРО", "Пищаль-ПРО" и другие системы противодействия БПЛА"

TASS / Nayka Tecknika, 5 September 2020


(source cross-checking)


The "Avtomatika" consortium of the Russian Rostec Group unveiled its new Bastion-Avtomatika (Бастион-Автоматика ) anti-UAV system at the Army 2020 exhibition. It would have a detection range of up to 15km for UAVs, and a jamming range of up to 4km. Other equipment in the range was also presented, such as the UAV control software Rubezh-Automatica (Рубеж-Автоматика ) and an upgraded version of the Pichal-PRO UAV gun(Пищаль-ПРО). These new systems would be capable of neutralizing micro-UAVs, despite the use of particularly low electromagnetic frequencies.




"OPTIFAB: Using additive manufacturing technologies for light armoured vehicles"

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 22 September 2020


(single source)

The OPTIFAB (Optimisation of the manufacture of anti-blast protection and spare parts for light vehicles) defence technology programme was launched by the DGA in December 2019. It envisages the use of additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) to create the said anti-blast protections, particularly at floor level. After an initial phase of protection design, it will be necessary to study the phases of maintenance in operational condition. Among the advantages of this technology are the reduction of spare parts stocks and the short lead times .

"The French Army will replace its fleeces with multi-purpose thermal jackets".


Joint Support Centre police station facilities "


(single source)



On September 22, the Army issued a call for tenders to replace the fleeces currently in use with multi-purpose coyote brown thermal jackets. The contract, worth 7.2 million euros, is intended to enable soldiers to "protect themselves and last in difficult conditions in cold climates".

"Timothée Mouterde, thesis writer on the phenomenon of hydrophobia".


Ministry of the Armed Forces, Defence Innovation Agency, 17 September 2020.


(single source)


Fog impairs the capabilities of optical tools in military equipment. Research has been conducted on surface textures and their anti-fog, anti-reflective and superhydrophobic properties - superhydrophobia being "a physical property of a surface that is extremely difficult to wet with water". In his thesis, "Multifunctional Materials: Anti-rain, Anti-fog, Anti-reflection", carried out in collaboration with Thales Research & Technology, the researcher shows that the wings of cicadas are provided with conical roughnesses (nano-cones) to eject the slightest drop of mist that would be deposited on them and prevent them from flying. Therefore, by modifying the shape of the previously cylindrical roughnesses of the hydrophobic surfaces, one could avoid all types of weather, including fog.


"The Coming Revolution in Intelligence Affairs: How Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems Will Transform Espionage."


Anthony Vinci, Foreign affairs, August 31, 2020


(single source)


In 2017, the American National Geospatial Intelligence Agency predicts that in five years the data to be processed by its analysts will be multiplied by one million. Soon the entire globe will be permanently visible thanks to the multiplication of satellites, creating a "GEOINT singularity"(geospatial intelligence , an intelligence discipline resulting from the integration of imagery and geospatial data), which therefore requires an increase in artificial intelligence capabilities in order to process this data. This is leading to a paradigm shift: while technological advances have hitherto been tools available to the analyst to produce intelligence, soon machines will be able to spy on each other in order to discover their intentions. According to the author, a first AI could deliberately inject data in order to distort the analysis of a second AI. The latter, for its part, could pretend not to have detected the anomaly: this would constitute the advent of the practice of trickery between AIs. According to the author, a race for artificial intelligence is beginning between the intelligence services of the major powers. The rise of industrial espionage operations on AI systems is to be expected, as understanding these systems could become the new priority of intelligence services. Faced with the emergence of interference and counter-intelligence operations against AIs, new sections within the intelligence services should emerge.

"Enabling the Army in Information Warfare"

Lieutenant General Stephen G. Fogarty & Colonel (Ret.) Bryan N. Sparling, The Cyber Defense Review, Vol. 5, No. 2, Summer 2020

(single source)

After depicting an environment strongly influenced by the power of information (the weight taken by Daech's social networks in 2015, Russian involvement in the American presidential election in 2016, Chinese disinformation about COVID-19, etc.), the authors start from the observation that the place of information in the conflict has considerably increased. By presenting the transformation and modernisation plan for ARCYBER(U.S. Army Cyber Command) - and in parallel the questioning of a new name for the entity - this article highlights the interest of inserting operations conducted at the tactical, operational and strategic levels into the information age. This is why the army must change scale, going beyond the strict protection of cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum, to become involved at the strategic level in what the authors call the " Information Environment ". Information warfare is itself an area of conflict. Integrating cyberspace, electromagnetic and influencesIt helps to counter potential destabilization attempts against the United States and its allies. All this highlights the importance of information and accompanies the new concept of the American Multi Domain Operation (MDO) in the search for convergence and complementarity between the different domains.

"Clausewitz, the Clausewitz and the Trinity and the Utility of Hybrid War"

Jarrod Brook, The bridge, September 15, 2020

(single source)

The concept of "hybrid warfare" appeared in 2005 in an article by James Mattis and Frank Hoffman, two American officers. This concept refers to the fusion of the regular and irregular modes of warfare, and not their simple juxtaposition as in the notion of "coupled warfare". With this notion, the officers wanted to critique the concept of "asymmetric warfare" and the underlying idea that a major military power would always wage war by conventional means, whereas a belligerent with limited firepower would use irregular means. At the time of its conception, "hybrid warfare" was thought to designate a specific mode of warfare, but from 2014 onwards, this concept is being broadened to consider "hybrid warfare" exclusively through a Russian prism and as a global strategy. This article proposes a critical vision of "hybrid warfare" by putting this notion into perspective with Clausewitz's Trinity of War: "reason, passion and hazard " (reason, passion and uncertainty). The nature of war is fluctuating and its conduct is always uncertain due to the free will of the leader. Thus, according to Clausewitz, the hybrid mode of warfare is part of the modalities of war, since war is "the continuation of politics by other means".



History of GPS: replacing the map in military operations

Futura Sciences, October 28, 2015


(source cross-checking)


In 1968, the Pentagon's research department tried to imagine a geographical location system based on communication via satellites in orbit around the Earth. Enabling the position of a combatant to be provided in real time and 24 hours a day, the NAVigation System Time And Ranging - Global Positioning System (NAV.S.T.A.R-G.P.S) was officially created for strictly military use as soon as it was designed and financed in 1973. However, it was not until the launch of a first satellite in 1978 and the 1990s that the system became operational. Since 1995, the GPS system has been based on a constellation of 24 permanent satellites and four reserve satellites in case of malfunction. They have a period of revolution of almost 12 hours. The majority of the satellites have an average lifespan of 8.5 years and were put into orbit by the American launcher Atlas. Five ground stations track the satellites by recording the signals and acting as relays to the ground equipment. This military innovation, based on geodesy, the science that determines the shape and dimensions of the Earth in 3D space, was exported to the civilian world in the 2000s. Today, the European Union is trying to compete with the American monopoly with its Galileo system. Other countries have also acquired this technology: Beidou for China and Glonass for Russia. Based on radionavigation, Galileo will provide the EU with a system comparable to GPS. GPS is a flagship innovation that offers new opportunities for combatants in the field by giving them access to geolocation.




The Pathfinder is a subject-oriented watch for prospective studies on air-land operations, currently conducted by the Command Doctrine and Training Centre (CDEC).
This document is based solely on unclassified sources. Its purpose is to provide a quick bi-monthly overview of information disseminated in the media and likely to be of interest to the defence community. The briefs collected are limited to raw summaries of the documents analysed and cross-checked whenever possible by interviews conducted by its editors. It is therefore up to each reader to contextualise this information, particularly when it comes from official foreign sources, according to the use he or she wishes to make of it and the nature of the conclusions that he or she must draw from it.





 
 


 
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