Capability Development

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Coming soon to a city near you? Autonomous “taxi-drones” – Editorial

  The likely introduction of driverless, autonomous "taxi-drones" in major cities may have implications for the military An EHang 184 taxi dronePicture credit: EHang Officials in the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates have announced their intention to have driverless, automated flying taxis operating over the city by July this year. [...]

By |February 23rd, 2017|Capability Development, Future Warfare, Technology|0 Comments

US Marines seek to destroy enemy drones – Jeff Schogol

  US Marines fighting in the Middle East are using a variety of methods to counter the growing threat of cheap, commercial-off-the-shelf drones Picture credit Daily Telegraph Islamic State fighters in Iraq are expanding the reach and sophistication of their drone fleet. Among other things, they have used quadcopters to drop grenade-sized bombs on [...]

By |February 20th, 2017|Capability Development, Future Warfare, Technology|0 Comments

Fighting in Megacities – Major John Spencer

  It is widely accepted that military forces increasingly are going to have to fight in vast, dense urban areas. US Army Major John Spencer from West Point’s Modern War Institute presents a compelling case for armies to prepare far better for this extraordinarily demanding environment. The issue also demands the serious attention of air [...]

By |February 13th, 2017|Air Force, Army, Capability Development, History|0 Comments

Australian Defence needs an Office of Robotics – Alan Stephens

  If, as the eminent strategist and military historian Edward Luttwak has argued, the people in our armed services define themselves through their ships, aeroplanes and tanks - a phenomenon he describes as “platformitis” - then the Australian Defence Force’s dominant culture is both obvious and near-impossible to change. As thing stand, for the next [...]

Dogfight: Start-ups take aim at errant drones – Jeremy Wagstaff & Swati Pandey

  A boom in consumer drone sales has spawned a counter-industry of start-ups aiming to stop drones flying where they shouldn't, by disabling them or knocking them out of the sky, report Jeremy Wagstaff and Swati Pandey of Reuters An eagle trained by the Netherlands police captures a drone inflight with its claws (photo [...]

Taking a step forward on drones – Tim Jones

  Western defence forces need to do more to counter the emerging threat of COTS drones A COTS drone being tested by the US Army Cyber Command In October last year two French soldiers were wounded and two Kurdish fighters were killed in Iraq by a weaponised commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) drone. This event sent shock waves [...]

By |January 16th, 2017|Army, Capability Development|1 Comment

Putting F-35B on the Canberra Class LHDs: The Debate Continues – Steve George

  This year's opening article revisits the F-35B debate sparked by Jenna Higgins' post from December 2016. Steve George's response addresses the key issues. Back in November 2014, I wrote a piece for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute on potential F-35B operations from the new RAN LHDs (LHD and F-35B: The Debate Opens Up). It received a mention [...]

“Ten Propositions Concerning Armed UAVs”: a review – Alan Stephens

Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper detailed the government’s intention to acquire armed unmanned aircraft within the next decade. A paper titled A New Direction for Australian Air Power: Armed Unmanned Aircraft, commissioned by the chief of air force, Air Marshal Leo Davies, and written by Dr Peter Layton, examines the key issues surrounding this often [...]

By |December 19th, 2016|5th Generation Air Power, Air Force, Capability Development|5 Comments

Is ‘A’ really better than ‘B’? – Jenna Higgins

  'Flexibility is the key to air power' is one of the favourite clichés of the professional airman. In this post, Flight Lieutenant Jenna Higgins asks if, in light of the USMC's recent successful proof of concept demonstration of the F-35B VSTOL, the ADF should demonstrate flexibility in reviewing the decision of whether to acquire [...]

By |December 6th, 2016|5th Generation Air Power, Capability Development|18 Comments

Trudeau’s folly: Canada’s new ‘interim’ fighters – Christopher Cowan

  When we discuss the politics of air power it is generally in the context of its employment, not its development. The F-35 appears to have changed this as its cost overruns and production delays have attracted close political scrutiny both in Australia and globally. In this post, originally published on The Strategist on 24 November, Christopher Cowan [...]

By |November 29th, 2016|5th Generation Air Power, Capability Development|0 Comments