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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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Issue No. 18 - September 9, 2019

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.




"Big New Army capabilities coming soon

Association of the United States Army, 16 July 2019

(single source)

On 16 July 2019, during an interview with theAssociation of the United States Army, General Ostrowski, director of the United States Army Acquisition Corps, revealed the collaboration of theArmy and Navy to develop a land-based version of the laser weapon developed by the Navy. TheArmy plans to acquire mobile devices with a power of up to 250 Kwh, such as the Navy's laser. Such capabilities would make it possible to significantly strengthen the land forces' low-level ground-to-air defence capabilities. General Ostrowski has also indicated that theArmy should acquire its first hypersonic missile battery in 2023.

Availability : 2022



"Test drive of Rafael's transparent cockpit next generation combat vehicle."

Army Recognition, 7 August 2019

(single source)

As part of the Carmel armoured combat vehicle programme, the Israeli Ministry of Defence has entrusted three subcontractors - Elbit, Rafael and Israel Aerospace Industries - with the development and testing of a tank operated by a two-man crew. Rafael announces that it will very soon be able to equip future Israeli combat vehicles with a protected and fully transparent interior. The crew would benefit from a 360° vision thanks to external sensors. Artificial intelligence and augmented reality would be integrated into this system in order to reduce the crew's cognitive load. All available information, obtained collaboratively on the battlefield, would be displayed on the screen. These innovations aim to reduce the crew's reaction time and thus increase the vehicle's survivability.

Availability : 5 years



"Alliance and its challenges, European projects and joint exercises - meeting of the head of the MoND with German Defence Minister A. Kramp-Karrenbauer"

Polish Ministry of Defence, 16 August 2019

(single source)

On 16 August, the Polish Minister of National Defence discussed with his German counterpart the possibility of Poland joining the programme for the future European tank. The Minister wants the European Main Ground Combat System to be accelerated and notified by the Permanent Structured Cooperation. Such an initiative would make it possible to strengthen the project with European funds.

Availability : N/A



"U.S. Army discloses development of biosensors for future warfighter."

Defence Blog, August 19, 2019

(single source)

TheUS Army Research Laboratory recently unveiled details of a biosensor that would allow real-time monitoring of soldiers' health and performance. In addition, placed on or under the skin, it would be able to analyze its biological environment.

Availability : N/A



"Saab to provide training systems to the Belgian Army in 2021"

Army recognition, 19 August 2019

(source cross-checking)

The Swedish group Saab has signed a contract worth approximately 15 million euros with the Belgian Ministry of Defence for the delivery of training systems to the Belgian army in 2021. The contract includes a training centre with infantry simulators, anti-tank simulators, vehicle systems and communication systems for control, monitoring and collection of training data to enable detailed exercise analysis. One of the acquisition clauses was interoperability and compliance with NATO standards.

Availability : N/A



"Canada to purchase 360 combat support light armoured vehicles"

Army technology, August 19, 2019

(single source)

The Canadian government has announced plans to purchase 360 light armoured vehicles 3(LAV III) from General Dynamics Land systems-Canada . The contract, which would be in its final drafting phase, would be valued at $2.26 billion and would cover the installation of new infrastructure as well as the maintenance of the vehicles. These AVLs offer enhanced occupant protection and come in eight models: ambulance, troop transport, command post, vehicle recovery, engineering, repair and electronic warfare. The Canadian government is committed to modernizing its infantry vehicle fleet, which consists primarily of 125 Bison LAV 2 Bison and 289 U.S. M113s.

Availability : N/A



"Prototype house is 3D printed in just 12 hours."

New Atlas, Adam Willams, 20 August 2019

(single source)

The American company S-Squared 3D Printers managed to build a 46 m² house in just 12 hours using additive manufacturing processes. The company's goal is not to offer luxury construction, but low-cost housing. In particular, the company wants these houses to be used for humanitarian causes. By comparison, in September 2018, during an exercise, the U.S. Marine Corps had built a building of the same size in 40 hours.

Availability: immediate (prototype)



"US Army develops cold spray process to repair gun mounts on Bradley."

US Army, 22 August 2019

(source cross-checking)

Faced with the premature erosion of the trunnions of its Bradley M2 combat vehicles, theUS Army developed a cold spraying technique. This technique mixes metal and ceramics to add material to consolidate the trunnion. The process costs only $1,000 to repair, so the U.S. Army does not have to spend $25,000 to purchase the part.

Availability : N/A



"Fedor, the Russian humanoid robot, has taken off for the ISS."

Futura sciences, August 22, 2019

(source cross-checking)

On August 22, Russia sent its first remotely operated humanoid spacecraft, the Soyuz rocket, to help astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS). SKYBOT F850 is a 160-kg, 180-centimeter spacecraft that traveled alone as a passenger to the ISS. It has the particularity of being able to imitate human movements. The operator controls the machine from Earth and assists the astronauts in certain tasks. The goal of such a system is to reduce the risk to humans on the station. Ultimately, Russia would like these machines to perform spacewalks. This is not the first spacecraft of this type sent to the ISS, as the United States and Japan did the same in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

Availability : immediate



"ReconRobotics enhances Throwbot 2 with stun grenade"

Jane's international Defence review, Melanie Rovery, 23 August 2019

(single source)

The American company ReconRobotics has signed a partnership with Liberty Dynamics to equip the Throwbot 2 Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) with a stunning capacity. In its initial configuration, the vehicle is a remotely piloted reconnaissance device equipped with audio and video sensors. In addition, its wheels would allow it to progress better in rough environments. It would be equipped with an Enhanced Diversionary Device (EDD) that produces sound and light, incapacitating opponents. This device is considered safer than current grenades.

Availability: N/A



"Estonia in collaboration with European countries to develop Modular Unmanned Ground Systems

Army recognition, 23 August 2019

(source cross-checking)

On 23 August, the Estonian Defence signed an agreement with Belgium, France, Finland, Germany and Latvia for the development ofIntegrated Unmanned Ground Systems (IUSG). The objective is to develop a modular unmanned ground system with a multi-mission platform capable of carrying different loads (transport, ISR, captive UAV, etc.) and sensors. It would also be equipped with a digitally secured autonomous navigation function for route and mission planning. The European Defence Fund (EDF) will invest nearly €30 million in this project. The Estonian company MILREM, designer of the robot THeMis (Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System), has joined the project. A first prototype should be presented in 2021.

Availability: N/A



"Japanese army unveils its new type 19 155mm 8x8 wheeled self-propelled howitzer."

Army recognition, 24 August 2019

(single source)

On the occasion of the firepower event, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces unveiled the new Type 19 self-propelled gun. Composed of a MAN military chassis and an armoured cabin, it is equipped with a 155 mm gun and has a crew of five men. Like the French CAESAR, it is equipped with a fire control computer in the cabin. Finally, a hydraulic system limits shocks during firing and stabilizes the platform. Following the example of the Israelis with the ATMOS Mobile Howitzer (see Scout 14) and the Americans with the BRUTUS, the Japanese also equipped themselves with a self-propelled artillery piece.

Availability : N/A



"Россия создаст принципиально новый вертолет"

"The Russian military is going to create a fundamentally new helicopter."

Российская Газета (Russian Gazette), 28 August 2019

(source cross-checking)

The "Helicopters of Russia" consortium, which brings together all Russian manufacturers, is currently working on a project in collaboration with the design offices of Kamov and Mil, as well as the Kazan plant. For the first time, around 30 mass-produced parts using an additive printing process will be used in its design. These innovations should make it possible to build a faster, lighter and less expensive helicopter based on the Mi-24.

Availability : N/A



"Lithuania gets US approval to buy 500 joint light tactical vehicles."

Army Technology, 28 August 2019

(source cross-checking)

The US State Department has approved Lithuania's request for the purchase of 500 M1278A1 tactical light vehicles for an estimated amount of $171 million. The order also includes the acquisition of 50 mm M2HB machine guns and M230 TAC-FLIR long-range high-resolution thermal imaging cameras. According to the Defence Security Cooperation Agency, which is responsible for the transfer of defence equipment, this sale should contribute to "US foreign and security policy objectives by improving Lithuania's defence capabilities".

Availability : N/A



"Army closer to delivering new Infantry Squad Vehicle"

U.S. Army, August 29, 2019

(source cross-checking)

Following a call for tenders, the US Army is preparing to acquire a new infantry vehicle, after having put three manufacturers(Oshkosh Defense/Flyer, GM Defense and SAIC/Polaris) out to tender on 23 August. This $1 million test contract meets the procurement objectives set by theArmy in February, which called for the purchase of 649 Infantry Squad Vehicles (ISVs). It aims to develop upgraded versions of the light infantry transport vehicles GMV 1.1 and the A-GMV. The upgraded vehicles will have to offer increased tactical mobility and speed. They will be able to accommodate up to nine infantry soldiers and a payload capacity of two tonnes. The first test for the three competing teams is scheduled for November 13 and production is scheduled for the second quarter of 2020.

Availability : 2020



"Iran unveils Mobin cruise UAV."

Jane's, August 29, 2019

(source cross-checking)

On the occasion of the MAKS 2019 aerospace exhibition in Moscow at the end of August, Iran presented a model of its new rapid reconnaissance drone: the Mobin. With a three-metre wingspan and a mass of 670 kg, it would be capable of carrying out 3D mapping missions on land and underwater. Equipped with an altimetric radar and fitted with the "Toloo-4" engine, it would be capable of operating from an altitude of 10 to 1700 m, at a maximum speed of 900 km/h for 45 minutes. On1 September, Iran also unveiled in Tehran a new model of reconnaissance and combat drone: the Kian. Equipped with jet propulsion, it could, according to the Iranian authorities, fly at an altitude of more than 1,000 km.

Availability : N/A



"В России началась разработка систем нового поколения"

"In Russia, the development of next-generation Krasukha systems has begun"

Российская Газета (Russian Gazette), 30 August 2019.

(source cross-checking)

Announced at the Moscow International Air Show (MAKS in August 2019) by the company KRET, the modernization and creation of new generation electronic warfare systems was undertaken with the aim of replacing the EW stations " Krasukha-4" and "Mercury-BM". These new systems would be able to improve area interdiction capabilities through intensive jamming. Modernization of the interference system of the "Krasukha" station would make it possible to jam any on-board radio transmission, as well as cruise missile radars within a radius of 500 km.

Availability: N/A



"Here's who will build and integrate the first hypersonic weapon system prototype."

Jen Judson, Defense News, August 31, 2019

(single source)

TheUS Army has announced the development of a prototype Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) consisting of trucks, launchers, hypersonic missiles and a command and control centre.Dynetics Technical Solutions would be the first company to produce the weapon system called Common-Hypersonic glide body (C-HGB) and launched from a ground-based delivery vehicle. Lockheed Martin has been contracted to develop a suitable launcher. This prototype, which aims to achieve five times the speed of sound, would enable the United States to strengthen its capacity for long-distance precision launches (hitherto provided by ATACMS and LRPF missiles) while supporting the development of an industry specialising in the hypersonic field. Other companies such as Raytheon and General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems could join the project. The first test in real conditions should take place in 2022 within theArmy.

Availability: N/A




"A robot used to implant an electronic hearing aid, a world first. "

France Inter, Danielle Messager, 13 August 2019

(single source)

On 9 July, using the robot Robotol, surgeons from the Parisian hospital Pitié-Salpêtrière inserted an electronic implant (cochlear prosthesis) into a patient's ear canal. This implant aims to increase the hearing level of people with profound or severe deafness. The Robotol remote-controlled device progresses at a rate of 0.3 mm per second, allowing greater precision during the operation to reach parts of the ear that are difficult to reach. This operation, the first in the world, shows the advantage of collaboration between man and machine in hard-to-reach areas.

Availability : N/A



"Nancy: a robot to limit radiological risks"

Le Républicain Lorrain, Marie-Hélène Vernier, August 25, 2019

(single source)

Start-up Sysark has created a robot capable of handling radioactive drugs. This device would allow caregivers to be relieved of repetitive tasks. In addition, this machine would reduce by 80% the irradiation of operators during the preparation phase of radiopharmaceutical drugs. This would increase safety and also reduce the risk of human error.

Availability : N/A



"Europe's Defence Europe takes its first steps in missiles."

Les Echos, August 29, 2019

(source cross-checking)

On 29 August 2019, in the margins of a meeting of EU Defence Ministers in Helsinki, Armaments Minister Florence Parly signed a letter of intent with her Belgian and Cypriot counterparts concerning the European anti-tank missile project BLOS (Beyond Line Of Sight). Led by France, the aim is to develop a medium-range (5 km) anti-tank missile combining "firepower, autonomy, responsiveness and freedom of action" that can be fired from land platforms as well as from drones. Approved last November by the Council of European Defence Ministers, this programme is part of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PSC) framework. As such, it should receive funding of 6.5 million euros from the European Defence Industry Development Programme (EDIDP) as of this year. While this cooperation continues the dynamic initiated by the Franco-Belgian CaMo programme, it above all marks a step forward in favour of European strategic autonomy.

Availability : N/A



"Speech by Florence Parly -2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment - Saint-Christol"

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 5 September 2019

(single source)

On the occasion of her visit to the2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment, the Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly returned to the necessary involvement of the military in the government's ecological policy. After having published a roadmap for the construction of a "sustainable defence", the Ministry of the Armed Forces is now launching its ministerial energy performance strategy (SMPE). The prevention of environmental risks, the control of the carbon footprint and the development of solar parks will be overseen by the Energy Task Force that will be created within the Ministry in the coming days.

Availability : N/A




"Crossed Perspectives on Electronic Warfare."

IFRI, Olivier Letertre, Patrick Justel, Romain Lechâble, Stéphane Dosse, July 2019

(single source)

The French Institute for International Relations (IFRI) has published an article on the questioning of the information domination by new electronic warfare capabilities. Faced with increasingly effective adversaries, the authors believe that the Western vision of electronic warfare must be renewed. The paper highlights the state of the strategic and capability challenges of electronic warfare on the ground and in the air, and takes a forward-looking look at the exploitation of radio emissions. Finally, the editors conclude by highlighting the realities and limitations of the cyber-electronic linkages.



"China's National Defense in the New Era"

Ministry of National Defence of the People's Republic of China, 24 July 2019

(single source)

On 24 July, the Ministry of National Defence of the People's Republic of China published its new Defence White Paper. The second document of this type, drafted by the People's Republic, highlights its commitment to peace and recalls that dialogue is essential between the parties to resolve conflicts. However, China points to certain threats, in particular Taiwanese separatism, terrorism and foreign interference in its area of influence. Beijing is particularly critical of US interventionism and stresses the further increase in military budgets, especially in Europe, Japan and India. In this sense, the modernisation undertaken by China of its military tool is considered fair and proportionate. In short, the aim of this document is to reassure the international community, particularly neighbouring countries, of China's intentions in the Asia-Pacific region, while stating that it would not renounce violence if those interests were threatened.



"With mounting questions about cost and survivability, a shifting political landscape for US aircraft carriers"

Defense News, David B. Larter, Joe Gould, August 6, 2019

(single source)

On July 31, 2019, Admiral Gildway, Chief of Naval Operations for theUS Navy, was asked to respond to US Senators' concerns about the development of hypersonic weapons. Officials believe that such technology makes U.S. aircraft carriers vulnerable. Russian and Chinese weapons would endanger American fleets. According to the senators, these "nightmare" missiles could, in a short period of time, reduce US naval aviation capabilities. The US armed forces do not yet have counter-measures against this threat, so it is imperative for Senators to find a way to protect US aircraft carriers.



"Transnational lessons from terrorist use of social media in South Asia"

RUSI, Aaditha Ave, 13 August 2019

(single source)

The Royal United Service Institute has published a paper on the use of social networks by terrorist groups in Asia, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The paper points out that despite the efforts of major social platforms to remove pages advocating violence, the algorithms are not yet powerful enough to detect messages that are not in English, such as those in Tamil. In this region, inter-community violence is significant and terrorists use these messages to recruit young people willing to radicalize. Moreover, since terrorists most often use encrypted platforms, such as Telegrams, the question of the balance between freedom and security also arises. The author thus proposes a greater public-private partnership to counter terrorism on social networks.



"The fraying edge: limit's of the army's global network"

Sydney J. Freedberg, Breaking Defense, August 29, 2019

(single source)

The United States military would look at ways to improve its network capabilities to allow tactical levels deployed in the field to access real-time information stored on its United States-based servers. Indeed, the means of communication in operation (essentially by radio link) and the heterogeneity of the networks limit exchanges, not allowing access to such a quantity of information. This is why theUS Army has set itself the objective of unifying its networks in metropolitan France(Integrated Enterprise Network) and in the field(Integrated Tactical Network) by 2024, so that by 2028 they will be merged into a single network(Unified Network). Finally, in the long term, cloud storage systems such as the MilDrive program developed by the Defense Information System Agency (DISA), should enable secure access to information in the field.




"Joint AI Chief: Start with 50% ASAP Solutions

Sydney J. Freednberg JR, Breaking Defense, 30 August 2019

(single source)

Although AI is already used by theUS Army, the latter has the ambition to extend its application to the maintenance of military equipment, fire management and essential command and control functions in general. However, its accuracy is far from perfect. Indeed, the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) claims to use it only partially and is actively seeking to improve its reliability. This improvement will involve the implementation of a cloud-based Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) system that aims to bring together all of the Department of Defense's data in a single corpus. This consolidation will enable the gathering of multiple data on which the AI algorithms can be based, improving the clarity and accuracy of the information collected. Although computerized systems already exist to help process this information, these systems are too numerous and the information is not very centralized. The JAIC wishes to have it in place by the end of 2020. Furthermore, although AI is mainly used for military purposes, JAIC reiterated its desire to use it for non-violent purposes, such as a health project to monitor military personnel and detect early warning signs of suicide.




"6 August 1945. An atomic bomb on Hiroshima!"

Herodotus, August 30, 2019

(single source)

On August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's unconditional surrender following the destruction by nuclear fire of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing about 170,000 people in the explosion. Indeed, on August 6 and 9, 1945, the Americans decided to wipe the two cities off the map to hasten the end of the conflict and overcome the fierce resistance of Japanese forces. This decision appears to be the safest and least costly following the conquest of the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Indeed, during the conquest of the latter, from April to June 1945, the Americans came up against fanatical Japanese and saw more than 80,000 of their men put out of action. TheUS Army, which was then preparing to conquer Japan, estimated that it would take more than a year to conquer the island and that losses would be massive on both sides. President Truman then decided to use nuclear fire to shorten the war. This thesis is now being questioned. Indeed, various historians and researchers believe that the United States used the nuclear bomb, in the logic of the nascent Cold War, to intimidate the Soviets and not to accelerate the end of the war.



"The insurgent Counter-insurgent: the french army's hero and some truths about modern warfare"

Michael Shurkin, War on the Rocks, July 25, 2019

(single source)

Michael Shurkin, an American political science researcher at the RAND Corporation, wrote an article about the commander of Saint Mark, Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, who died on August 26, 2013 at the age of 91. Resisting in 1941, the commander was deported to Buchenwald in 1943. A graduate of the Saint-Cyr Special Military School, he joined the Foreign Legion and left for Tonkin in 1948 where he commanded the native partisans, whom he led until the evacuation of the region. In 1951, he then joined the2nd BEP (foreign parachute battalion) in Saint Marc. He was involved in all the fighting in French Indochina until 1954, when he joined the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment (1st REP). With the latter, he took part in the capture of the Suez Canal, then in the Algerian War. In April 1961, he took part in the generals' putsch. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, he was pardoned by General De Gaulle after 5 years. He was then rehabilitated in 1978, then reinstated in 1982. From 1995, the commander of Saint Marc wrote various autobiographical works.



"70th Anniversary of the Geneva Conventions"

International Committee of the Red Cross, 8 August 2019

(single source)

On 12 August 1949, 59 States ratified four texts relating to the protection of persons in armed conflicts (civilian populations, the wounded, prisoners of war, humanitarian personnel). These conventions aim to abolish the concept of "total war" by establishing a legal framework for armed conflicts to set limits on methods of warfare. These texts have since been ratified worldwide and therefore apply to all armed conflicts, whether international or not. These conventions remain relevant today, inasmuch as the nature of conflicts is changing (terrorism, asymmetric warfare), while at the same time posing new challenges to these conventions.

 


 
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