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The Pathfinder N°33

NOVEMBER 2020

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L'Eclaireur N°32

NOVEMBER 2020

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L'Eclaireur N°31

SEPTEMBER 2020

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The Scout N°30

SEPTEMBER 2020

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L'Eclaireur N°29

JUNE 2020

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The Scout N°28

MARCH 2020

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L'Eclaireur N°27

FEBRUARY 2020

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The Scout N°26

DECEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°25

DECEMBER 2019

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L'Eclaireur N°24

DECEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°23

NOVEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°22

NOVEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°21

OCTOBER 2019

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The Scout N°20

OCTOBER 2019

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The Scout N°19

SEPTEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°18

SEPTEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°17

SEPTEMBER 2019

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The Scout N°16

JULY 2019

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The Scout N°15

JUNE 2019

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The Scout N°14

JUNE 2019

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"Pentagon 'matchmakers' aim to keep US Tech firms from taking Chinese money"

Defense One, May 10, 2019

(single source)

In order to avoid the dependence of American defence industrialists on Chinese investment, the Pentagon is launching a service to bring together venture capitalists (who invest in start-ups) and small defence companies likely to develop military technologies. Ellen Lord, under secretary for procurement and logistics support at the Department of Defense (DoD), approved the launch of the programme, called the Trusted Capital Marketplace , on Monday 13 May. Ms Lord said she has a list of « of at least 50 military technology "companies" potentially involved in the pilot programme. "Many of these small, innovative companies do not have the resources to reach out to capital providers," Lord said. The program begins with the creation of a website to connect companies and investors. In France, the trade association GICAT launched a similar programme called Generate in 2017 (see Éclaireur n°9 of1 April 2019). The first accelerator for defence start-ups in France, its main objective is to connect start-ups and investors.

Availability : immediate

"Will the Russian Army buy hydrogen fuel cell drones?"

Kelsey D. Atherton, C4ISRNET, May 10, 2019.

(single source)

The Russian company International Aero Navigation Systems Concern has announced the creation of a hydrogen-powered drone. The use of hydrogen could make it possible to create drones combining low acoustic signature and high autonomy. This hydrogen-powered drone would have an autonomy of 3 hours with a range of 5 km. In addition, it could operate at an altitude of up to 3 km and reach a speed of 56 km/hr. Finally, it would be capable of carrying a 10 kg payload. The implementation of this UAV would be simple, requiring only hydrogen cartridges and water. However, potential risks of skin irritation and explosion would have to be taken into consideration. Finally, the article mentions "certain media sources" according to which tests of such UAVs have been carried out in Syria.

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"AGM-114 R9X, Hellfire missile modified for CIA kills avoiding collateral damages"

Army Recognition, 10 May 2019

(source cross-checking)

The Wall Street Journal has revealed the existence of an American "secret missile" called R9X, designed to avoid collateral damage and in particular "civilian casualties". It is a variant of the AGM-114 Hellfire laser-guided anti-tank missile developed by Lockheed Martin . Unlike the AGM-114, the R9X missile does not explode on impact, but deploys six sharp blades folded into its nose cone moments before hitting the ground, shredding targets without injuring nearby people and equipment. Dubbed « flying Ginsu "The missile, which weighs 45 kg and travels at a speed of 1609 km/h, relies solely on the force of the impact to neutralize its target. Developed under Obama's presidency, the missile has reportedly been used nearly six times worldwide, including in Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. Nevertheless, some American media are calling for caution with regard to this missile, described by some as "revolutionary", pointing out that its capabilities are not yet precisely known and that its use remains limited to extremely specific cases. Defense One stresses in particular that its ability to distinguish between combatants and civilians implies very substantial intelligence requirements.

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"US Army conducted demonstrations of new precision ammunition with extended range"

Defence Blog, 10 May 2019

(source cross-checking)

The Defense Blog article published information about the increase in ranges of three types of artillery ammunition used on twoUS Army weapon systems. First, in the fall of 2018, theUS Army is reported to have tested the new 155mm XM1113(US Army) and Excalibur M982(Raytheon/BAESystems) ammunition compatible with a prototypeExtended Range Cannon Artillery(ERCA) self-propelled howitzer. The XM1113 rocket is designed to replace theArmy 's aging M549A1s (30 km range). It would have reached a range of 72 km during the exercise. The other ERCA ammunition, theExcalibur M982, is a long-range shell with a GPS system. In a limited-range test, it would have hit different targets, increasing from 40 to 62 km.

In addition, theUS Army would have made improvements to the GMLRS(Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System) by doubling the range of the XM30 rockets. The range of the XM30 rockets would increase from 70 to 139 km. According to the article, theArmy 'sCombat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) would have completed the scientific and technological development of these weapons in September 2018. It would consider making them operational over the next two years.

Availability: 2019-2021

"Russian state arms export signs contracts for $5.2 billion in 2019"

TASS, 7 May 2019

(single source)

According to an official press release, the Russian state arms import-export agency Rosoboronexport has signed $5.2 billion worth of contracts since the beginning of 2019. To this figure should be added the figure for exports, which would amount to 4.9 billion dollars for the same period. According to Alexander Mikheev, the agency's director, among the most prominent products are the Pantsir-S1 missile system, the S219 Msta self-propelled gun, the T-72 tank, the Tigr-M and BMPT armoured vehicles, as well as the Mig and Sukhoi fighter aircraft.

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"Advanced silent mortars start arriving for Russian Army"

TASS, 7 May 2019

(source cross-checking)

The national agency TASS has announced the delivery to the Russian army of the new 2B25 Gull silent mortars. These 82 mm calibre mortars would be capable of destroying a target noiselessly at a distance of one kilometre and could fire 15 rounds per minute. Considered to be the only silent mortars in the world, they are produced by the Burevestnik Central Research & Development Institute, belonging to the Uralvagonzavod industrialist of the Rostec Group . If the range of these mortars remains today low compared to the existing classical materials, the main innovation of the 2B25 Gull lies in its stealth at the start of the shots.

Availability : immediate

"Marines replacing Beretta M9 with the new Sig M18."

Chris Eger, Guns, May 10, 2019

(source cross-checking)

TheUS Marine Corps ordered 280,000 M18 handguns, a compact version of the M17(Modular Handgum System), from the German-Swiss industrialist Sig Sauer. The contract is worth $580 million and is intended to replace the current M9. The M9 required several modifications to allow the use of the SIGLITE sighting aid system and the possibility of changing the stock of the handgun. Thus, the M17 is equipped with a 9 mm chambered barrel, a sighting aid and grips of three different sizes.

Availability : immediate

"Dynetics-Lockheed team beats out Raytheon to build 100-kilowatt laser weapon."

Jen Judson, Defense News, May 16, 2019.

(source cross-checking)

TheUS Army awarded a $130 million contract to the Dynetics-Lockheed team to build a 100 kW laser weapon, thus ending the competition between the two groups and the American company Raytheon. This program, called HEL TVD, aims to integrate a laser weapon into the land forces' Indirect Fire Protection Increment 2 (IFPC ), particularly inFamily of Medium Tactical Vehicles. Contributing to defence against rockets, artillery, mortars, cruise missiles and drones, this system has the dual advantage of allowing a greater number of shots at a lower cost, depending on the energy available. The power and heat management elements will be supplied by Rolls-Royce, via the M250 helicopter engine capable of generating around 300 kW of electrical power and 200 kW of thermal management capacity. The HEL TVD program is scheduled to be tested in 2022 at the White Sands Missile Test Range in New Mexico.

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"This monstrous new 80-ton robotic battlefield bulldozer will keep US troops out of the most dangerous place on the planet."

Business Insider, 15 May 2019

(single source)

TheUS Army is testing a remotely operated engineering vehicle. This Robotic Complex Breach Concept (RCBC), based on an M1 Abrams tank chassis, is a derivative version of the M1150 Assault Breacher Vehic le (ABV), an engineering and route-opening vehicle. The RCBC, equipped with a muzzle and a demining system (and without a gun), is designed to put at a distance the combat engineers, particularly exposed to danger during route-opening missions. The vehicle would be capable of breaching a minefield and removing other obstacles that could slow down the progress of ground troops (trenches, barbed wire, anti-tank barriers). The RCBC is currently being tested at the Joint Warfighting Assessment at the Yakima Training Center in Washington State.

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"New Pantsir-S1M upgraded after Syria to be able to hit any drones - designer"

TASS, 16 May 2019

(single source)

According to the Russian news agency TASS, the Pantsir-S1M air defence and artillery system would have the capacity to strike effectively against all types of UAVs. This would be an improvement on the previous version, the Pantsir-S1. The agency does not provide details on the spectrum of targets that the new equipment would be able to hit. The information is said to have come from a statement by Sergei Mikhailov, CEO of the holding company(High Precision Systems) producing the Pantsir-S1M. The modernisation of the Pantsir-S1 would be directly linked to feedback from the war in Syria. Indeed, attackers have reportedly attempted on several occasions to attack the Russian air base of Hmeymim with modified civilian drones and rockets. The Pantsir-S1M would therefore be designed to improve defence in the lower layer of civilian and military installations. It would use two types of missiles, one of which would have a range of 30 km. According to Mikhailov, preliminary tests would soon be completed. The system would be mainly intended for export. Another, even more advanced version of the Pantsir is reportedly under development and reserved for the Russian armed forces.

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"Turkey to take part in production of S-500s in cooperation with Russia - Erdogan"

TASS, 19 May 2019

(source cross-checking)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced continued cooperation with Russia on the purchase of S-500 air defence systems. He also added that the acquisition of the Russian S-400s, which had been the subject of great tension with the United States, was a done deal. According to the Haberturk newspaper, Turkey sent 100 engineers to Russia to assist in the manufacture of weapons. In early May, Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov expressed Russia's satisfaction with the deepening technological partnership with Turkey in the field of anti-aircraft defence, including S-500 systems.

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"Autonomous car AI learns fear."

Nathalie Mayer, Futura Sciences, May 13, 2019

(source cross-checking)

Microsoft engineers want to equip autonomous cars with an artificial intelligence that incorporates fear in order to optimize their learning capabilities. To achieve this, scientists first equipped humans with sensors and measured their "fear" when driving a vehicle using a simulator. Then, using an algorithm, they used the recorded data to predict the reactions of an average person at each point along the route and transposed them to the AI. The results showed that RNs who did not benefit from this learning process needed 25% more accidents than those who did, to achieve the same level of performance. However, engineers believe that the human sense of fear is much more complex and therefore difficult to translate into figures.

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"How simulation games prepare the military for more than just combat."

S.C. Stuart, PCMag, May 11, 2019

(single source)

In an article published on 11 May, the site of the American computer magazine PCMag presented excerpts from a long interview with Peter Morrisson, a former officer in the Australian army. Now Commercial Director of BohemiaInteractive Simulations (BISim), Morrisson explains the extensive use of military simulation software, particularly by the US military, and the benefits it brings to combatants. Beyond the improvements in certain psychomotor abilities, such as eye-hand coordination, that some first-person shooter video games allow, what the BISim studio offers is much more operational. Their simulation software is designed to allow the rehearsal of tactical acts and combat procedures, at the collective level and up to the divisional level, in order to improve decision making. To do this, units simultaneously connect to a chosen terrain with modular surface area and variable scenarios defined by controllers.

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"VivaTech 2019: The soldier of the future technologies."

Le Parisien, 18 May 2019

(source cross-checking)

For the first time, the Ministry of the Armed Forces was represented at the 4th edition of the Viva Technology exhibition. Emmanuel Chiva, Director of the Defence Innovation Agency (AID), was also present at this annual global event for technological innovation. He insisted on the role of the Directorate General for Armaments (DGA) and the AID as "technology incubators". This exhibition was an opportunity for the Ministry to make entrepreneurs aware of defence needs and to bring together various stakeholders. around existing and future projects. The Ministry of the Armed Forces proposed four main poles, representing the current and future visions of infantry, vehicles, intelligence, and logistical support. The innovations presented reflect current trends in terms of technological innovations and integrate robotics, artificial intelligence and big data. In addition, the department pays special attention to the infantryman of the future. The technological bubble that will encompass the foot soldier of the future could be composed of sensors that monitor his health, communication, mobility and support. The DGA is working on a better protected infantryman, focused on his mission, whose strength would be multiplied by high-tech equipment., consisting of augmented reality helmets, camouflage, robots and connected weapons.

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Viva Technology: the VIGIFELIN innovation"

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 17 May 2019

(single source)

During the Viva Technology trade show (May 16 to 19), the integrated structure for maintaining land equipment in operational condition (SIMMT) presented VIGIFELIN, the French Army's first fully digitized individual weapon system. VIGIFELIN can be used to manage the maintenance in operational condition of a fleet, from the infantryman with integrated equipment and link (FELIN), to the capture by radio frequency identification (RFId) reading to data processing. The objective of this technology, thanks to RFID chips, is to follow the logistic flows in near-real time, and thus to know the state of the stock and the availability of the FELIN equipment in the units. This technology greatly simplifies the daily life of the elementary units thanks to a digitized perception of the fighter's equipment (FELIN, APC, NBC, etc). After several months of experimentation, notably within the3rd Marine Infantry Regiment (3rd RIMa), the VIGIFELIN system will initially be deployed in infantry and combat engineer regiments equipped with FELIN.

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"Chameleon, the adaptive terrestrial camouflage system."

Ministry of the Armed Forces and CDEC, 17 May 2019

(source cross-checking)

Based on a patent from the French Directorate General of Armament, the Cameleon project proposes an optical camouflage device that can be adapted to the environment in which the fighter will be able to position himself. Presented at the Vivatech show, this technology had already been exhibited at several Eurosatory shows. Piloted by the industrialist Nexter, this system using liquid crystal technology would enable vehicles to be equipped with real stealth and thus to operate as discreetly as possible in hostile environments. The "Chameleon" intelligent system has cameras and sensors on board the vehicle. An algorithm then analyses the images. The colours and textures detected are then reproduced on the pixelised plates that cover the vehicle to make it virtually invisible at 100 metres, both to the human eye and, in the near future, to thermal cameras. Nexter would eventually like to design, while collaborating with the optics department and Eyes3Shut, flexible plates that could be integrated on helicopters, boats and trusses. By 2025-2026, the DGA hopes to integrate this technology on a tank and possibly on the fighter of the future.

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This month's issue of the Journal de la Défense (#JDEF) brings you "Managing Fatigue in Operations"...

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 15 May 2019

(single source)

Last April, Eclaireur No. 9 presented the Institut de recherche biomédicale des armées (IRBA) project on the "optimized nap". This month, the Journal de la Défense, broadcast on LCP, is more generally devoted to fatigue in operations. Military personnel on operations are active almost non-stop. To help combatants manage sleep and maintain alertness, medical officers study sleep mechanisms, research the causes and effects of sleep deprivation and methods to combat fatigue. As the pace of missions accelerates, the demands on infantrymen, pilots and submariners increase. Sleep deprivation impairs cognitive and psychomotor performance, while at the same time promoting a reduction in attention span and degradation of thinking and decision-making abilities. Similarly, chronic sleep debt promotes the development of injuries and pathologies, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The main countermeasures are quality sleep (in the dark, calm and of sufficient duration), physical activity and mental preparation. For specific operations and following a regulated use, caffeine-based drugs to promote wakefulness or melatonin to promote sleep may be offered to the military.

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"Defending Europe: scenario-based capability requirements for NATO's European members"

International Institute for Security Studies, 10 May 2019

(single source)

The International Institute for Security Studies (IISS) published in May a high-level open-source report on the state of European nations' defence capabilities in the event of US withdrawal from NATO and the cessation of US military contributions. The study presents different scenarios taking place in the early 2020s (reorientation of the US Navy to focus solely on protecting national territory, placement of a Russian air defence base in Belarus, etc.) and establishes, for each of these scenarios, the capability shortfalls to be filled. Thus, for the first of these scenarios, the study states that in order to preserve maritime security and international traffic, which was largely the responsibility of the United States, the European NATO members would have to invest a total of between $94 billion and $110 billion to fill their capability gaps. To arrive at these results, the study is based on data from the IISS Military Balance. Finally, the costs of acquiring the equipment needed to upgrade capabilities are also analysed. In addition to identifying capability gaps, the study highlights NATO's centralised command structure, without which it would be difficult for European countries to conduct high-intensity operations as described in the scenarios.

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"Nuclear deterrence: from A-bomb to AI bomb"

Sébastien Seibt, France 24, 10 May 2019

(single source)

A report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published on 6 May looks at the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in the nuclear field. While AI has potential in conventional and cyber weapons, it could also change the atomic balance of power, even though the nuclear arms race has not disappeared. According to Vincent Boulanin, a researcher at SIPRI, little is known about the adoption of AI in the nuclear field, but processing information using fast algorithms could save valuable minutes in the decision-making process. However, some specialists remain sceptical, like Vincent Boulanin. Boulanin says we are generally more reluctant to adopt new technologies in the nuclear field because they create vulnerabilities in a field that involves thousands of lives. For Vincent Boulanin, it is necessary to "take the time to identify the risks associated with the use of AI". The report also states that AI could make the guidance system more precise and play a role in aircraft and for hypersonic missiles, which will reach a speed of more than five times the speed of sound, and on whose trajectories humans will be unable to intervene.

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"Securing The Space Cloud: It's Really Hard."

Theresa Hitchens, BreakingDefense, 10 May 2019

(source cross-checking)

Theresa Hitchens states in Breaking Defense that « if it is already difficult to secure our systems and data on the ground »It is even more complex to do so with our satellites that form a space cloud (space storage). According to Jeb Linton, director of technology at IBM Watson and Cloud Platform, space could indeed increase the already complex problems posed by system security. Satellites have the potential to carry large amounts of data. Rusty Thomas, director of DARPA's Blackjack program, wants to improve the ability of satellites to transfer these masses of data without increasing vulnerabilities. According to him, encryption technologies used in terrestrial networks are not well suited to space. The U.S. DoD is taking into account the challenges of cyber-resistance and network resilience, and is working to improve space operations by integrating commercial satellite constellations to take better advantage of the Internet from space.

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"Military Revolution and the Birth of Modernity"

Theatrum Belli, 18 May 2019

(single source)

In 1955, Professor Michael Roberts first used the concept of "military revolution". He was referring to the new weapons and tactics used by Dutch military leaders in the war waged by the United Provinces against Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries. A series of radical changes in techniques and technologies of warfare occurred in Europe in modern times: harquebus, firearms, artillery, etc., and the use of new weapons and tactics. But can we still speak of a "military revolution"? A revolution is generally defined as a sudden and abrupt event, whereas military technological change covers a period of more than three centuries. Moreover, the concept of "revolution" seems to be reserved for strictly political events. Thus, the article prefers the terms "radical and total change" and "irreversibility". It also regrets the emphasis on technology alone. Technical inventions can only be successful if they meet a strong political or social demand, capable of turning them into socio-technical phenomena.

"The equipment of the French horseman at Rocroi"

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 17 May 2019

(single source)

On 19 May 1643, the Duke of Enghien, known as Grand Condé, won a resounding victory against the Spanish army of Don Francisco de Melo. This battle was a great success for the French forces, which proved to be mobile and well commanded. The maneuverability of the cavalry, thanks to the light equipment of its riders, contributed to the victory. Indeed, they got rid of heavy armour, which weighed between 35 and 40 kilos, accompanied by a long buffalo gown, while keeping the essentials, i.e. armbands and thighs. The cuirassiers, heavier, are placed at the head of the device and their mission is to exploit the first shock of the lancers in the enemy battalions. The other cavalrymen, less protected, had a sword, two pommel horse pistols and a light harquebus or musket. In the French army, since this battle, the only clothing that comes close to the uniform is the gown worn by the horsemen. To identify themselves on the battlefield, soldiers adopted a distinctive sign for the duration of a war, or a battle, corresponding to the colour of their scarves or armbands, or the feathers of their hats.


 


 
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