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DSEI 2021: Read Chris Foss’ opinions on the industry exclusively with Shephard

8th September 2021 - 14:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Shephard Media is launching a new venture at DSEI this year. After consulting with readers, there was a clear desire to hear more opinion and analysis from our experts.

That’s why the company has teamed up with Chris Foss to send out an email newsletter each day of the show with a different opinion from an expert who has been tracking and reporting on the armoured vehicle market for over five decades.

For the first time, Chris will be telling people what he really thinks on debates such as tracked versus wheeled armoured vehicles. 

So don’t miss out - sign up today to receive the first Foss Unglossed newsletter.

In advance of the launch, we asked Chris a few questions about his time in the industry and what he would like to get from his newsletter.

What first got you writing about armoured vehicles? 

In the late 1960s, I became interested in modern AFVs - but there were few publications on the market, so I mentioned this to the publishers Ian Allen and subsequently wrote AFVs of the World, which sold 7,500 copies and was followed by several new editions.

What has been the most memorable moment in your career as a journalist? 

It was probably spending some days with the South African 61 Mech in Southwest Africa and bush bashing in a Ratel 6x6 IFV. I have been lucky to have driven more than 60 tracked and wheeled AFVs, but these invitations are now few and far between due to health and safety. The same goes for firing the main weapons on AFVs!

Have you ever met any of the key vehicle designers?

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to talk in-depth to many key designers and their teams. Gen Israel Tal (Merkava MBT) and Dr Philip Lett (Abrams MBT) were the most interesting. Unfortunately, neither are with us any longer, but their designs, which I think are two of the best, live on.

What convinced you that now was a good time to branch out from reporting to opinion writing?

I will continue to report, but writing an opinion piece gives me more scope, and I hope it starts a good debate about crucial issues - for example, the inability of some countries to update their AFV fleets.

What’s been different about the process? 

It is a different mindset, and you have to bring in other lines of thought and perhaps be controversial.

What would you like people to take away from your newsletters? 

To make them think out of the box and hopefully field much-needed equipment more quickly.

Any last thoughts?

Some of the most successful vehicles and weapons have been developed as a private venture because the existing procurement methods cannot keep up with the rapid technological changes or the different threats.

Make sure you don’t miss Foss Unglossed — so sign up now to get these exclusive newsletters!

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