Letter From The Editor

The milsatcom market could be an interesting one to watch this year given that governments around the world are still in the process of shaping their future plans. What is interesting is that there is much more talk of troop withdrawals and reducing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq now than there has been during the last decade.

Political and military leaders, however, continue to say that it is important not to be complacent when dealing with threats and that it will still need investments in milsatcom bandwidth and communications.

In this military supplement, we look at two very specific issues in the milsatcom market. The first highlights the highly sophisticated Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) sector, which has been a key part of modern operations during the last decade. The use of UAVs is now a potent part of a military strategy, and UAVs have often been used to devastating effect in recent times. In fact, UAV use has grown so much that while the U.S. government talks of defense budget cuts, it also makes significant mention that UAV programs will likely be protected.

Our second feature looks at the evolution of manpacks and what warfighters can expect today, and perhaps in the future. What we have seen in the last decade is warfighters placed in precarious situations out in the field, with the need for communications and to be light on their feet. Having an effective manpack could be the difference between life and death.

What is interesting this year is that we are reaching an inflexion point for milsatcoms. A combination of declining government budgets and a reduction of presence in key hotspots means governments around the world have a lot to think about when shaping their plans in this area. However, history tells us that it won’t be long before new hotspots emerge as certain countries become more stable. Armed Forces will have to be ready for this, and thanks to technology advances in areas such as manpacks and UAVs, with satellite technology at the forefront, they are better equipped than ever to deal with whatever happens next.

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