A new airborne tactical reconnaissance system soon will provide the United Kingdom's warfighters with an around-the-clock, all-weather surveillance capability that can be tailored to meet a variety of missions. Based on an operational unmanned aerial vehicle but with more sensors and longer endurance than existing British tactical platforms, its real-time data feeds will offer commanders greater situational awareness and operational flexibility.
The People's Liberation Army Navy recently introduced two domestically designed and built guided missile destroyers that include Aegis-type radars and related technologies. Known as Project 052C guided missile destroyers (DDGs), the ships feature Aegis-type phased array panels, vertical launch systems, long-range missiles and considerable command and control. These capabilities were not found on any previous Chinese-built DDGs.
The People's Republic of China is building the necessary infrastructure to mine the ports of Taiwan should military conflict break out between the two governments. This capability would give China an effective blockade ability without the risk of escalation that would emerge from a direct military confrontation with the United States.
Future military command centers may take the form of distributed networks if ongoing research by scientists bears fruit. One new project already has been adapted by the Swedish armed forces and will be partially implemented in its new operational command post.
Central Europe's efforts to open the economy to free enterprise are dramatically affecting the electronics and telecommunications industries. Nowhere is the emerging response to free competition more crisp than in the Czech Republic. There, new commercial and military communications system advances are stimulating rapid domestic and export growth.
The People's Republic of China is grappling with an inherent conflict of relying on imported avionics technology while pressing to develop a state-of-the-art domestic manufacturing base. The country continues its long-term commitment to advanced avionics research and development both for internal use and for export, and foreign technology is one source feeding that endeavor.
Israel is developing a laser-guided antitank/antihelicopter missile that will be fired out of tank guns instead of from missile launchers. In its antihelicopter role, the missile would enable tanks to defend themselves against fast-moving helicopters that can fire antitank missiles from beyond the effective range of conventional tank gun projectiles or onboard machine guns.
New very high frequency radios are sharing the airwaves with sensor systems in battlefield networking. Both communications and radar units have become portable enough that they now are mobile nodes in an interlocking information web.
A key U.S. ally is digitizing its command and control architecture to increase the operational speed and agility of its ground forces. Built around a wireless backbone supported by software programmable radios, this system will reduce sensor-to-shooter cycles by streaming real-time data to commanders. Designed for both high- and low-intensity conflict, it will link all echelons from infantry squads up to the division level in a single network.