Welcome to the last issue of 2011. 2011 may well be seen to be the turning point in military strategies and the manner by which countries such as the USA deploy their resources to combat terrorism and other attacks on sovereignty. The use of unmanned armed drones, in particular, has been a noted development this year and their deployment is now embedded in military doctrine with a huge growth forecast over the coming years.
However, the use of drones, given their ease of manufacture and deployment, can also have an adverse effect on the attacking force and we can expect new doctrines and weapons to combat massed drone attacks on our cities or armed forces in the future. When I started BATTLESPACE in 1998, I was contacted by Heinz Lipshutz a remarkable German, living in South Wales, in the UK, who had helped the Allies develop the locating beacons for bombers attacking German cities. He developed the ‘U Plane’ which is an underwater UAV. To his immense chagrin the UK declined to develop it seeing no use for the system. It looks very much as if he has been proved right with underwater UAVs now commonplace. This development will cause concern for those navies reliant on carriers to project force. As the UK prepares to launch its own carrier deterrent will they be out of date before they are even launched?
This year has been an ‘Annus Horribilis’ for me with the SUDDEN loss of my darling son Harry at the early age of 22. We travelled the world together playing golf and seeing the sights and sounds of nature. However, I never managed to beat him at golf, so I’ll have to wait a few years for our re-match! His mother had problems which, in part, caused Harry’s suffering, and I have asked the NSPCC to work with me and my contacts in the defence industry to develop technology to allow early intervention of any abuse to a child using advanced imaging technology.
The shock of his death obviously disrupted my life and I can only than those people who kept me going, particularly through the DSEi Newsfeed. How I sent those, I will never know, Harry guided my hand on the tiller! My particular thanks go to Barbara and Peter Hobson, Yvonne and Robert Jarman, Dr. Hetty Mackinnon, Adrian and Ann Graves, Andy Macallister, Al Zimmerman of DRS, the team at ITT who sent me a wonderful bouquet of flowers, my mother, Martin Kershaw, Belinda de Selincourt and Patrea Moore Nisbett, all of who kept me going through the shock. We will know the full story of what happened next year but he is at peace now and we can celebrate his life next year in London.
I would like to wish you a Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year. I didn’t send out any cards this year and instead will make a donation to Harry’s NSPCC Fund. I cannot thank you all for our kind words and thoughts about Harry. I have set up a Foundation page on the NSPCC website.
Many of you know that I am considering the sale of BATTLESPACE, this was of course my first thought in the aftermath, it will happen but only when the time and price is right!
Thank you all for your continuing support this year, we look forward to what the New Year brings