DARPA is studying biological aptitude with the aim to understand and monitor the biology that underlies success in specialised military roles. We find out how this approach will help to optimise training for future warfighters and the recruitment process for specialist roles.

We also report from the Security & Counter Terror Expo 2019, look at the exoskeleton technologies being explored by the US Army Soldier Center for potential military applications, and speak to researchers studying what happens at the centre of explosions with the aim of improving the design of bomb protection systems.

Also in this issue, we catch up with the joint US-UK ‘Swarm and Search AI Challenge’, which intends to find better ways to play complex search and rescue missions using unmanned aerial vehicles. Plus, we speak to BAE Systems about the recent increase in its apprentice intake and its approach to training up the next generation of defence experts.

Susanne Hauner, editor