• Afghan Taliban appears divided over leadership

    Key Points The announcement of the death of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar has prompted a leadership struggle within the group and derailed peace talks with the Afghan government. Resistance to the Pakistan-facilitated peace talks within the Afghan government has increased following a series of

  • Army and Hizbullah agree 48-hour local ceasefire with Islamist militant groups in Syria's Rif Dimashq

    MILITARY forces and allied- Hizbullah militants, agreed on 26 August with Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya and other Islamist militants on a 48-hour ceasefire, starting at 0300 GMT on 27 August, in the town of Zabadani in Syria's Rif Dimashq governorate, Al-Arabiya reported.

  • ATT signatories conclude first conference

    Signatory nations to the UN's Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) concluded their first formal conference on 27 August, selecting Geneva as the site for the ATT's secretariat and confirming the participation of the defence industry as an observer to its work. The three days of negotiations in Cancun, Mexico,

  • Bangkok attack marks shift in terrorist threat

    Key Points An unusually deadly attack in Bangkok on 17 August marked a significant shift in the terrorist threat environment in Thailand. The attack came after a period in which Malay-Muslim separatist militants in the south of Thailand had intensified their operations, including expansion into

  • EU sets up unit to counter Russia's disinformation campaigns

    The EU announced on 27 August that it is forming a small "rapid response" team of officials within the European External Action Service (EEAS) to deal with Russian propaganda. To be launched on 1 September, the team will monitor Moscow's propaganda manoeuvres and advise EU and national

  • EU-wide exemptions to free-movement Schengen rules increasingly likely in one-year outlook, affecting cargo and cross-border commerce

    EVENT EU leaders met their counterparts from the Western Balkans in Vienna on 27 August to discuss future collaboration and migration. On the same day, a lorry containing more than 70 dead migrants was discovered on the hard shoulder of Austria's A4 motorway near the border with Hungary. After the

  • India launches latest military comms satellite

    India launched a multi-media communication satellite on 27 August that is intended to augment its military's network-centric warfare (NCW) capabilities. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the GSAT-6 aboard the three-stage, indigenously developed Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch

  • MAKS 2015: KRTV adds IR seeker to Kh-58UShK anti-radiation missile

    Russia's Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV) company demonstrated for the first time at the MAKS 2015 air show its upgraded version of the Kh-58UShK anti-radiation missile featuring an imaging infrared (IIR) channel. This missile intended to be integrated into the internal weapons bays of Russia's

  • MAKS 2015: KRTV unveils Grom-E1/E2 stand-off munitions

    Russia's Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV) used the occasion of the MAKS-2015 airshow to unveil the Grom-E1 guided cruise missile and Grom-E2 gliding bomb. Both are currently being trialled according to the director general of KTRV, Boris Obnosov. The munitions have a unified design

  • MAKS 2015: Russia's new Ka-35 AEW helicopter enters service

    Russia's latest Kamov Ka-35 airborne early warning (AEW) helicopter has entered service with the Russian Navy, an industry source told IHS Jane's at the MAKS-2015 air show. The new Ka-35 is both designed as a replacement for the Russian Navy's ageing Ka-31 'Helix' AEW helicopters and to have a

  • MAKS 2015: Russian Mi-28Ns to receive N025 radars in 2016

    Russia's Mi-28N Night Hunter attack helicopters will receive the N025 mast-mounted radar from 2016, an industry source told IHS Jane's at MAKS 2015. "The military is completing the tests of the N025 radar on three helicopters. Starting next year, it will be produced serially for mounting on

  • Saudi MH-60R helo order confirmed

    The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced on 27 August that it had awarded a USD11.8 million contract to Science Applications International Corp for the delivery of "weapon systems support and sustainment" for Sikorsky MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters operated by Brazil, Denmark, Saudi

  • Shared concerns over Islamic State increase prospects for diplomacy in Syria, but comprehensive settlement remains unlikely

    Key Points There is growing realisation that a collapse of the Syrian government would have severe negative implications for all regional players, including those who are seeking the removal of President Bashar al-Assad. Shared concerns among regional powers over the Islamic State and renewed

  • Social unrest in Brazil: Politically motivated protests and industrial action to pose operational and property damage risks

    Key Points The main types of civil unrest are anti-government protests, industrial action, land issues, and truck drivers' strikes. Politically motivated protests pose a risk of property damage to bank branches and transport infrastructure. The risk of social unrest will remain high over the

  • South Korea reveals plans to boost 2016 defence budget

    South Korea's government is looking to "sharply" increase its defence budget, a member of the country's ruling Saenuri Party revealed on 27 August. Reuters reported that legislator Kim Sung-tae had said the government was expecting to bolster combat power at the border with North Korea

  • South Sudanese president's reservations point to risks of continued fighting following comprehensive peace agreement

    EVENT South Sudanese president Salva Kiir relented to international pressure and signed the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) compromise peace deal in Juba on 26 August. The success of the deal depends on the ability of the main opposing principals to work together. However, both

  • Spanish navy and DCNS to discuss feasibility of further life extension for S 70 submarines

    Key Points Delays to the S 80 submarine programme prompt Spanish navy to ask DCNS about the suitability of further S 70 life extension Work would seek to extend the boats' service lives by five years, with S 80 in-service date not yet known The delays in building Spain's new S 80 diesel electric

  • Taiwan conducts first Apache live-firings

    The Republic of China Army (RoCA) confirmed on 27 August that it has conducted the first live-fire drills of its recently acquired Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. According to the RoCA, the drill included test-firing AGM-114L Hellfire missiles and AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles. The

  • UK requests remanufacture of Apaches to AH-64E standard

    The United Kingdom has requested from the US government the remanufacture of 50 of its AgustaWestland-Boeing WAH-64D Block I Apache Longbow AH.1 helicopters to the latest AH-64E Guardian standard. The request, which was announced by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 27 August,

  • Update: Pacific Fleet chief admits regional 'angst' over China's island building in the Spratlys

    Key Points The new commander of the US Pacific Fleet has said that US regional allies and partners are deeply concerned about Chinese island building in the South China Sea Admiral Scott Swift added that the US was only 3% short of its target of 60% of US forces being deployed to the Pacific