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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 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 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 that he or she must draw from it.


"U.S. Army to receive first five short-range air defense systems in October"

Defence Blog, 22 June 2019

(single source)

Terry Young, Senior Advisor to the Director of theAir and Missile Defense Cross-Functional Team of Army Futures Command, announced that theUS Army will receive its first five Maneuver Short Range Air Defense System (MSHORAD) in October. This anti-aircraft variant of the Stryker should be equipped with a 30 mm M230 LF Chain Gun, a 7.62 mm machine gun, two Hellfire missiles (range 8000 meters) and four Stinger missiles (range 4800 meters, ceiling 3800 meters) inserted in two external pods. Offering 360-degree protection, this new mobile system would provide the armoured brigades with a robust accompanying defence capability (helicopters, planes and aerial drones). TheUS Army 's equipment plan calls for the delivery of 144 systems, making it possible to equip four battalions by 2023 (see Scouting No. 7).

Availability : 2019-2023


"US Army retrofits surface-to-air Stinger missiles ."

Defence Blog, 19 June 2019 (direct source)

(single source)

On June 18, the American industrialist Raytheon announced that theUS Army plans to modernize its Stinger ground-to-air missiles. Now equipped with proximity rockets that allow the warhead to explode on approach to the target, these missiles will be able to destroy a wider range of threats (drones in particular) while retaining their traditional ability to intercept on impact. The choice between one or other of these modes of aggression would be left to the operators, once the target has been acquired. Once qualified, these missiles should be available to US forces later this year.

Availability: 2019


"Estonia orders Spike"

Nicholas Fiorenza, Jane's, June 21, 2019

(single source)

The Estonian Ministry of Defence reportedly signed a 40 million euro framework agreement with the German-Israeli company Eurospike , which specialises in guided missiles. This contract would include the acquisition and maintenance of Spike missiles as well as staff training. With a range of four thousand metres, these are ground-to-ground, anti-personnel and anti-tank guided missiles. These weapon systems, intended for the anti-tank companies of the Estonian infantry brigades, would be delivered by the end of 2020.

Availability: third quarter of 2020


"US Army seeking new sensors for ground combat vehicles"

Ashley Roque, Jane's, June 21, 2019

(single source)

TheUS Army is reportedly planning to equip its combat vehicles with new sensors that will allow crews to improve their perception of their immediate external environment. In a June 19 request for information published on its website, the Federal Business Opportunities says it is looking for ready-to-use uncooled long infrared(LWIR) sensor technology. These sensors would provide a wider field of view and would allow crews to view high-definition video day and night.

Availability : N/A


"Russian Army to Receive New 8×8 Boomerang AFV Prototypes for Testing"

Defense Update, June 24, 2019

(source cross-checking)

According to the Defense Update website, the Russian Boomerang 8x8 VPK 7829 combat vehicle is likely to replace certain armoured transport vehicles such as the BTR80. Developed by the VPK company, the Boomerang will be available in two versions: a 25-ton K17 armoured combat vehicle (AFV) and a 22-ton K16 amphibious vehicle (APC). This new vehicle with a range of 800 km is powered by a new 750 HP diesel engine and can travel at speeds of up to 100 km/h on roads, 50 km/h off-road and 10 km/h in water. Capable of carrying eight fighters, the K17 can be equipped with Afganit Hard Kill countermeasures. These allow the interception of anti-tank missiles and rockets from 4 to 200 metres from the vehicle using a radar detection system. Several cameras are fitted to the vehicle, providing the crew with a 360-degree view. The Boomerang is equipped with a remotely operated 30mm 2A42 cannon and has reinforced armour against IEDs and mines.

Availability : N/A


"Saab and FMV sign framework agreement for Carl-Gustaf® M4."

Saab, press release, June 26, 2019

(single source)

On 26 June, the Swedish company Saab announced that it had signed a framework agreement with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration to equip their forces with Carl-Gustaf® M4. Developed in 2014, the fourth generation of the 84 mm portable antirole weapon system man-portable is more accurate and lighter (less than 7 kg). Likely to incorporate future technological developments, this model could, in the future, accommodate intelligent targeting systems as well as programmable munitions. An initial order worth €313 million has been placed for delivery between 2020 and 2023.

Availability : 2020/2023






"[Video] Griffon: Next Generation Armored"

Youtube, Ministry of the Armed Forces, 4 July 2019

(single source)

The first GRIFFON Multi-Role Armoured Vehicles (MRAV) were delivered to the French Army on 4 July by Nexter Systems as part of the SCORPION programme. They will eventually replace the 2,700 armoured front line vehicles (VAB) currently in service. The first units to receive these new vehicles are the following regiments:3rd Infantry Marine Regiment (3eRIMa), 13th Alpine Fighter Battalion (13thBCA),1st Infantry Regiment (1stRI), 21st Infantry Marine Regiment (21stRIMa) and the3rd Infantry Marine Parachute Regiment (3rdRPIMa). To accompany this deployment, several units and schools will play an essential role for the first formations and then the formations: the 1st African Chasseurs Regiment (1erRCA), the Signals School, the Maintenance School and all the Weapons Schools. By the end of 2019, 92 units will be delivered and by the end of 2025, 936 of the 1872 GRIFFONs will equip army units.

Availability: immediate


"The new resuscitation and rescue surgery unit (ARCS)"

Armed Forces Health Service, 27 June 2019

(single source)

On 27 June, the Ministry of the Armed Forces announced the replacement of the Air Carrier Surgical Antenna (ACA) with the Resuscitation and Rescue Surgery Antenna (ARCS). The ARCS will constitute, as of 2020, the first surgical structure in the chain of care in French operations. Its genesis dates back to 2016 when, following the feedback from Operation Serval, the surgical unit was completely redesigned, both technologically and organizationally, so that it could be set up in an emergency. The ARCS is now lighter (5 tons for 27m3) and can be deployed in 2 hours. It can treat ten war wounded per day before being evacuated to a higher level structure.

Availability : 2020


"The first three "Used by the French Army" labelsawarded at the Paris Air Show"

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 21 June 2019

(single source)

On June 17, on the occasion of the International Air and Space Exhibition (SIAE)The French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly, accompanied by Mr Joël Barre, General Delegate for Armament, awarded the first three labels "Used by the French Armed Forces" to the company Zhendre and the SMEs Telerad and Lheritier. These three companies specialise respectively in refrigeration systems and containerised solutions, air and maritime radio communication systems, and finally in rugged cameras and optical systems. This label is the culmination of the "Action PME" plan to support the development and innovations of Defence SMEs and export companies. Aimed at highlighting the know-how of the French defence industry in the face of foreign competition, this label certifies the quality of French export equipment from SMEs and mid-sized companies.

Availability : immediate


"Artificial Intelligence: A Turning Point for European Security and Defence"

Studies and Foresight Unit, 20 June 2019

(single source)

On 20 June, the Europe Committee of the War School organised a conference on "Artificial Intelligence and European Defence". Bringing together institutional, French and foreign military, industrial and civil society representatives, this conference aimed to draw up an initial inventory of the advances in artificial intelligence (AI) within our armed forces and the European Union. Through three round tables dealing successively with the institutional, operational and industrial aspects of AI, this event was an opportunity to examine the challenges that this breakthrough innovation sector represents for the future of European defence. This seminar, which swept away the fantasies raised by AI in favour of its real operational challenges, precisely recalled the already planned integration of this technology at all levels and in all areas of operations management (decision-support, planning, collaborative combat, etc.).

Availability : N/A


"Air shock absorber exposed at JNBAT."

CDEC's Studies and Foresight Division

The OEM RXR Protect was exhibiting a sub-girdle device called the "Air shock absorber". Conducted in collaboration with the Armed Forces Health Service (SSA) and the Armed Forces Biomedical Research Institute (IRBA), this device aims to reduce the rear effects during ballistic impacts. Weighing approximately 500 g, this sub-girdle is an air-cushion system with compartments and partitions. Designed to mitigate the sinking effects caused by the transmission of residual energy from the ballistic protection to the human body after impact, the "Air shock absorber" would succeed in dividing this energy by five.

Availability : 2020


"[Video] Our military has ideas: the HEM-AUT"

Army, 23 November 2018

Presented for the first time on 22 November 2018 at the Defence Innovation Forum, the "HEM-AUT" automated haemorrhage simulator, designed and produced by Chief Warrant Officer Romain (first aid instructor at the Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan schools), was on display at the National Army Wounded Day (JNBAT). The aim of this device is to make the simulations as realistic as possible in order to train future first responders as well as possible. The "HEM-AUT" could be integrated into combat rescue training (levels 1 to 3), gendarmerie intervention rescue as well as professional rescue teams (health auxiliaries, firemen, civil security associations). This system appears to be less expensive, less imposing and easier to use than its competitors.

Availability : N/A


"The Medpack: Portable out-of-hospital medical station."

IMP-France, June1, 2018

The "Medpack", a portable out-of-hospital medical station, developed by the French company Innovative Medical Partners (IMP), was on display on National Army Casualty Day. It includes several multifunctional work surfaces, a hook for infusion, another for a lighting system and waste management means in the lower part. Improving the working conditions of pre-hospital medical teams, it ensures better control of hygiene, safety and ergonomic conditions in the care. Finally, the "Medpack" would reduce the cost of destroying waste from healthcare activities. Today, it is used by several French and foreign entities, including the Paris Fire Brigade and several Departmental Fire and Rescue Services.

Availability : immediate


"The Wandercraft exoskeleton, an innovative technology for the benefit of soldiers."

CDEC, July1, 2019

On June 22nd, the Wandercraft start up highlighted a demonstration of its exoskeleton in front of the Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly. Allowing to walk without crutches and freeing the hands of its user, this revolutionary system based on the Atalante model should be functional within 10 years. Marketed in centres with a rehabilitation and physical medicine department, this innovative exoskeleton with 26 sensors and easy to use for people with reduced mobility could be used to re-educate soldiers.

Availability : N/A



"White House updates new National Intelligence Strategy"

Aaron Boyd, Defense One, June 22, 2019

(single source)

Aware of the necessary synergies between the public and private sectors in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), the Trump administration amended, by an executive order of 21 June, the American strategy on AI, promulgated three years earlier. In addition to the seven initial axes of the 2016 strategy, which included the development of effective methods of AI-human collaboration and the securing of AI systems, the design of public-private partnerships was added to the seven initial axes of the strategy. Going beyond simple funding policies in terms of AI, the United States (whose investments nevertheless represent 20 billion euros per year), like Israel, is therefore betting on the development of a particularly agile public/private innovation ecosystem.


"Future military rifles: alternative small arms technologies".

Grant Turnbull, Army Technology, June 19, 2019

(single source)

In this article, the author takes stock of the operations of Western armies in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa that have provided feedback on the performance of individual weapons. Indeed, certain limitations of rifles and calibres in stock have been highlighted. 5.56 mm ammunition, which presents risks of ricochet but also has a lower stopping power, does not always seem to be suitable for special forces operating in compartmentalised environments. Moreover, the 5.56mm calibre also suffers from its lower long-range power. On this subject, Grant Turnbull mentions the annual Enforce Tac conference of 6 and 7 March 2019, where members of special forces and industrialists met to discuss the evolution of individual weapons. On this occasion, they discussed alternative solutions to meet the needs of the forces. The current preferred solution would be to modify the weapons in stockpile to allow the use of the 7.62 mm calibre with greater stopping power. It is important to note that the switch to the 7.62mm calibre is also accompanied by an increase in weight (ammunition weight) and a lengthening of the weapon, which can prove problematic in compartmentalized environments.


"NATO Secretary General's Press Conference".
NATO, 27 June 2019

(single source)

On 27 June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke at the end of the meeting of the Ministers of Member States. He took the opportunity to reiterate the points raised, the most important of which was Afghanistan. Recalling the commitment of the Allies to Operation Resolute Support in support of the Afghan security forces, the NATO representative said he was optimistic that a peaceful resolution of the conflict could be envisaged between the actors in the conflict. The question of force generation within the Alliance was then addressed, with Stoltenberg recalling the " Four Thirties " objective, three quarters of which is currently being met. Indeed, NATO intends to be able to generate the following forces in 30 days: 30 warships, 30 air squadrons and 30 battalions. The Secretary General also welcomed the adoption by Ministers of a Space Policy, through which NATO "could play an important role in sharing information and improving interoperability". Finally, the issue of "burden sharing" within the Alliance concluded the address, with Stoltenberg saying that eight members would soon be able to meet the 2% of GDP target for defence investment.


"Russia wraps up large-scale military drills involving 150,000 troops"

TASS, 28 June 2019

(single source)

From 24 to 28 June, 150,000 Russian military personnel conducted a joint surprise exercise from Western Siberia to the Caspian Sea. This large-scale exercise, under the responsibility of the Central Military District, mobilized 20,000 vehicles, 500 aircraft and 35 Russian warships. The aim of the exercise was to test the readiness of the troops and their ability to deploy at short notice to Central Asia. The training appears to have been successful. The responsiveness and build-up of Russian units during the four days was demonstrated.


.


"June 24th, 1859, Solferino gives birth to the Red Cross"

Alban Dignat, Herodotus, 6 April 2019

(single source)

Twenty days after the Battle of Magenta on June 4, 1859, the Franco-Sardinian armies once again faced the Austrian forces of Emperor Franz Joseph I. Victor-Emmanuel II (King of Piedmont-Sardinia), supported by Napoleon III, hopes to achieve Italian unity in exchange for Savoy and Nice. Despite its defeat at Magenta, the 180,000-strong Austrian army, commanded by its young emperor, stands ready to face the 150,000 men of the Franco-Sardinian army. After several hours of battle, Napoleon III launched a massive attack in the heart of the enemy's defences, on the village of Solferino. The Austrian Emperor was forced to withdraw to avoid encirclement. The battle will make more than 40 000 wounded, dead or missing. Solferino will mark the end of the war and the signing of an armistice between the belligerents. It is then that Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman present in the region, will discover that the wounded are abandoned without care on the battlefield. Shaken by this vision, he decided to found the Red Cross, which officially came into being in 1863.


"June 26th 1794, the day the French army uses an observation balloon"

Frédéric Lewino and Gwendoline Dos Santos, LePoint, 26 June 2019

(single source)

In 1794, a Much of Europe is at war with the French Republic as coalition forces prepare to confront General Jourdan's army in Fleurus, near Namur in the Austrian Netherlands. This is when French troops will use a hydrogen observation balloon for the first time. The Entreprenant, with the captain of the Coutelle balloon company on board, will rise up to 300 metres above the Jumet plateau to observe the movements of the coalition forces. The information is then transmitted by means of a flag signal. This strange apparition will have a limited tactical impact, but a strong psychological influence on the Austrian troops, who will feel spied upon throughout the battle. For their part, the French troops will see this observation balloon as an encouraging sign of technological superiority over the enemy. At the cost of heavy losses (nearly 5,000, dead, wounded or missing), General Jourdan's forces repelled the coalition who then abandoned the region to retreat towards the Holy Roman Empire.


"Great War: the French Poilus also fought at the Battle of the Somme."

Stéphanie Trouillard, France 24, 29 June 2016

(single source)

July1, 1916 marked the beginning of the Somme offensive by the Allied forces. Initially conceived by General Joffre's staff in 1915 and planned by General Foch in 1916, the Somme offensive was the first large-scale joint Franco-British operation. Nevertheless, the British would support the majority of the shock during this one. Indeed, the French forces are engaged in the Battle of Verdun, and do not have the troops necessary to conduct such an operation alone. After a week of artillery preparation, Commonwealth soldiers launched the assault towards the villages of Beaumont, Hamel and Hardecourt. The first day was a veritable bloodbath, with the British losing more than 19,000 men in twelve hours. The Allied forces advance some 12 kilometres eastward, but do not succeed in breaking through the German front. The battle ended in November 1916, but the Allies had not managed to gain a real tactical advantage. in the area. Total casualties will amount to over one million men on both sides, of which 443 000 killed or missing (170,000 for the British, 206,000 for the Germans and 67,000 for the French). This battle will also mark a technological turning point with the first use of the tank and the search for air superiority (with the first "trench artillery").»). These new tools, coupled with the massive artillery barrages, will profoundly affect the armed forces of both sides, which will subsequently generalize their use.

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