AVIATION LEGERE DE L'ARMEE DE TERRE VILLACOUBLAY (FRANCE)
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Three important new factors have recently greatly modified the elements of the military-scientific dialogue, giving it a new dimension. The first concerns the process by which a new scientific technique is adapted to meet an operational requirement. Up to the middle of the Second World War, it was the operational requirement which led to or hastened scientific progress in a given area or direction the operational requirement preceded scientific progress. For example, there is no doubt that it was the essential requirement to guarantee the security of the British Isles which lay behind the rapid progress made in the field of radar. We now witness daily some explosion of discovery or scientific progress in many areas, and in numerous directions. It is thus no longer for the operational staff a matter of being content to state a requirement and then leaving to the scientist the responsibility of producing the technical answer on the contrary, it is a question of the operational staff and scientists together perceiving, before any potential enemy does, technical advances which have the greatest relevance in the operational area. The second factor concerns the construction of the instrument of combat itself. Up until now, at least in French Army Aviation, we have always adapted a weapon to an existing helicopter, one moreover designed for civilian use. We have militarised civilian helicopters with one exception the SA 330 Puma, which possessed the necessary military characteristics, but it was not an armed helicopter. It is obvious today that we will only get a high performance combat helicopter if we build the helicopter round, and as a function of, the chosen weapons system. NATO.
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