Over the last few months, we have discussed some of the latest trends in the defence and aerospace industries to coincide with the publication earlier this year of Samtec Industrial Application page. In these posts, we have looked at how Samtec technology is helping designers solve some of the greatest challenges in these markets.
Today is the opening day of DSEi 2021, the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition, which is held every two years in London. Hosted at the Excel Centre in the heart of London’s historic docklands area, it is a remarkable show to attend. With access to the River Thames, the exhibition gives attendees the opportunity to get up close and personal with the latest military equipment. Naval vessels, vehicles, personal equipment and even aircraft are all on display.
DSEi is often a place for manufacturers to announce their latest equipment, or for multi-million dollar deals to be signed. As a result, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the headlines. However, exploring the exhibition with a discerning eye provides some interesting observations, one of which is the sheer profusion of support products and services on offer. That an army marches on its stomach has been known to military commanders for centuries, and many have learnt the hard way that this remains true today. However, the complexity of the modern military means that logistics go beyond simply providing food and water, and now represent a huge of any operation.
The current global situation sees military forces conducting deployments into remote regions of the world, and unable to depend on local infrastructure. Whether conducting conventional military operations, multinational peacekeeping or humanitarian relief, forces must be able to bring their infrastructure with them. This means not only the basic needs of shelter, food and water, but increasingly sophisticated communication systems.
As we have seen, military forces are operating in an increasingly digital environment. The age-old challenge of controlling forces over a wide area has met the modern communications revolution, and now even the modern infantry soldier has access to a range of technology. These devices operate share information as part of a secure network.
It is this area in which the modern electronics of the telecommunications industry blends with the needs of field-deployable, military-grade equipment. The traditional solutions that have been used in military and aerospace applications – large and bulky rectangular or circular connectors – are giving way to products that would be familiar to the public. Small, hand-held devices that are finding uses on the battlefield have as much in common with commercial mobile phones as they do with traditional military equipment.
Supporting the Latest Applications
Although Samtec is not exhibiting at DSEi, our products will be well represented in some of the latest equipment being introduced there. Samtec solutions are ideal for these demanding applications, as they bridge the gap between the commercial and military worlds. The Severe Environment Testing program, along with our Extended Lifetime Products, are creating a range of connectors that can combine the performance needed for the latest communications or power devices with the robustness demanded by field-based equipment.
A visit to an exhibition such as DSEi gives a fascinating insight into the challenges faced by today’s armed services. Deploying overseas, whether to provide force protection or humanitarian relief, requires the ability to quickly create the services needed to conduct operations, often in areas that boast no infrastructure of their own. The military can benefit from the latest innovations in the commercial market, but these products must deliver a level of performance and reliability that industrial users do not need. At Samtec, we are proud to test our products to higher standards, providing designers with the confidence they need to depend on our solutions.