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Big Interview

In an exclusive interview following his recent appointment as Chief of Materiel (Ships), we talk to Vice Admiral Christopher Gardner about his career in the Royal Navy, the importance of precise organisational design and budget management, and his expectations of future challenges in the arena of military logistics.

Land Operations

Technology platforms advance and subsequently require updating far faster than the military vehicles in which they operate. To respond to this challenge, the flexibility provided by open architecture can be a significant asset. We discuss with Ian Burch, head of open architecture at the DE&S, and Ernest Sanchez of the US Army’s PEO Land Systems.

Innovative technologies and methodologies are being employed in the development of mortar systems with high accuracy and improved ease of operation. We talk over analysis and advances in this area with Noel Wilde of the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s Combat Support Team.

Future Soldier

Frontline connectivity is becoming an increasingly vital area of modern operations, with developments in sensors and communications technologies providing increased visibility and intelligence. We discuss research and development in this area with Timothy Chung, programme manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO).

2019 has seen heatwaves occur across the globe, and it seems likely that soldiers will become even more accustomed to operations in extreme heat in the future. But is the equipment they rely on able to withstand harsh hot environments? We find out with Ross R. Guckert, deputy programme executive officer in the US Army’s PEO Soldier, and Huw Cable, head of the MOD’s defence equipment and support (DE&S) vehicle demonstration and manufacture team.


For NATO, coherent systems which allow for common intelligence between allies are vital. The acquisition of the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system marks a major step in NATO’s ability to conduct continuous and advanced surveillance. We talk to Brigadier General Volker Samanns, general manager of the NATO Airborne Ground Surveillance Management Agency, about the capability requirements for a system of this nature, the technology involved and its future development.


There is obvious value in sharing information and reducing the siloisation of military departments. However, challenges arise when the information in question is sensitive. We discuss developments in data management tools and how to integrate and share data securely with Ian West, NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency cyber security chief.

Naval Capabilities

The Royal Navy is investing in new technologies, including autonomy and robotics, to equip the fleet of the future: autonomy and lethality accelerator NavyX was launched earlier this year. We survey recent innovations and their applications with Sean Trevethan, fleet robotics officer and surface combatant combat systems desk officer.

Transport and Logistics

Logistics computing tools have the potential to streamline and improve the organisation of vital operations. We discuss the development of a modelling system which can assess risk, explore alternatives and help in decision-making with Joseph Myers, the US Army Research Office mathematical sciences division chief at the Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory.

Training and Simulation

The possibilities of virtual reality continue to expand, from on-operation training and multi-person approaches to rehabilitation, while the format of the technology is now shifting to portable options. We explore the advances in VR with Wayne Buck, M&S analyst with NATO Modelling and Simulation.

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