• Australia commits SAS, F/A-18s, Wedgetail and more to anti-IS coalition

    Australia is pre-positioning combat aircraft and special forces in the Middle East ready to participate in the US-led effort in Iraq to degrade the Islamic State (IS). Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on 15 September that this followed a formal request for assistance from the US and the government

  • US-led coalition to tackle IS begins to take shape

    The US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria is beginning to take shape, with countries around the world pledging aircraft and personnel to the mission. Following President Barak Obama's declaration on 11 September that the United States is to lead a coalition of nations

  • Australia leaning towards buying Soryu-class subs

    Key Points Australian officials are leaning towards replacing the Collins-class submarine fleet with Soryu-class boats bought from Japan The purchase would end submarine construction in Australia and the opposition Labor Party has said it would cancel the deal if it won the 2016 general election

  • First operational F-35B squadron on track to meet deployment standards

    Key Points Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 at MCAS Yuma has begun training to IOC-specific standards. The USMC plans to become the first of the three US military services to declare F-35 IOC in July 2015. Pilots at Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, the US Marine Corps' (USMC's) first

  • Imagery shows Liaoning, J-15 mockup at Dalian shipyard

    Satellite imagery provided by Airbus Defence and Space has confirmed media reports that Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning recently undertook a four-month maintenance period in the Dalian shipyard, which refurbished the ship after its acquisition from Ukraine. The Kuznetsov (Orel) (Project

  • ST Marine lays keel for Singapore's first Littoral Mission Vessel

    State-affiliated shipbuilder ST Marine held a keel-laying ceremony for the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN's) first Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV) in Jurong, Singapore, on 11 September. The 80 m, 1,200 tonne vessel is the first of eight new LMVs to be built for the RSN under a contract announced

  • First Indonesian Bung Tomo corvette arrives home

    KRI Bung Tomo (357), the lead ship in a three-vessel corvette class on order for the Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Angkatan Laut, or TNI-AL), arrived at the port city of Belawan in Northern Sumatra on 8 September. Bung Tomo was inducted into the TNI-AL at Barrow-in-Furness, United

  • Adoption of proportional representation system by parliament raises risks of opposition-led protests in Myanmar

    Key Points Judging from the April 2012 by-election, adopting the Proportional Representation system would prevent any main political party gaining a majority of parliamentary seats in parliament, and also dilute Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition National League for Democracy's (NLD) share of

  • Afghan 'Hip' helo crashes

    An Afghan Air Force (AAF) Mil Mi-17 'Hip' transport helicopter crashed in the central Daikundi province of the country, killing one and injuring six others onboard, national media reported on 15 September. The helicopter hit a wall of an army compound in bad weather, Afghanistan's Khaama Press News

  • AQAP claim responsibility for kidnapping security official in Yemen's Hadhramaut

    IN A STATEMENT released on 6 September, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of a security official, identified as Rashid al-Habashi, on an earlier unspecified date in April, Mareb Press reported. The official was reportedly a high member of the

  • Argentine president's son clarifies electoral plans, signalling Kirchnerism's long-term ambitions

    EVENT Máximo Kirchner, the son of Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, confirmed his intention to run for mayor (intendente) of the city of Río Gallegos, in the southern province of Santa Cruz, on 13 September. The announcement was made to approximately 40,000 members

  • Army air strike kills 18 Islamic State militants in Iraq's Salah ad Din

    EIGHTEEN Islamic State militants were killed during army air strikes targeting their vehicles in Dhuluiyah, south of the city of Tikrit, in Iraq's Salah ad Din province on 10 September, NINA reported. Seven vehicles were also destroyed in the strikes. The Islamic State was formerly known as the

  • Army air strikes reportedly kill 50 Islamic State militants in Iraq's Anbar

    IN A STATEMENT released on 11 September, an intelligence official stated that 50 Islamic State militants were killed during air strikes targeting their positions in Nazzal neighbourhood in the city of Fallujah in Iraq's Anbar province on an earlier unspecified date, NINA reported. A number of

  • ASG militants release hostage in the Philippines' Sulu

    A MIDWIFE - identified as Lailani Bernabe, kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants in the village of Linbug, near the town of Panglima Estino in the Philippines' Sulu province on 28 August - was released unharmed in the village of Danag in Sulu province on 9 September, GMA Network reported.

  • Bidding reported to begin for Survitec

    Private equity firm Warburg Pincus has reportedly placed Belfast-based manufacturer Survitec on the market. Survitec manufactures a range of equipment for use in the military market, including anti-G suits for Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II pilots, submarine escape and

  • Catalonian ruling coalition's weakness lowers risk of early election despite stand-off over planned independence referendum in Spain

    EVENT On Catalan National Day (Diada: 11 September), Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) leader Pedro Sánchez claimed that if the 9 November referendum was blocked, Catalonia's regional president planned to call early regional elections. Regional

  • Cobham completes Aeroflex acquisition

    UK aerospace and defence supplier Cobham has acquired US communications equipment maker Aeroflex in a deal valued at USD1.46 billion, it was announced on 15 September. The acquisition, the largest in Cobham's history, will help to increase its exposure to commercial markets from an estimated 35% of

  • Current Turkish reluctance to co-operate fully in anti-Islamic State coalition likely to undermine its effectiveness in Iraq, Syria

    EVENT A conference hosted in Paris by French president François Hollande was launched on 15 September with the objective of co-ordinating an international response to counter Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. This meeting was preceded by another held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 11 September,

  • Fishing trawlers facing robbery risks off Mexico's Pacific coast, particularly in Sinaloa state waters

    EVENT The Mexican Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries, and Food (Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación: SAGARPA) met with representatives of Sinaloa state's fishing industry on 11 September to discuss the launch of a

  • Floods and strikes will exacerbate energy crisis in North India leading to further protests

    EVENT On 13 September, employees of the state-run Uttar Pradesh Power company called an emergency meeting to discuss a programme of protests and strikes against plans to privatise the company. The state government had earlier given assurances to the workers that such a privatisation was not going