Defense technologies that made the news in 2021

Despite the crisis linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, the news in 2021 was often marked by certain defense technologies, in a geopolitical context of growing tensions and critical crises. From Australia's surprise cancellation of the order for French-built conventionally powered submarines to switch to US-British nuclear attack submarines, to hypersonic missiles; from underwater drones to China's new fractional orbital bombardment system; these defense technologies, long in the background of the world media scene, found themselves in the news, and sometimes in the headlines during this year. In this two-part article,…

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Can France and Europe get back into the MALE drone race thanks to NEURON?

To say that France, and Europe in general, lacked flair regarding the arrival of drones, and in particular Medium Altitude Long Endurance or MALE combat drones, such as the MQ1 Predator, the MQ9 Reaper, or the Turkish TB2 Bayraktar, would be a profound understatement. Not only do they all have to equip themselves abroad, with the United States for the vast majority of cases, but today they still remain unable to agree on the functionalities and the financing of the Eurodrone program, which runs the risk of to see the light of day even as a new generation of combat drones, much more efficient than the one currently in service, will begin to…

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US Navy orders 3 additional MQ-25 Stingray refueling drones from Boeing

In a press release published Thursday, April 2, Boeing Defense announced that the US Navy had just decided to order 3 new MQ-25 Stingray on-board refueling drones, for an amount of $84,7 million. This order is part of the planned increase in the capacities of the production chain, as well as the support of the tests in progress. In the first quarter of 2020, the MQ25 program flew 30 hours at several altitudes and several speeds, in accordance with the program schedule. The aircraft will now receive the in-flight refueling module and test flights can resume later this year. Unlike chains...

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Will drones soon replace fighter planes?

The week, charismatic Tesla and SpaceX company chairman Elon Musk stunned the audience of Air Force Association fighter pilots when he said the replacement of pilots and traditional fighter jets with drones was inescapable. in a relatively short time. According to him, the mass of information to be processed by a pilot in ever shorter delays, associated with the physiological constraints of the human body, make the concept of piloted combat aircraft obsolete, and point to a single and unique solution, their disappearance in favor of unmanned systems, combat drones. And the presentation of the “Defender” concept…

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4 new refueling nacelles for Rafale Marine

The Directorate General of Armaments indicated that it had ordered 4 additional refueling pods, in addition to the 12 initially ordered, intended to equip the Rafale M for refueling missions. This capacity, inherited from the Modernized Super-Etendard, allows a Rafale to transfer 2 tons of fuel to an aircraft (another Rafale), 700 km from the aircraft carrier, thus extending the range and/or the time on refueled camera lens. This capability is increasingly critical today, with the development of the range and accuracy of anti-ship missiles in coastal battery, forcing the aircraft carrier to operate more and more…

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China will put stealth drones on its aircraft carriers

China will present at the Zhuhai Air Show next November its first UCAV or Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, combat drone, operable from the deck of an aircraft carrier. Presented under the name "Caihong-X", this drone would be stealthy, like the French Neuron, or the American Stingray, and would be capable of being implemented by electromagnetic catapults. It should be noted that photos had circulated on Twitter showing this same drone using a springboard comparable to that of the first two Chinese aircraft carriers, which do not have a catapult. Today in China there are no less than 5 official programs for stealth combat drones,…

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