As the U.S. Navy struggles to define a new variant of its Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a smaller, better-armed, multi-role warship is in production. Analysts expect 50-60 of these to be built, while the LCS fleet has been cut to 32 from 52 pending approval of the modified version. Unfortunately for the U.S. Navy, the new and smaller vessel is Chinese.
One of the rare women executives in the male-dominated business of missiles, Veronique Cham-Meilhac, vice president of ballistic missile defense at MBDA, sees her job primarily as protecting people. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she explains this complex subject in straightforward terms, as she did recently for European Defense Editor Christina Mackenzie.
The Asia-Pacific region is a critical area that could soon be hotly contested, with Russia, China and India vying for influence and others determined to protect their interests and maintain the maritime status quo.
Many factors could upset the balance of power. China's ambitions in the Pacific possibly include establishment of sea-denial boundaries up to 2,700 km (1,678 mi.) from its coasts.
Vehicle protection technology has made enormous strides since the improvised explosive device (IED) threat emerged in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the use of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and ballistic threats. The V-hull concept pioneered in South Africa was adapted and modernized for different conditions. New materials were introduced, starting with ceramics that had previously been confined to tank armor, progressing into sophisticated ceramic and plastic hybrid systems, and much stronger transparent materials.
A “wait-and-see” banner flies over France's 2013 defense budget, which, like all others for EU defense ministries', has to contract to meet the government's goal of bringing the country's public debt down to 3% of GDP from the current 5.2%.
The defector they all talk about here is the 18-year-old North Korean soldier who, on Oct. 6, shot his two superiors at a guard post near the border and then ran 400 meters (1,312 ft.) to freedom while being cheered on with a megaphone by South Korean counterparts at their border post.
Although France's relationship with its last monarchs was not a happy one, the nation's navy is fondly referred to as “La Royale.” This has little to do with the service's history that goes back to France's royal past, but more to do with the fact that naval headquarters are (for another two years at least) in a splendid building on the Rue Royale in Paris. There, Aviation Week Contributing European Editor Christina Mackenzie caught up with Adm.
Alicante, Spain — Spain might be sailing toward a financial hurricane, but the country’s new submarines are forging ahead below the turmoil.
The focus of the Undersea Defense Technology show here this year was the host nation’s S-80 submarine. In the nearby Mediterranean city of Cartagena lies an assembly line of these vessels, with all four in various stages of completion at the Navantia shipyard.
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