26 May 2023
by Olivia Savage
The Blue Bear Ghost fixed-wing UAV tested during the inaugural AUKUS AI and autonomy trial. (Crown Copyright)
The UK hosted the first AUKUS artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy trial in April to promote synergies between Australian, UK, and US AI-enabled assets.
Held at Upavon in Wiltshire, the exercise involved collaboratively swarming the different AI platforms to detect and track military targets in real time in a representative environment, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 26 May.
The trial incorporated platforms such as the Challenger 2 and the Warrior armoured vehicle, the Viking unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), an FV433 Abbot self-propelled gun, and the Eastern Bloc BMP OT-90 armoured personnel carrier alongside unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – Blue Bear Ghost and Insitu CT220.
Together, the teams developed joint machine learning (ML) models for the platforms that were subsequently modified “in flight” to incorporate new targets and adapt to changing mission scenarios – a world first. This data and the AI models were shared among the three partners, the MoD said.
09 June 2023
by Kapil Kajal
New Zealand's Defence Policy Review will outline some of the modernisation objectives of the country's armed forces. Pictured above, the New Zealand Army took delivery in May of an initial batch of Bushmaster vehicles from Thales Australia. (CPL Maddy Butcher/New Zealand MoD)
New Zealand is expecting to soon publish its Defence Policy Review (DPR), Minister of Defence Andrew Little told Janes. “I don't have a precise date for that [publication of the DPR], but I'm expecting it will be published within the next two months,” he said.
According to the New Zealand Ministry of Defence (MoD), the DPR will ensure the country's defence policy, strategy, and planned capability investments remain fit for purpose. The DPR will also provide a road map for the future.
Little said the DPR will confirm the New Zealand Army's future investment decisions to procure equipment and capabilities. He added, “I think the DPR would be very helpful. Our strategic situation, threats, and relationships with our various defence partners will enable us to make decisions about longer-term investments.”
07 June 2023
by Nicholas Fiorenza
Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command has ordered 91 6×6 vehicles from Patria under the CAVS programme, with an option for up to 70 APCs. (Patria)
Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command has ordered 91 6×6 vehicles from Patria under the Common Armoured Vehicle System (CAVS) programme led by Finland, the company announced in a press release on 2 June. The order includes spare parts, tools, and operation and maintenance training, with an option for up to 70 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) in addition to the 91 vehicles. Deliveries are scheduled to begin later in 2023.
Jussi Järvinen, executive vice-president, Finland division, Patria, told Janes on 6 June that the overall value of the procurement, including options and value-added tax, is about EUR208 million (USD222.5 million).
The Finnish Defence Forces acquired the first three pre-series vehicles in 2022 for testing, familiarisation, and to define the final requirements for the serial production version. The Finnish Ministry of Defence and Patria signed a letter of intent in 2021 for Finland to order 160 CAVS vehicles.
06 June 2023
by Nicholas Fiorenza
Dstl is developing a Lightweight Fires Platform technology demonstrator to replace the 105 mm Light Gun. The red boxes on the sides represent batteries, the ‘Mickey Mouse ears' house propellant, and up to 14 rounds can be stowed behind the elevating mass. (BAES IP)
The UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is working on a Lightweight Fires Platform technology demonstrator programme to replace the 105 mm Light Gun, Janes learnt on the last day of Defence iQ's Future Artillery 2023 conference held in Munich from 30 May to 1 June.
A three-year pre-concept study to de-risk technologies on which a new Light Gun could be based was conducted in 2020–23 by BAE Systems, together with QinetiQ and engineering consultants Horiba Mira and Arke. This resulted in a detailed design for a remote-controlled/autonomous unmanned 127 mm self-propelled gun technology demonstrator that is electrically powered and optimised for strategic and tactical mobility. It is fitted with a 14-round magazine and autoloader and weighs less than 3,000 kg, with further mass reduction possible.
The UK hosted the first AUKUS artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy trial in April to promote sy...
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