• Laser weapon breaks cover on USS Ponce

    Key Points The LaWS prototype is being deployed on USS Ponce to demonstrate a SSL-QRC The results of the demonstration will inform a follow-on SSL-TM programme The US Navy (USN) has released the first high-quality images showing a Laser Weapon System (LaWS) demonstrator installed on board the

  • Pentagon finalises F-35 LRIP 8 contract

    Key Points The Pentagon has finalised a deal with Lockheed Martin for 43 F-35 airframes: 29 for the United States and 14 for international sales The unit price of each of the three variants has come down steadily The US Department of Defense (DoD) and Lockheed Martin finalised the eighth F-35

  • Russia to develop A-100 AWACS based on upgraded Il-76MD-90A airlifter

    Russia is to begin developing a prototype Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) aircraft based on the upgraded Ilyushin Il-76MD-90A (Il-476) airframe, it was announced on 21 November. Although plans to do so were first introduced in 2011, the first Il-76MD-90A airframe to be converted into an

  • UK orders first operational F-35 combat aircraft

    The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed for its first four operational Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft as part of the Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP 8) production lot, it was announced on 21 November. The order marks an initial buy from the MoD's Main

  • Venezuela signs up for VN1, hints at Chinese amphibious vehicles buy

    Images from the official Twitter account of the Venezuelan Navy indicate that the Bolivarian Naval Infantry could soon be equipped with three different Chinese amphibious fighting vehicles: a development that would make Venezuela's marines one of the most potent amphibious forces in Latin America.

  • Italy deploys latest Mangusta attack helo variant to Afghanistan

    Italy has deployed the latest version of the AgustaWestland Mangusta attack helicopter, the AW129D, to Afghanistan. Task Force 'Fenice', the Italian Army Aviation component of Train Advise Assist Command West (TAAC-W) in Afghanistan, started testing the new version of the helicopter in early

  • ANCA claim responsibility for killing two police officers in India's Meghalaya

    IN A STATEMENT released on 20 November, the Achik National Cooperative Army (ANCA) claimed responsibility for killing two police officers in an unspecified location in India's Meghalaya state on 18 November, stating it was retaliation for alleged harassment of family members, The Shillong Times

  • AQAP's criticism of the Islamic State risks internal fractures but capability in Yemen unlikely to be affected

    EVENT Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a video on 21 November rejecting the Islamic State's self-proclaimed re-establishment of a caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq while also heavily criticising the group for creating deep divisions among the global jihadist community. The

  • Charges against three beheading plot suspects in UK highlight risk of low-capability Islamic State-inspired attacks

    EVENT Three suspects - identified as Nadir Ali Sayed, Yousaf Shah Syed, and Haseeb Hamayoon - appeared at a preliminary hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court in the UK capital, London, on 20 November, accused of plotting to behead a civilian. Police stated that the men had been charged earlier

  • China justifies island building programme

    Key Points Chinese officials have responded to an IHS Jane's report on island building in the South China Sea by saying the construction is for 'search and rescue' and 'intelligence gathering' Officials also said that it was up to China what it did in the Spratlys and that the United States had

  • Direct US-Iran meeting indicates willingness to extend nuclear talks, most likely to result in partial agreement

    EVENT A direct meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif on 23 November - the first such encounter since 1978 - indicated political will on both sides to continue negotiating despite the 24 November deadline for the extension of the January 2014

  • EDA and Eurocontrol join forces on SESAR

    The European Defence Agency (EDA) and Eurocontrol, the international air traffic control organisation in Brussels, have agreed to collaborate to implement the military side of the EU's massive air traffic management (ATM) modernisation programme known as SESAR. Tackling the cost implications of

  • GA-ASI tests ABSAA system and Due Regard Radar

    Key Points GA-ASI has tested an ABSAA system aboard an MQ-9 UAV and a Due Regard Radar aboard a Beechcraft King Air If successful, the two systems would allow UAVs to operate safely in civilian airspace without fear of collisions General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has tested an

  • Ghana to get Super Tucanos

    The Ghanaian Air Force will receive Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano turboprop aircraft and additional Mil Mi-17 helicopters, President John Dramani Mahama revealed when he inaugurated a new hangar at the Accra air force base. According to a statement released by the Ghana Armed Forces on 20 November,

  • Hizbullah says it has 'pinpoint' weapons

    Recent statements by senior Hizbullah and Iranian officials suggest the militant Lebanese organisation has acquired Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missiles. Sheikh Naim Qassem, Hizbullah's deputy secretary general, told Iran's Tansim news agency on 23 November that Iran had provided missiles with

  • IED attack wounds five police officers in Egypt's Cairo

    FIVE police officers were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED), emplaced by Ajnad Misr militants, detonated near a checkpoint near Helwan University in the southern outskirts of Egypt's capital Cairo on 20 November, Aswat Masriya reported. Ajnad Misr claimed responsibility for the

  • Moscow warns over situation in eastern Ukraine

    Kiev's "US-supported" economic blockade of pro-Moscow militant-controlled areas in eastern Ukraine could "pave the way for a new invasion", according to Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. He called for representatives of the self-declared 'Donetsk People's Republic' (DNR)

  • New Ukrainian coalition agreement reduces likelihood of Russia implementing peace deal with sanctions likely to continue into 2015

    EVENT On 21 November, a new government coalition agreement was signed in preparation for the new parliament opening on 27 November. The coalition (comprising President Petro Poroshenko's Bloc, Prime Minister Artseniy Yatsenyuk's People's Front, Samopomich, or Self-Reliance, the Radical Party, and

  • OSINT Summary: AQAP openly criticises the Islamic State

    On 21 November, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a significant video rejecting the Islamic State's self-proclaimed re-establishment of the caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq while also heavily criticising the group for creating deep divisions among the global jihadist community.

  • OSINT Summary: Mass-casualty attack in eastern Afghanistan follows broadening of US military remit

    At least 57 people were killed and 50 others were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest in the middle of a crowd of civilians at an inter-district volleyball match in the Yahya Khel district of Afghanistan's Paktika province on 23 November. Although no immediate claim of