This year AUSA exhibition
provided a view into the US Army's struggle to modernize its
forces while maintaining a viable combat force in near term.
The Army's largest procurement program MRAP was 'played down'
significantly, compared to past years, while focus shifted to
the exciting new vehicle – the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle
(JLTV). Future Combat Systems (FCS) was presented in an impressive
display, real combat hardware, like Abrams main battle tanks,
Paladin self propelled guns, Bradley armored vehicles and a
new upgrade for the LAV/Stryker platform were exhibited. It
seemed that exhibitors were aiming to attract decision makers
toward spending more on upgrades, as part of the huge weapon's
reset activities, expected to last through many years to come.
Defense Update is highlighting here on a
new trend associated with panoramic vision systems, that we
have tracked for several years and which is now 'catching up'
and can already be seen in most of the current vehicles.
Innovations and progress were also evident in
Command, Control, Communications & Computing (C4) equipment
and particularly following maturation of lightweight, hand-held
systems, designed for mobile and dismounted combat. Special
operations operatives and snipers could also get first impressions
on a range of new gadgets and devices, designed to ease and
improve sniper performance, particularly in extended range engagements.
Fire control computers, sights, and rangefinders embedded with
downrange wind measurement, were among the innovations on display.
We shall also cover several new systems associated
with combating IEDs, a combination of observation, target acquisition
and firepower and low cost robots, designed to ' kill' IEDs
from a safe distance and a new jammer, designed to offer improved
performance against illusive threats. Finally, we also report
on some of the UAVs and UGVs on display, pointing out to the
fact that many designers are currently positioning their robots
as weapon-carriers, applications they overtly evaded in previous
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