MSPO highlights, UK F-35 concerns and AlphaDogfight winner speaks


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In this episode of The Weekly Defence Podcast we hear about capabilities on display on the floor of MSPO event in Poland, and we talk to Heron Systems’ VP for research to look at what’s next for the company following its recent victory in the DARPA AlphaDogfight AI trial.

Newsround (00:33)

In Japan, the MoD is considering alternatives to Aegis Ashore for ballistic missile defence. Three options are currently being considered.

Departing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on 11 September that the MoD will reach a decision by late December.

In Australia the first engine fire-up test of the Loyal Wingman UAV took place on 15 September, following completion of the first aircraft earlier this year for the Royal Australian Air Force.

In Germany, the government is investing a further €2.1 billion in the armed forces, following the previous funding injection in July. This time the emphasis is on digitalisation, Joint Direct Attack Munition smart bombs for the air force and guided missiles for the navy.

The UK will lead an international training programme for the Ukrainian Navy, which requires new equipment and systems to recover from a period of neglect. Planned exercises may involve Canada, Denmark, Sweden and possibly the US.

News in focus:

Air Editor Tim Martin discusses concerns raised in the UK over the F-35 programme during the latest defence committee hearing. The programme status suggests the long-term target for delivery of 138 aircraft to the RAF might not be met. What does this mean at a capability level?

BAE Systems had delivered the first Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) systems for the US Army. Land Reporter Flavia Camargos Pereira highlights what the new acquisition will add to the US ground forces.

Deep Dive - MSPO Poland highlights (14:50)

News Editor Ben Vogel talks to Shephard contributor Michal Jarocki, who attended the MSPO event held in Poland last week. MSPO was one of the very few events to go ahead this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Michal reports on the new equipment on display plus procurement programme developments.

Interview – Heron Systems (31:24)

Ben Vogel speaks to Heron Systems’ VP Brett Darcey, to find out about the company’s journey to victory in the DARPA AlphaDogfight AI competition, and the next steps for the company following this achievement.

This episode was produced by Noemi Distefano with music and sound mixing by Fred Prest

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