• German Typhoons not subject to Russian aggression

    The German Air Force (GAF) is not seeing a more confrontational attitude from Russian pilots it is intercepting over the Baltic region, despite concerns being raised by Western leaders of increased aggression over recent weeks. Speaking during a media tour of Amari Air Base, Estonia, on 17

  • Netherlands commits to first operational F-35s

    The Netherlands announced on 15 December that it will sign a contract in April 2015 for an initial eight Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs). In total the Netherlands is planning to buy 37 F-35s, with the first of the eight initial aircraft expected to enter service in

  • Spain buys extra Patriot SAM batteries from Germany

    Spain is to buy two surplus Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries from Germany ahead of deploying some of its existing Patriot systems as part of the NATO cover agreed for Turkey. The two batteries will each include five launchers in the Patriot Advanced Capability Two Plus (PAC-2+)

  • Analysis: Hamas displays long-range rockets

    The Palestinian militant group Hamas provided an insight into its rocket manufacturing programme on 14 December when it paraded its longer-range models for the first time through Gaza city. The rockets on display included the self-produced J-90 and R-160, as well as a quad launcher for the M-75 and

  • MQ-8B concludes successful US Coast Guard cutter demonstration

    Key Points USCG conducts radar-equipped Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS technical demonstration 10 days of testing off California saw system achieve all of the USCG's objectives A radar-equipped Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has completed a 10-day technical

  • NATO extends enhanced Baltic air policing until end of 2015 at least

    NATO is to continue its enhanced Baltic Air Policing Mission for at least another year, a senior Estonian Air Force officer said on 17 December. Speaking at Amari Airbase, which is currently hosting four German Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon fighters assigned to the NATO mission, the station commander Lieutenant Colonel Rauno Sirk said that the base had already been earmarked to host further deployments through to at least the end of 2015.

  • Aero Vodochody in talks with Thailand over L-39 replacement

    Czech aircraft maker Aero Vodochody is in negotiations with the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) to supply replacements for at least four Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros jet trainers. Aero is offering its L-159 ALCA or L-39NG as replacement aircraft. The RTAF currently operates a total of 36 L-39ZA/ART

  • Airbus names new COO

    Tom Williams, previously the executive vice president for programmes at Airbus, will be taking over as chief operating officer effective 1 January, the company announced on 16 December. Williams will replace Günter Butschek, who resigned, the company said in a press statement. Butschek was

  • Attack on Sony highlights North Korea's ability to mobilise cyber warfare in support of its foreign policy goals

    EVENT Sony Pictures announced on 17 December that it had cancelled the release of a film about North Korea that Pyongyang has described as an "act of war", and which was the probable cause of a cyber attack on the company. The Interview portrays a fictional, and successful, CIA-backed

  • Australia seeks comment on new defence export laws

    The Australian Department of Defence released a draft copy of proposed amendments to the country's Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 on 17 December, with the government seeking industry comments on the proposed changes throughout January. A key proposed change to the act will see approval for the

  • Australia, Japan to provide F-35 heavy maintenance in Asia-Pacific

    Key Points Both Australia and Japan will conduct heavy maintenance on F-35 airframes, while F135 engine heavy maintenance will initially be provided by Australia The facilities are expected to be operational by 2018 The US Department of Defense has assigned maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO)

  • Azerbaijan claims 2014 defence exports of USD100 million

    Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defence Industry (MODIAR) exported defence-related goods worth USD100 million in 2014, Defence Industry Minister Yaver Jamalov said on 17 December. The figure marks a fall from output of USD123 million in 2013, but remains substantially ahead of the 2012 figure of USD23

  • Coalition between right-wing and religious parties would increase civil unrest and war risks in Israel

    Key Points Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party is increasingly likely to ally with religious parties. A right-religious coalition would be likely to pass the Nationality Law, increasing the prospects of non-Jewish civil unrest in Israel, and to respond more

  • Departure of Congolese rebels from Ugandan camps raises risks of renewed M23 rebellion in eastern DRC

    EVENT At least 1,000 combatants belonging to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)-based rebel group the Mouvement 23 Mars (M23) escaped from Ugandan military custody on 16 December after attempts to repatriate them. The repatriation attempts by Uganda were being made in accordance with the December

  • Escalating fighting threatens Myanmar peace process

    Escalating clashes across northeastern Myanmar between government forces and an alliance of ethnic minority groups have undermined attempts to engineer a nationwide ceasefire agreement and cast doubt on the future of an already fragile peace process. Worryingly for the Myanmar Army, traditionally

  • Estonian Air Force seeks enhanced C2, and to support allies

    The Estonian Air Force is to prioritise its efforts towards developing a more advanced command and control (C2) capability over the coming years, as well as ensuring that it is properly equipped and prepared to host NATO allies in the Baltic republic. Speaking to journalists at Amari Airbase near

  • EU research project creates new CBRN equipment

    New CBRN protective gear developed for civil first-responders by an EU-funded security research project has dual-use potential for Europe's militaries, according a European Defence Agency (EDA) expert. The project's creation of an integrated ensemble of the personal protective equipment (PPE) - and

  • Ideological divide - KobanĂȘ's ethnic war

    Key Points Kurdish militia fighters defending Kobanê are successfully presenting themselves to Western eyes as the last line of defence against the hardline Islamic State, despite opposition from Turkey. The Islamic State's framing of the conflict is equally significant as the group has

  • Indefinite FARC ceasefire likely to be broadly upheld heralding reduction in insurgent attacks on oil infrastructure

    EVENT The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) insurgent group announced on 17 December that it would begin an indefinite unilateral ceasefire on 20 December. The statement added that the FARC will only use force in cases of self-defence. The group has called on international

  • Indian defence minister details AW101 contract termination

    Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar provided confirmation and more details of the termination of India's contract with AgustaWestland for 12 AW101 helicopters on 16 December. Parrikar said in a written parliamentary reply that the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) had paid a total of INR15.86 billion