31 May 11. The Editor attended the Eton College CCF Tattoo, held on College Field at Eton. The CCF put on an excellent display of gymnastics, unarmed combat, horsemanship, supported by a military band including Pipes & Drums. The arena was illuminated by the remaining WWII Searchlight as used in London during the Blitz. The finale included a mock attack which included two 25 Pounder WWII Field Gun teams, a White Scout Car, a Jeep, a Scimitar CVR(T) and two Jackals, one supplied by the Coldstream Guards and one by Supacat, whose Nick Ames is an Old Etonian.
03 Jun 11. With a number of developmental programs currently being funded by US military, as well as revolutionary technology advances happening in the private sector, there is a new hunger for next generation night vision capabilities. IDGA’s 6th Night Vision Systems, taking place July 25 – 27 in Washington, DC, will assess cutting edge developments in overcoming SWAP challenges, low-cost thermal imaging, wafer level packaging, miniature power sources, micro displays, optics and how they will impact operator system enhancements such as image fusion, clip-on modular features, and much more! (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
07 Jun 11. In his keynote address to open UDT 2011, Rear Admiral Amjad Hussain, Director Precision Attack, (MOD Capability) and the Controller of the UK Royal Navy spoke of the budgetary challenges facing the country, explaining that the UK Ministry of Defence had to fund two fixed major programmes, Trident replacement and the Astute Class nuclear powered submarine. He said that other demands that had to be met included the cost of technology – the gigabyte requirement for ISTAR would be one million times greater in 10 years time – as well as medical and welfare considerations. Adm. Hussain pointed to the importance of being able to adapt to the increasing use of commercial off-the-shelf solutions (COTS), which could be brought into play much quicker than their military counterparts, where the design to deployment time could be as long as 12 years. The UK MOD is aiming to reduce this ultimately to three months. He stated that UK demand alone was not sufficient to support the industries that the country wanted to keep onshore, saying that while exports were important, the UK should do more in the way of collaboration with allied nations. Looking ahead, Adm. Hussain said that stealth would continue to be a real requirement and that unmanned systems would be a feature of all areas of naval operations. Rear Admiral Jurgen Mannhardt of the Federal German Navy focused on the importance of mine countermeasures (MCM), describing how the deployment of mines by Colonel Gaddafi’s forces had disrupted the supply of humanitarian relief material to civilians in Libya, achieving a considerable effect with relatively little effort. He suggested European navies should consider adopting MCM systems that were interchangeable. Looking at other threats, Adm. Mannhardt said that more and more nations were building or buying submarines. Small submarines particularly posed a danger to expeditionary forces in coastal waters and the capability to detect them was a priority. Also at risk from attack were the subsea cables that carry the majority of telecommunications and data transmission traffic. Providing an industry perspective, Manfred Klein, Senior Vice President, Project Development and Research Development at Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, stated that there are 450 submarines worldwide, with 15 reaching the end of their life each year. However, cuts in global defence budgets will probably mean that only 10 new builds per year will be ordered. Herr Klein set out a number of ways that costs can be reduced, including increased usage of modularity in design, construction and missions. He said that equipment could be standardised to greater degrees through increased usage of COTS solutions, while standardised computer systems could be used for a diversity of applications. Touching o