Archive: News & Articles


“A better system at a much better price”

Interview with Christophe Fontaine, Director Strategic Development for Europe, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. Christophe “Taraz” Fontaine is a retired French Air Force colonel of 30 years with experience in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). He held squadron level and staff positions related to ISR, Targeting, Combat Search & Rescue (CSAR), NATO doctrine and air […]

The Brussels Backdrop – The New European Commission

Following the European Parliament elections on 26 May 2019, on 1 December 2019 the new European Commission (EC) took office for five years. The former President of the Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the former President of the European Council Donald Tusk were thanked for their services and replaced by the German Ursula von der Leyen […]

WALRUS SSK Replacement Takes Centre Stage – The NIDV Defence and Security Exhibition in Rotterdam

A small group of submarine manufacturers took centre stage during the NIDV exhibition in Ahoy, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Rebranded into NIDV Exhibition Defence & Security (NEDS), the event held on 28 October 2019 attracted potential subcontractors including integrators, engineering companies and suppliers of components and naval mission systems. Among the companies present were RH Marine, […]



Simulation and Training in the Gulf Region

Tensions in the Gulf region are increasing, and with them the demand for products, systems and services in the field of simulation and training (S and T), which can help to increase operational readiness. US and European military services are particularly in demand here. The assassination on 3 January 2020 of Quasem Soleimani, General of […]

The Art of Protecting Flight Crews – Aircraft Self-Protection Systems

Control of the air remains a key function of air power for all current and future warfare. But what was once largely a fight between planes has now become a much more complex equation of ground and air-based sensors and self-protection. Nevertheless, it is still the case today that “the one who sees first wins” […]

Small Arms Ammunition Developments

A wide variety of ammunition choices is available for military small arms, a category which encompasses man-portable, non-crew served weapons such as pistols, assault rifles, submachine guns, sniper rifles, light machine guns, squad automatic weapons and shotguns. In recent decades, small arms munitions (with the exception of shotgun ammunition) have taken the form of copper-encased […]



Enhanced Urban Assault Technology

Whether Russia in the Caucasus, Israel in Gaza and southern Lebanon, or the United States and its allies in Iraq, many sophisticated armies have experienced urban warfare over the past two decades. Urban assault has many unique challenges. Urban terrain generally favours the defender, who can prepare defences, utilise deception, install traps and explosive charges, […]

Israeli Spotting and Sniping Optics

In low-intensity warfare and urban warfare, armies use snipers. This to neutralise specific threats without harming the uninvolved. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are using very advanced simulation tools to get ready for combat. The simulation tools used by the IDF and the other Israel security organisations have been developed by Israel`s defence industry. Most […]

Taking The Long View – Day and Night Optics for the Sniper Team

The modern sniper team is a highly skilled and extremely valuable asset that offers a force commander a set of unique capabilities. These capabilities include being a reconnaissance asset and an offensive asset capable of long-range engagement and neutralisation of hostile targets. In the current operational environment these reconnaissance and target engagement capabilities have to […]



Dual Use – Military Equipment and Techniques Transferred to the Law Enforcement Environment

There is an idealised image of policing, often called “community policing,” where the police are on the ground locally, working with the local community to resolve disputes and are present to deter low-level crimes and be in place to tackle more serious crime. Unfortunately, the current situation facing many law enforcement organisations is far from […]

Mortars – Accuracy through Munitions, Fire Control and Aiming

Traditionally an infantry asset, mortar capabilities are evolving both technologically and tactically, delivering new possibilities for mounted and dismounted units and with ammunition and fire control solutions bolstering their operational performance. Mortars are on the up. New technologies, systems, mobility and tactical thinking mean that the good old mortar, perhaps a little on the back […]

Czech Air Force Modernisation

Over the next decade the Czech Air Force is set to transform itself into a sleeker, more modern force. Since joining NATO 20 years ago, the relatively small air arm has been trying to catch up with some of the more established air forces’ capabilities. Regardless, it has become an established and enthusiastic member of […]



“Naval warfare is undergoing a rapid transition”

On 22 August 2019, Admiral Michael ‘Mike’ Gilday stepped into the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) of the US Navy at a challenging time. Amid growing threats around the globe – confront the forces of Beijing and Moscow and the ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan – he must lead a […]

India’s Defence Modernisation Programmes

In recent years, India has invested enormous resources in its military. At the same time, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make-in-India’ initiative, the Indian economy has succeeded in developing many indigenous cutting-edge technologies in the defence sector. With the annual Indian state budget to be discussed in Parliament in early 2020, ‘strategic watchers’ are hedging […]

Viewpoint from Vienna – Austria’s Military: Renew or Abolish

At the moment, it does not look as if the new conservative-green cabinet of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz will improve the precarious financial and material situation of the Austrian Armed Forces. Therefore, the prospects for Klaudia Tanner as Austria’s first female Defence Minister are bleak. In the tabloid press, however, she gives a first impression as […]



Polish Armed Forces to set new Modernisation Goals

The Polish MoD envisions expenditure on the level of €123Bn in the period of 2021-2035 for further development of the Polish Armed Forces and enhancement of the country’s security. The new Technical Modernisation Plan (TMP), which was presented in October 2019, outlined a number of major procurement programmes, which will affect every branch of the […]

The Finnish Defence Industry – A Different Approach to Supporting Defence Capabilities

We Finns are famously modest, but Finland is, according to many international rankings, one of the world’s top countries. We are consistently ranked in the global top 3 in terms of education, innovation, professionalism, security and trustworthiness. For the past two years, Finland has even been named the happiest country in the world! Finland is […]

“We are under no illusions about the current security challenges in the Baltic region.”

In view of increasing military activities in the Baltic Sea region, Finland feels compelled to develop its maritime defence capabilities. Finland wants to be prepared for a possible regional crisis and is taking various steps to modernise its navy. ESD talked with Rear Admiral Jori Harju, Commander of the Finnish Navy. ESD: RAdm Harju, what […]



The Finnish Navy – ‘Leaner and Meaner’

Finland, Europe’s most northern state, defines its maritime policy according to the parameters dictated by its geography and climate. With a 675nm (1,250 km) long coastline, jagged by a maze of over 81,000 islands, rocks and shoals, the Finnish Navy combines highly mobile forces backed up with minelaying capabilities. Finland is under no illusions about […]

Monitoring Finland’s Air Space

A 1,300 km border with Russia means Finland lives under a constant threat from its big neighbour. But unlike other European nations that share common airspace, Finland is not a NATO country. For now, the Finnish Government is treading the fine line between NATO membership and the Russian bear. During the Cold War, Finland acted […]

Viewpoint from Copenhagen – Denmark’s Current Security Threat Perception

The days when Eisenhower said; “In war nothing is more important to a commander than the facts concerning the strength, dispositions, and intentions of his opponent, and the proper interpretation of those facts”, have long gone, if you read the Danish Defence Intelligence Risk Assessment issued in December 2019. The focus is now shifting as […]




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