21 août 2023 | International, Aérospatial

US State Dept OKs possible sale of Apache helicopters to Poland for $12 bln -Pentagon | Reuters

The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of AH-64E Apache helicopters and related equipment to Poland in a deal valued at up to $12 billion, the Pentagon said on Monday.


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  • European Union’s defense arm urges work on common counter-drone weapon

    1 décembre 2020 | International, Aérospatial, C4ISR

    European Union’s defense arm urges work on common counter-drone weapon

    By: Sebastian Sprenger COLOGNE, Germany — The European Defence Agency has completed its first-ever deep dive into member nations' defense plans, recommending that the bloc invest in six capabilities, including weaponry for fighting aerial drones. The finding is wrapped up in the agency's “Coordinated Annual Review on Defence” submitted to defense ministers Nov. 20. The report represents the first time analysts went through national defense programs in search of gaps in the European Union's overall military capability. The document “recommends developing a European capability to counter unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to improve force protection, as well as contributing to establish a European standard for Anti Access/Area Denial (A2/AD),” according to a summary released by the European Defence Agency. The analysis “concludes that European capability approaches towards A2/AD are clearly at a crossroads, whereby the capability is either developed in a collaborative manner or the capability will not be developed for European forces,” the summary read. Recent combat operations in the Middle East, Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh have shown an advantage for forces employing sophisticated aerial drones. In those conflicts, drones were used to spy on enemy formations and destroy tanks and vehicles with such precision that defense analysts have called them gamechangers in modern warfare. The EDA report also recommends member states band together on a new main battle tank that could enter service in the 2030s. The call speaks to the much-cited finding that European nations operate too many different models of tanks and other combat equipment. “If member states cooperate in upgrading or collaborate when introducing new ones, a 30 percent reduction of types and variants can be obtained by the mid-2030s,” the document stated. Eleven countries have already expressed an interest in cooperating, it added. The recommendation raises the question of how — and if — EU officials plan to consider existing industrial partnerships in judging progress on defense cooperation. For example, France's Nexter as well as Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall are working together on a Main Ground Combat System that would eventually replace the two countries' Leclerc and Leopard fleets. In addition, there is a project involving France, Italy, Spain and Greece to build a European patrol corvette that could count toward another recommendation of the new EDA report: development of a “European Patrol Class Surface Ship.” Jiří Šedivý, the agency's chief executive, told reporters he expects to see clusters of member states form around each of the six recommended focus areas — which also include soldier systems, defense in space and enhanced military mobility — following a series of workshop meetings early next year. Existing cooperative projects, including those toward a new battle tank and tank modernization more broadly, would be taken into account, Šedivý told reporters. Some of the review's findings are simply reiterations of known truths that have animated attempts at defense cooperation across the continent for years. “The review also finds that the European defense landscape is characterized by high levels of fragmentation and low investment in cooperation,” the document read, reflecting more or less a diagnosis of the status quo that has plagued the bloc for years. Šedivý said the development of new capabilities and improved cooperation aims to influence the member nations' 2025 budget cycle, as most countries' near-term spending plans are already too far along in their implementation. French officials, however, have offered to incorporate EDA recommendations sooner, he added. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/11/30/european-unions-defense-arm-urges-work-on-common-counter-drone-weapon/

  • How Nanotech Will Help the U.S. Military Reach Mach 5

    25 novembre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    How Nanotech Will Help the U.S. Military Reach Mach 5

    The U.S. government is pushing into hypersonic weapons in a big way, with at least five different weapons programs currently in development. Nanotechnology is shaping up to be a key tech that will enable delivery systems to survive traveling through the atmosphere at Mach 5 and above, with carbon nanotubes showing promise as strong, lightweight material that rapidly sheds heat. Hypersonic weapons are weapons that travel at incredible speeds through the atmosphere. Hypersonics start at Mach 5 (3,836 miles an hour), or five times the speed of sound. Pushing an object through the air at really, really fast speeds creates a unique problem: as speed increases, the friction from the object passing through air also increases. This friction generates heat. The skin of the SR-71 Blackbird strategic reconnaissance jet and the fasted manned airplane ever built regularly warmed to up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit at Mach 3. The X-15 rocket plane, flown during the 1960s, reached temperatures of 1200 Fahrenheit as it flew to Mach 6. At Mach 10, the friction is enough to “melt the toughest steel,” while at Mach 20, the temperature reaches an astounding 17,000 Fahrenheit. Eventually, hypersonic weapons could reach Mach 24. Scientists and engineers understand how to handle traditional air friction problems thanks to the technical challenges of spacecraft and nuclear warheads re-entering the atmosphere. But a missile warhead de-orbiting over an enemy target is only exposed to heat for a handful of minutes, as it transitions from space to the atmosphere and finally smashes into its target. A hypersonic weapon, on the other hand, spends its entire flight within the atmosphere and is exposed to high heat the entire time. An article at DefenseOne describes how scientists are working with carbon nanotubes to solve the heat issue. Scientists at Florida State University's High-Performance Materials Institute are looking into using carbon nanotubes as a construction material for hypersonic weapons. Carbon nanotubes are a synthetic material consisting of carbon tubes with a diameter as small as one nanometer. Carbon nanotubes are stronger than steel and insulate against heat. Now, researchers have discovered that soaking carbon nanotubes in phenol can increase their ability to disperse heat by one-sixth, allowing less nanomaterials to be used for the same job. What does this mean for hypersonic weapons? It means that materials that can stand the heat and stresses of hypersonic, atmospheric travel are on the way, and that hypersonic weapon designers could even safely achieve higher speeds by using thicker layers of the stuff. https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/research/a29847271/us-military-nanotech/

  • Rheinmetall delivers combat robots to Britain, tank defenses to Hungary

    20 mai 2021 | International, Terrestre

    Rheinmetall delivers combat robots to Britain, tank defenses to Hungary

    Germany’s Rheinmetall has announced two new deals for high-tech weaponry, featuring ground robots and active protection systems.

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