• China building airstrip-capable island on Fiery Cross Reef

    Key Points China is reclaiming land at Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands, according to satellite imagery The reclamation, which started in August, is creating a land mass large enough for a 3,000 m-long airstrip China is building an island at least 3,000 m long on Fiery Cross Reef that

  • Chinese strategic capabilities expanding, a US government report warns

    Key Points China's nuclear forces are expected to expand considerably and become more lethal and survivable over the next 3-5 years, a US government report has warned The nuclear arsenal could grow so much that US extended deterrence, particularly with respect to Japan, will be weakened, it states

  • Militant video shows Egyptian armour being overrun

    Key Points The new Sinai affiliate of the Islamic State has released a video to claim the 24 October attack on the Egyptian Army The video shows a ruthless and sustained attack that overran a mechanised detachment of at least five armoured vehicles The severity of the insurgency facing the

  • Russia flies first radar- and avionics-upgraded Tu-160 bomber

    The first upgraded Tupolev Tu-160 'Blackjack' strategic bomber aircraft made its maiden flight on 16 November, Russian state media has announced. The flight, which took place out of the Kazan Aircraft Plant (KAPO) east of Moscow, lasted two hours and 40 minutes, the TASS news agency reported.

  • US Navy supply ships collide in Gulf of Aden

    Two US naval supply ships collided in the Gulf of Aden on 20 November, US Navy (USN) officials announced. Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE 6) and Henry J Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Walter S Diehl (T-AO 193) were conducting an underway

  • France orders 12 Airbus MRTTs

    France has announced on 20 November its order of 12 Airbus A330-200 MultiRole Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft for the Armee de L'Air. The purchase has been valued at around EUR3 billion (USD3.8 billion) by the French Ministry of Defence (MoD). In French Air Force service the MRTTs will be known

  • Auditors: US partner capacity building programme needs improvements

    US government auditors recommend the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of State use clear time frames to manage a nascent partner capacity building programme called the Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF). GSCF is meant to help the military and diplomatic departments jointly work with

  • Claim of responsibility for attack on Egyptian navy still not definitive proof of jihadist marine terrorism campaign

    Key Points Egyptian official accounts of the incident, and a 13 November claim of responsibility from a purported Egyptian jihadist group, suggest jihadist intent and capability to target shipping off Egypt's north coast. If true, this would also pose risks to commercial shipping entering the Suez

  • DAPA makes preliminary move to contract Lockheed Martin to upgrade F-16s

    South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) is set to establish a review committee that is expected to approve Lockheed Martin as prime contractor in its programme to upgrade 134 Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) F-16 fighter aircraft, DAPA spokesman Kim Si-cheol told IHS

  • Dissident republicans warn civilians to stay away from police targets in Northern Ireland

    IN A STATEMENT released on 6 November, an unspecified dissident republican group - identifying themselves as the IRA - claimed responsibility for an explosively-formed projectile (EFP) attack that damaged a police vehicle in Creggan in Northern Ireland's County Londonderry on 2 November - and warned

  • Dresser-Rand accepts Siemens acquisition offer

    An offer by Siemens of Germany to acquire US industrial equipment maker Dresser-Rand Group for USD7.5 billion has been approved by the US company's stockholders. The purchase was approved by the majority of Dresser-Rand shareholders on 20 November. It will be the largest acquisition in the history

  • Expatriates in Niger face heightened risk of kidnap as Islamists step up anti-French campaign

    EVENT On 19 November, an unconfirmed number of militants in trucks and on motorcycles attacked Bani-Bangou, in Tillabéri province, around 250 km north of Nigerien capital Niamey. The attackers destroyed one army vehicle and stole one gendarmerie vehicle as well as munitions. One soldier was

  • Grenade attack kills two police officers in Pakistan's Charsadda

    TWO police officers were killed and another was wounded when a grenade, thrown by two militants riding a motorcycle, detonated targeting a police patrol vehicle in the Shabqadar area of Charsadda district in Pakistan's Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa on 19 November, Dawn reported. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed

  • Grenade attack wounds 21 people in Pakistan's Karachi

    AT LEAST 21 people - including two police officers - were wounded when a grenade, thrown by unidentified militants, detonated near a market in the Mithadar area of Saddar Town in the city of Karachi in Pakistan's Sindh province on 17 November, The Express Tribune reported. No group immediately

  • IED attack kills police commander in Iraq's Diyala

    A POLICE commander - identified as Lieutenant Colonel Ali al-Bawi, the commander of Diyala's Eight Police Regiment - and his two bodyguards were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED), emplaced on a roadside by unidentified militants, detonated on a strategic road in Imam Wayis area,

  • Impeachment notice against Nigerian president heightens risks of government paralysis and political violence in three-month outlook

    EVENT On 20 November, 130 representatives of the Lower House, led by the speaker Aminu Tambuwal, signed a notice to commence an impeachment procedure against President Goodluck Jonathan for alleged abuse of office. The impeachment notice came in the wake of a raid at the National Assembly in Abuja

  • Iraqi forces relieve Baiji refinery

    The Iraqi Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that its forces have finally secured the town of Baiji and the associated oil refinery after months of fighting against Islamic State militants. The Iraqi authorities have made this claim before, but this time the MoD released a video on 20 November

  • 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

  • Japan announces Global Hawk, Osprey, Hawkeye purchases

    Japan has announced the selection of the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk for its high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) requirement and the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey for its tilt-rotor requirement. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) also confirmed that it would buy a Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced

  • Katibat Uqba Ibn Nafaa recruitment efforts increase risk of terrorist attacks in urban centres in post-election Tunisia

    Key Points The foiled attempt followed a 7 November call by the leader of the jihadist Katibat Uqba Ibn Nafaa urging Libyan and Tunisian militants to return from Syria to support its operations in Tunisia. Katibat Uqba Ibn Nafaa recruitment efforts indicate growing intent to extend the Jihadi