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Defence news and analysis with a UK slant
Manx Free State 🇮🇲 Profile picture gerentt Profile picture Marcin Lachowski Profile picture SeanF Profile picture Gary Cantwell Profile picture 5 added to My Authors
Jul 25 30 tweets 9 min read
A story of missed opportunities and the dangers of military fashion following. The Tactical Reconnaissance Armoured Combat Equipment Requirement (TRACER)


1/ The TRACER story, and this the story of FRES, Ajax and Boxer, starts in the late eighties/early nineties with a study programme called the Family of Light Armoured Vehicled (FLAV). This eventually evolved in the Future Family of Light Armoured Vehicles, or FFLAV

Jul 24 7 tweets 2 min read
Anyone seen anything recent on the Raytheon demonstrator contract for a high-energy laser on a Wolfhound, was wondering as many Wolfhounds have been gifted to Ukraine? ImageImage Raytheon has recently announced they will open an integration centre in the UK, and the MBDA Dragonfire (also, a programme we are funding) is making progress.
Jul 6 6 tweets 3 min read
I was only partially joking with that earlier Tweet. There is a thing called the AirTep platform (Airborne Tactical Extraction Platform), used for rescue and rapid movement of personnel. It is French, used for their special operations and rescue communities Now imagine something similar, perhaps a little smaller. Why would it not be used for personnel extraction and even manouvre? Obviously at a smaller scale, but utilising the low cost of heavy lift UAS. The Malloy T-650 for example, can do 250kg out to 30 miles
Jul 4 12 tweets 3 min read
Mastiff/Ridgeback (especially the latest variants) and Foxhound are niche vehicles for niche roles, protected mobility where the threat is primarily from IED's. ImageImage This niche focus does not make them useless, far from it, and between them, they represent a significant investment by the taxpayer. Both still have growth potential. We have paid the non-recurring engineering costs for the latest XC variants

Jun 24 13 tweets 6 min read
What do they use these super rugged tablets/laptops for in a typical CP/HQ Do they edit 4K video, coding or manipulate massive relational databases. How much processing and graphics power is needed. Or are they used for reference books/manuals, form-filling applications, checklists and messaging
Jun 24 7 tweets 1 min read
When I was researching for that CP/HQ article a few things really jumped out at

1. There is a lot of experimentation and thinking going on, a lot

2. Doesn't seem like any overarching programme to tie it together

3. It looks like it is being done on the cheap 2 and 3 might not be bad, but I can't shake the thought that it is all well intentioned tinkering at the edges leaving huge elephants to room freely in the tentage
Jun 24 12 tweets 5 min read
New content for this week, a look at HQ and CP environments… The post includes a short look at the drivers for change and experimentation happening, then some random thoughts on...

Power, asking if we can make greater use of -48v DC, Power over Ethernet and the latest in USB Power Delivery to reduce or eliminate 240v
Jun 23 8 tweets 2 min read
Jun 20 4 tweets 3 min read
Been reading about urban intermodal logistics with mini containers. Van, to trailer, to cargo bike

With NLAW, and some green paint ImageImageImage This is thinking beyond the standard 1x1.2m NATO pallet and 20ft ISO container, there are options out there for military logistics ImageImageImage
Jun 20 8 tweets 4 min read
Got into an interesting Twitter conversation about exploiting multi-story car parks as logistics distribution points in urban operations, particularly in the context of getting vehicles into them Image It is an interesting challenge because of tight turning corners and low ceiling heights. We actually have very few vehicles that can move freely in them, Land Rover and Pinzgauer only. No trucks, no protected mobility vehicles etc. (weirdly, CVR(T) would fit) Image
Jun 13 4 tweets 1 min read
Weapons manufacturers will always seek to advance their products, they will always seek to improve margins, they will always try and create captive customers, and they will always increase the feature content to create differentiation None of these are inherently bad, but defence has a finite budget that it must use wisely in the public interest, not shareholder interest. Do we really need an expensive electric trailer, do we really need old wine in new bottles, do we really need fewer of everything?
Jun 12 8 tweets 2 min read

It is a statement of the obvious but unless a force can move to where it is needed, it cannot be of much value. Deployability is an essential component of capability and deterrence, and vehicle transportability is an essential part of that.… @JonHawkes275
Jun 9 6 tweets 2 min read
Global Air Cylinder Wheels are a Canadian company developing a rubber tyre replacement for large mining plant.

1/ The system replaces pneumatic tyres with a mechanical arrangement that uses dampers and oil-filled cylinders

Jun 8 5 tweets 1 min read

Drones in a Box… This is the sequel to drones in tubes from a few days ago
Jun 8 10 tweets 4 min read
Prompted by conversations with @MatthewsECLIPS and @rude_mechanic about the LM Outrider 100mm diameter small UAS and JMIC/CROP. Because Outrider is designed for vertical launch, you could pack 48 of them into a single JMIC as a self-contained VLS. Now that is a capability!
May 26 4 tweets 1 min read
Had a very interesting conversation about new infantry weapon calibres earlier. Was thinking of infantry effectiveness as a system, what are the key improvement areas; weight reduction, continual training, communications, terrain access, protection, equipment etc.? @warmatters
May 24 4 tweets 1 min read
The balance between now and tomorrow is never an easy one to find. We might be spending millions on developing futuristic robotic mules for infantry whilst those same infantry are cutting about on foot but should we not invest in the future? Difficult choices with a finite budget I have no answers to this conundrum but if fight tonight is an actual real thing, we might have a mobility problem that could have been solved cheaply by delaying the sunny futuristic uplands
May 18 4 tweets 1 min read
Since the use of cheap civilian drones in Libya in 2011 many of us have been writing about the threat they pose and trying to raise awareness of their potential. 2022, the British Army has no deployed at scale counter, and no real exploitation beyond experiments Also in 2022, they are being used to effect in as close to what is a peer conflict as makes no difference. What does the newly published land industrial strategy have to say about countering and exploiting them?
May 18 4 tweets 1 min read
In hard nosed unsentimental statecraft terms, what are the benefits to the UK in supporting Ukraine, and Sweden and Finland NATO application?

What is in it for us? Turkey, for example, seems to be extracting various tangible benefits in return, it is exploiting the situation in a grown up manner that puts its interests first. i.e they see international relations as reciprocal, transactional.
May 17 4 tweets 1 min read
There is a lot of conventional wisdom about blog article length, frequency and time/day of publication but that wisdom does not apply to all sites I think Some sites post short articles but at a high frequency, generally capturing the news of the day, others prefer infrequent but much longer content that requires lots of media and research. Both are good, but neither right or wrong
May 9 22 tweets 9 min read
Haven’t done a thread for a while, this one is about the physical aspect of HQ’s/CP’s.

1/ As can be seen by those two images, the two ends of the scale are vastly different in scope and scale. A tent attached to the back of a vehicle or a tent city that takes a week to build, functionally, do the same thing though