Terminator-style research, Polish UAV wingman and spotlight on Japan


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In this episode of The Weekly Defence Podcast, we look into a Czech deal with Bell for Viper and Venom helicopters; US research into self-healing materials à la Terminator 2; and next steps for Japanese defence after PM Shinzo Abe announced his resignation.

Newsround [01:15]

Lockheed Martin intends to offer a UAV ‘wingman’ concept to function alongside Polish F-35A aircraft, but the Polish MoD must still define its final requirements before selecting industry partners.

COVID-19 is causing problems for the Royal Navy, after some crew members on HMS Queen Elizabeth tested positive for the virus. This has delayed the scheduled departure of the aircraft carrier from its base in Portsmouth.

US Army scientists have created a form of self-healing material that may one day be used by autonomous systems such as UAVs to repair themselves. The 3D-printable material would have the ability to reconfigure itself thanks to a dynamic bond in the structure of the polymers.

News in focus

Senior Editor Richard Thomas discusses the domestic defence industry in the GCC region. What are the trends and what are the prospects as countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE press on with developing their own capabilities?

Land Reporter Flavia Camargos Pereira describes how the US Army is looking to get ‘more bang for its buck’ by funding research into novel energetic materials. These materials might not only enhance firepower but also increase the effective range of weapons.

The DoD has awarded Bell a $272 million contract to produce and deliver eight UH-1Y Venom and four AH-1Z Viper aircraft to the Czech Republic. Air Editor Tim Martin has more details: is it a good deal for the Czechs and how will these helicopters fit into their force structure?

Interview- Raytheon Air Power [17.18]
News Editor Ben Vogel is on the line with Paul Ferraro, the newly minted VP of the Air Power business in Raytheon Missiles & Defense, about how the recently merged company continues to develop air-to-air and air-to-surface effectors.

Deep Dive – Spotlight on Japan [34:33]

Duncan Bartlett, ex-BBC Tokyo correspondent and author of the blog Japan Story, speaks to Richard Thomas about the country's changing military posture and the future of the Japan-US alliance.

Industry Voice- Viasat [55:03]

VP Content Tony Skinner grabs a word with Pete Camana, Chief Technology Officer for Tactical Data Links at Viasat Inc, about how the company is pushing the boundaries for Link 16 in low Earth orbit.

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

100 episodes