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A general view of the AUSA exhibition, held at the washington Convention Center, October 8 - 10, 2007. Photo: Noam Eshel

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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. (more...)

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 years.

Other topics covered in this review:

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