These 7 technologies that will revolutionize the battlefield by 2040

If the last years of the cold war were the occasion of numerous and important technological advances in the field of armaments, with the arrival of cruise missiles, stealth planes and ships and advanced command and geolocation systems, this dynamic came to a complete halt with the collapse of the Soviet bloc. In the absence of a major and technologically advanced adversary, and because of the numerous asymmetrical campaigns in which the armed forces took part, very few significant advances were recorded from the technological point of view between 1990 and 2020, with the notable exception of the generalization of aerial drones of all types. But with the emergence, since the beginning of…

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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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By cloning XQ-98A Valkyrie drone, China highlights weakness in US strategy

In a tweet posted Sept. 29, Acting Under Secretary of the Army Christopher Lowman marveled at the operational superiority the U.S. armed forces will have on the battlefield in the near future when F- 35, drones and cruise missiles will simultaneously strike targets engaged by US ground troops using precision long-range munitions, all thanks to a constant, real-time exchange of information from all units, and advances in Artificial Intelligence. It obviously refers to the Joint All-Domain doctrine which today represents the pivot of the strategy...

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US Air Force Skyborg autonomous drone makes its first flight

The first drone equipped with the Skyborg Autonomy Core System of the US Air Force made its maiden flight on April 29 at Tindal Air Force Base in Florida. For the occasion, it was the UTAP-22 drone from the Kratos company which was equipped with the Skyborg to ensure the functions of piloting, navigation, and control of the device, without a pilot being at the command of remote way, as is the case today for combat drones such as the Predator or the Reaper. The flight, lasting 2 hours 10 minutes, made it possible to validate the main functions of the Skyborg system, namely to control…

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The US can defeat China, but with weapons that don't exist

Countering an offensive against Taiwan is today one of, if not the main concern of the American armed forces. Unfortunately, the very many wargames carried out in recent years on this subject are hardly encouraging, the US armies being regularly pushed back and the independent island falling into the hands of Beijing in the majority of cases. Many options and innovations are now being tested in an attempt to meet this challenge, with, for example, smaller, highly mobile and better coordinated units as recommended by the new doctrines of the Marines and the US Army, the call for ships robots and drones for the US Navy, and…

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British Mosquito Combat Drone Demonstrator to fly in 2023

For several years, the French and Germans viewed the British FCAS program, which includes among other things the new generation fighter Tempest, as an outsider to the SCAF program, even as a burst of pride from politicians across the Channel following Brexit. Today, it is clear that this program is advancing rapidly, and much more serenely than the "European" program, and that its ambitions are far from being so limited that one could hear it say there is no only a few months yet. In addition to the significant effort made by the British authorities to support this programme, with an annual budget set at £2bn by the new Strategic Review…

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Could a new American fighter enter service as early as 2029?

According to official US Air Force speech, the F35A remains the top equipment priority for years to come, and no program has been launched to replace Lockheed-Martin's aircraft in the very ambitious plan which should make it the only replacement for the A10, F16 and part of the F15 currently in service. As for the Next Generation Air Dominance program, or NGAD (Air force), it is expected for the middle or the end of the next decade in order to replace the F22 Raptors which will then reach their age limit. For the US Navy, the discourse is essentially the same, since the NGAD program…

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With the Longshot, DARPA is developing its own airborne combat drone

A drone dropped from a fighter to penetrate adversary airspace, and capable of firing air-to-air missiles at enemy aircraft and drones: this is the objective of the Longshot program initiated by DARPA, the research and development of the Pentagon. And for Washington, the need is urgent, since the objective is to be able to test a prototype during the second half of 2024. 3 American aeronautical companies have been selected to compete in this project, the drone specialist General Atomics, the aircraft manufacturer Northrop Grumman , and the now essential Lockheed Martin. The program will be divided into 3 successive phases, the first lasting twelve months to define…

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Britain launches development of its own "Loyal Wingman"

The principle of the allied drone, an autonomous device but controlled by a piloted combat aircraft with which it would act in concert, seems to have imposed itself in the majority of the major aeronautical nations in a few years. In the United States, it is the Skyborg program, and in particular the XQ-48 Valkyrie drone. In Europe, it is the “Remote Carrier” program, belonging to the SCAF program bringing together Germany, Spain and France. In Australia, it is the “Loyal Wingman” program, designed with the cooperation of Boeing. Even Russia, despite the Okhotnik-B program, announced the development of its own program of this type. Either way, it's…

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Summary 2020: Major technological advances in Defense in 2020

If 2020 will go down in history as the year of the great Covid-19 Pandemic, it will also be, with regard to Defense technologies, a pivotal year marking the transition between the technological vision inherited from the Cold War which had changed little in these 30 years, and the technological breakthrough approaches underway in many armed forces, and in many research laboratories. Among these many and varied advances, some deserve special attention. 1- Hypersonic Weapons Hypersonic weapons have been at the heart of the concerns of the vast majority of the great technological nations. The subject is not new, since the hypersonic missile Kh47m2…

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