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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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The Pathfinder is a technology watch focused on topics of interest for forward-looking 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 fortnightly overview of the information disseminated in the media and likely to be of interest to the world of defence. 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 to be drawn from it..

"Best Tank In the World (For Now): The Army's New M-1A2C Abrams Has Arrived."

David Axe, The National Interest, June 2, 2019

(single source)

The M-1A2C is the latest version of the M1 Abrams. It was presented on 29 May 2019 during the "Justice Eagle" exercise in Romania. It is in all respects an improved version of the M1A2 SEP v2. The v3, renamed the M-1A2C, has better passive protection (reinforced armour on the front of the turret) as well as active protection by the"Trophy system" (a hard-killmoduleenablingthe detection and destruction of incoming missiles and rockets), developed by the Israeli company Rafael. The US Army now has enough M-1A2Cs to equip a brigade (about 100 tanks) according to Hank Kennedy, manager atGeneralDynamics. The deployment of the M-1A2C will replace previousArmy versions that will be retired from service by 2025.

Availability : Immediate

[Video] "Watch this Israeli robot face off against a marksman in a live-fire demo"

Seth J. Frantzman, Defense News, June1, 2019

(single source)

Israeli industrialist General Robotics has demonstrated what it intends to be the world's first operational armed robot . Called the Dogo Tactical Robot, this remote-controlled armed vehicle would be used by special forces and internal security forces for operations in urban areas. Equipped with eight cameras providing a 360-degree view, a 9 mm calibre weapon and a range of 2 to 5 hours, the Dogo is a remotely operated vehicle without artificial intelligence. It was designed to assist the armed forces in urban operations; it moves easily in difficult terrain and can communicate during a hostage situation, for example. Finally, its angle of fire makes it possible to hit a target on the ground or a standing person (albeit at a short range).

Availability : N/A

"Israelis Invest In New Artillery: ATMOS Mobile Howitzer"

Arie Egozi, Breaking Defense, May 31, 2019

(source cross-checking)

The Israeli army plans to replace its American-made M109howitzers with ATMOS(Autonomous Truck Mounted howitzer System) self-propelled guns from the industrialist Elbit. A twelve-year, $125 million contract has reportedly been signed by the Israeli Ministry of Defence to replace the M109s, which have been in service since 1973. The ATMOS systems, 155 mm calibre, have a range of 41 km.

Availability : N/A

"Autonomous cars and Spiderman-inspired drones."

Fabrice Auchert, Futura Sciences, May 23, 2019

(single source)

Researchers at Purdue University in the United States have developed new sensors based on biomimicry. They have been interested in how animals and insects learn about their environment, particularly the mechanisms of nerve endings in feathers and hair. Thus, researchers have created so-called passive sensors, defined as mechano-receptors inspired by spider hairs and integrated into the shell of a device. The purpose of these passive sensors is to indicate the presence of an obstacle to be avoided. The Spidermobile or Spiderdrone could therefore be developed in the next few years.

Availability : N/A

"GMLRS, HIMARS to get new rockets pods"

Tamir Eshel, Defense Update, 16 May 2019

(single source)

The American industrialist Lockheed Martin would develop a new system of modular rocket pods allowing the loading of rockets as they are used, whereas the old pods are thrown away after single use. TheUS army is said to have granted $10.5 million to the company for the development of this launch system. Ground tests are expected to begin this fall, with a flight test planned before the end of the calendar year. First deliveries of the new modular nacelle are scheduled for the fall of 2021.

Availability : 2021

"US Army and UK MoD move out with plans to acquire Elbit Systems' Iron Fist Light Decoupled APS"

Ashley Roque, Jane's, May 22, 2019

(single source)

The Israeli industrialist Elbit is expected to supply its Iron Fist active protection system to theUS Army and the British Ministry of Defence. TheUS Army is expected to sign a $122 million contract with the group next January and receive 2,484 Iron F ist systems to equip its Bradley armoured vehicles. The British MoD, for its part, would sign a $1 million contract to evaluate the system.

Availability : Immediate

"Players gather for robotic combat vehicle competition"

Jen Judson, Defense News, May 24, 2019.

(single source)

From May 13 to 17, Texas was the scene of a robotic combat vehicle prototyping competition. Organized by the Combat Capabilities Development Center's Ground Vehicle Systems Center (CCDC GVSC) and the National Advanced Military Consortium, the event was designed to build on what industry can currently offer and identify the future needs of the U.S. military for light, medium and heavy robotic combat vehicles as part of its modernization efforts. The Next-Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team (NGCV CFT) was tasked with developing near-term specifications for the production of new vehicles designed to compete against similarly equipped adversaries. Six teams consisting of eight vehicles were pitted against each other on the RELLIS campus of Texas A&M University: a team from Polaris , Applied Research Associates and Neva Systems; a team from Textron and Howe & Howe; but also Pratt & Miller; HDT Expeditionary Systems; AM General and QinetiQ North America.

Availability : N/A

"Russia studies possibility of creating electromagnetic missiles"

TASS, 24 May 2019

(single source)

According to the Russian news agency TASS, the Techmash company (belonging to the state conglomerate Rostec) is reportedly studying the possibility of creating electromagnetic explosive munitions compatible with missile-launching systems. This type of projectile would deliver powerful magnetic impulses on impact with the target. Its effects would go beyond electronic warfare alone, as in addition to destroying their target, they would be able to jam and create a false electromagnetic environment around the target. This type of ammunition would be used to hit a variety of targets such as conventional guided missiles, communications or navigation satellites. According to the TASS agency, the United States, Israel and Russia would be working to create such weapons.

Availability: N/A

"ARA unveils cutting-edge situational awareness technology for future battlefieds."

Defense Blog, May 22, 2019

(single source)

At the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) held in Tampa at the end of May,Applied ResearchAssociates(ARA) unveiled its new head-up display helmet at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) in Tampa. Called the ARC4(Augmented Reality, Command, Control, Communicate, Coordinate), this system is designed to inform the soldier about his environment on an ongoing basis. Thanks to this Augmented Reality helmet, the soldier perceives, in 3D, all the geospatial information he needs.

Availability : N/A

"Raytheon successfully tested advanced warhead for next-gen ballistic missile."

Defense Blog, May 23, 2019.

(single source)

The American arms manufacturer Raytheon is said to have successfully tested a next-generation ballistic missile called the Deepstrike. A first flight test would be scheduled for the end of 2019. This new missile is Raytheon's bid for theUS Army's Precision Strike Missile, or PrSM, programme. The PrSM will replace the tactical missile system, which was designed in the 1970s and is nearing the end of its operational life. According to Raytheon, two Deepstrikes can be launched from a single pod in a more reactive manner. With a longer range (between 60 and 499 km) and greater firepower, they would be half the cost. The missile would be more manoeuvrable and would have a modular and open architecture, simplifying system upgrades. TheUS Army would have made the PrSM programme a priority and would have accelerated the acquisition schedule in order to conduct tests as early as 2023 and during 2024. Large-scale production would then be considered. Initially, the missile would be usable only from the M142 launcher.

Availability : 2024

"DGA launches the development of a new generation of personal protective equipment for combatants against CBRN risks".

Directorate-General for Armaments, 24 May 2019

(single source)

The Directorate-General for Armaments (DGA) has notified a group of industrialists (composed of NBC-Sys, Ouvry, Paul Boyé Technologies, SP Défense) of the development of the programme known as the "Ensemble de protection individuel des armées" (EPIA). The aim of this programme is to replace the protective suits and masks used by the armed forces against CBRN risks that were put into service in the 1990s. EPIA will allow the combatant to continue his mission under CBRN attack while remaining protected. The system will be adapted to different weapon systems: aircraft, ships, land vehicles and individual equipment. Finally, the development work, in partnership with the armed forces, the DGA, the SSA and the SEA, will last five years.

Availability : 5 years

"CaMo adopted by the National Assembly"

National Assembly, 22 May 2019

(single source)

The National Assembly approved the agreement on cooperation between France and Belgium in the field of land mobility. This decision of the National Assembly follows the one adopted by the Senate last March (see Eclaireur No. 9 of1 April). Covering the Motorised Capability (CaMo) of the Belgian Land Component, the agreement establishes a genuine framework for military cooperation between the two countries, and concerns not only equipment but also training, education and doctrine, strengthening interoperability at the lowest level. Thus, the Belgian Land Component should receive 382 Griffon and 60 Jaguar aircraft, produced by the French manufacturers Nexter, Thales and Arquus, for a contract worth 1.5 billion euros.

Availability : N/A

"Notification of the second stage of the Ministry of Defence's ARTEMIS big data project."

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 23 May 2019

(source cross-checking)

In October 2018, the Directorate General for Armaments (DGA) presented the ARTEMIS project (architecture for processing and massive exploitation of multi-source information). This project aims to provide the Ministry of the Armed Forces with a sovereign infostructure for storing and processing massive data(big data). On 14 May 2019, the second phase of the project, which is being carried out in the framework of a partnership between ATOS, in association with Cap Gemini, and the Thales / Sopra Steria consortium, was notified. In two and a half years, one of these industrial duos will be selected to implement the platform. In order to decide between them, various experiments using ARTEMIS solutions have been ordered by the DGA from each partner: monitoring a fleet, maintenance, the state of health of military personnel or knowledge sharing. Pilot deployments will take place from 2020. The approved V1 version of the ARTEMIS platform is expected in 2021.

Availability : 2021

"MAINTENANCE. Naval Group. "Without technological supremacy, you can't win the war. "

Catherine Jaouen, Western France, May 23, 2019

(single source)

On May 28th and 29th, Naval Group organized the fourth edition of the Naval Innovation Days in Lorient. On this occasion, the president of the group, Hervé Guillou, returned to the importance of innovation for French arms manufacturers. He shared his vision of innovation as a guarantee of technological superiority in combat, sovereignty and French industrial competitiveness. In order to aim for better operational performance, the Innovation Days were held in the presence of French staffs, the Directorate General for Armaments (DGA) and major industrial groups. Hervé Guillou spoke about the need to identify future operational needs in order to develop appropriate solutions. Naval Group is currently investing in research and development on various innovations such as artificial intelligence, acoustic recognition, augmented reality or multi-drone cooperative systems.

Availability : N/A

"Nexter Robotics awarded High Research Secured - Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Sys contract."

Nexter, 24 May 2019

(single source)

Nexter Robotics has announced that it has been selected to supply 88 NERVA robots to the Canadian Army as part of the Army's High Research Secured-Romtely Operated Vehicle Systems (HRS-ROV) program with a four million euro contact. In collaboration with ECA Robotics and Deltic Group, Nexter is expected to deliver 79 Nerva®-LG and 9 Nerva®-XX. These two multi-mission robots can accommodate several payloads. Robust, waterproof and easily dismantled, they are designed to adapt to all types of terrain and can be controlled from a computer, smartphone or tablet. Once the mission is completed, the robot can automatically return. These vehicles are designed to carry out reconnaissance or operational support missions.

Availability : N/A

"The future Cheetah helicopter program advanced by one year."

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 28 May 2019

(source cross-checking)

The French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, announced on 27 May 2019 in Marignane that the Guépard Helicopter programme would be advanced by one year (2021 instead of 2022 for the first orders and first deliveries in 2026 instead of 2028). The armies will receive a total of 169 Guépard helicopters to replace five helicopter fleets (Alouette 3, Dauphin, Gazelle, Fennec and Panther): 80 for the Army, 49 for the Navy and 40 for the Air Force. The Light Joint Helicopter (LJH), produced by Airbus Helicopters, is a twin-engine, six-ton helicopter capable of flying at 180 knots (over 330 km/h). It can carry two crew members and five equipped fighters. The progress of the programme will be reflected in the next military programming law.

Availability : 2026

Presentation of the Arquus Beetle

CDEC, June 5, 2019

(single source)

The CDEC attended the presentation of the new prototype of the French industrialist Arquus, the Scarabee. Developed after a nine-month R&D process, the vehicle, a hybrid, can be equipped with a 25 or 30 mm barrel. Embarking three or four fighters, one of its particularities is to be teleoperable. In addition, the Scarabee, weighing eight tons, can tow a trailer, itself motorized (100% electric) and also teleoperable. Moreover, it could reach a speed of over 120 km/h, climb slopes of over 60° and have a range of 800 to 1000 km. Arquus, which celebrated its first anniversary on May 24th, is currently testing this prototype.

Availability : 1 year

"Secretary General's Allocation on NATO's Adaptation to Cyber Threats"

NATO, 23 May 2019

(single source)

"For fully effective deterrence, potential aggressors need to know that we are not limited in our ability to react when attacked in cyberspace ," said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO Cyber DefencePledge Conference on 23 May. Already in 2015, the Secretary General had declared that a cyber attack against one of the organization's members could trigger a collective response under Article 5. Among the reasons for this change, Stoltenberg refers mainly to the increase in cyber attacks and Russian interference in the cyber field since 2014. The latter, because they destabilize the "very foundations of democracy", will have to receive a "proportionate response", the senior NATO official said. After having already incorporated the cyber assets and capabilities of the members within the Alliance, this confirms the new NATO cyber posture since the 2016 "Commitment to Cyber Defence".

Availability : N/A

"Senate's Pentagon budget bill would obstruct Trump from leaving NATO"

Joe Gould, Defense News, May 24, 2019

(source cross-checking)

In the face of the many divergent statements by the US President concerning the continued US membership in NATO, some Senators have provided a first safeguard to an exit from the Alliance. Indeed, the Senate Armed Services Committee has proposed to include in the new Military Financing Act a mechanism to prevent, for one year, the financing of a withdrawal of US armed forces from Europe in the event of a decision to leave NATO. This would aim to prevent the immediacy of any US decision to withdraw from the Alliance and would give Congress "the opportunity to debate and challenge the decision if we think it is ill-founded", in the words of Senator Tim Kaine (Democrat).

Availability : N/A

"Doping soldiers so they fight better - is it ethical ?"

Maxwell Mehlman, Defense One, May 28, 2019.

(single source)

The issue of the soldier being augmented by taking substances and/or drugs is not new. During the Second World War the use of the amphetamine Dexedrine was common. Today, DARPA is testing ultra-potent food supplements, substances to make you stronger or to reduce the need to sleep such as modafinil. In this article, Maxwell Mehlman, a professor of health law and bioethics, examines the benefits and risks of drug use by combatants. The use of such drugs can enhance a soldier's performance in combat, can save lives, and can make mission accomplishment easier. However, some questions arise: Can a leader order soldiers to take drugs? According to the author, commanders could only do so if the benefits of taking drugs and the importance of the mission justify the risks to the combatant. Nevertheless, the use of these substances requires supervision, rules and consideration of the risks to which soldiers are exposed.

Availability : N/A

"Eyeing China, Pentagon unveils new report on rare earth minerals"

Phil Stewart, The Sydney Morning Herald, May 30, 2019

(single source)

The U.S. Department of Defense recently sent a report to Congress calling for a reduction in the country's dependence on Chinese rare earth minerals. Until now, China has accounted for 80% of US imports of rare earth minerals, but now threatens to significantly reduce its exports. Rare earth minerals remain indispensable for the manufacture of military equipment such as satellites, lasers and other missile defence systems. In response to growing concerns in Washington about Beijing's role as a supplier, the Department of Defense would like to restore domestic production of rare earth minerals through a federal program that has yet to be defined.

Availability : N/A

"New materials, key ingredients in the weapons of the future."

Hassan Meddah, The New Plant, 31 May 2019

(single source)

Future weapon systems depend on the development of new materials and high-performance alloys. The French Ministry of the Armed Forces and the French defence industry are working to improve the performance of weapon systems through new alloy compositions and innovative manufacturing processes. Flash sintering is one of the innovative technologies. It enables "the agglomeration of nanopowders under the effect of a strong electrical impulse" in order to obtain resistant parts. To meet specific needs, the objective is to be able to develop alloy combinations that promote the desired mechanical characteristic (toughness, ductility, refractoriness, etc.). Last February, the French Ministry of the Armed Forces allocated €115 million to Safran to enable it to develop the materials needed for the future engine of the Future Air Combat System (SCAF). These materials must be capable of withstanding unprecedented stresses, such as resistance to temperatures of up to 2,100°C.

Availability : N/A

"The Hobart's Funnies of the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy."

(source cross-checking)

Born in India in 1885, the British Percy Hobart graduated from the Woolwich Military Academy in 1904, and joined the Army Engineers. Then, after serving in France and Iraq, he joined the armoured army, where he became "brigadier general" in 1934. Following the failed raid on Dieppe in 1942, he learnt the main lesson of the difficulties of such a landing: tanks were quickly blocked by artificial and natural obstacles. Thus, on the eve of Operation Overlord, he designed Hobart's Funnies, eight types of armoured vehicles modified from British Churchill and American Sherman tank chassis. These armoured vehicles included the Crocodile, equipped with a flame-thrower and particularly effective in the Normandy bocage, and the Bibbin, equipped with a roller to prevent the following vehicles from sinking into the sand. The famous Crab, made from a Sherman tank, was equipped with a flail that exploded enemy mines.

"Did you know that? Stubby: Canine hero of the Great War."

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 22 May 2019

(source cross-checking)

The most decorated dog of the First World War with fourteen military honors, Stubby, an American bull terrier, participated in no less than seventeen battles of the Great War. Stubby was also capable of preventing mustard gas attacks, spotting the sound of shells before the soldiers, and hearing the cries of the wounded in no-man's-land. The bull terrier would even identify a spy in a trench by hearing him whisper a word of German. Today, the missions entrusted to dogs in elite or specialized units are evolving with new technologies. Attacks, explosive detection and reconnaissance are now part of these functions. Thus Lioda, the Malinois of the1st RPIMa, equipped with cameras and capable of receiving orders by radio up to a distance of 300 meters.

 


 
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