• Mattis officially becomes US secretary of defense

    Retired US Marine Corps General James Mattis was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as the next secretary of defense on 20 January. The Senate voted favourably on his nomination, 98-1, several hours after President Donald Trump officially took office. Immediately after his own swearing in, Trump

  • Missile defences a top priority for Trump

    Key Points President Trump wants a "state-of-the-art missile defense system" to defend against potential ICBM threats from North Korea or Iran Republicans in Congress are likely support new investments in missile defences President Donald Trump, who took office on 20 January, called for

  • US strikes Al-Qaeda camp in Syria

    The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced on 20 January that more than 100 Al-Qaeda fighters had been killed during an air strike on a Syrian training camp conducted the day before. The disclosure on the final day of the Obama administration said the Shaykh Sulayman camp in Idlib Province, which

  • AUDS achieves TRL 9, deploys with US forces

    An undisclosed number of Anti-UAV Defence Systems (AUDS) have been supplied to US forces and are now in operational service. The AUDS has been developed in a collaborative effort by a UK defence consortium comprised of Blighter Surveillance Systems, Chess Dynamics, and Enterprise Control Systems

  • Challenges with implementing DCGS continue

    As the US military transitions to a more open and modular version of the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS), the services continue to encounter hurdles as they seek ways to get more intelligence data into the hands of analysts. The US Air Force (USAF) is moving off the legacy baseline DCGS

  • Imminent start of peace negotiations with Colombia's ELN insurgents to reduce risk of kidnapping and infrastructure attacks

    EVENT On 21 January, insurgents from the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) released an unnamed foreign citizen who had been kidnapped by the group in a remote part of Colombia's Chocó department. The move followed a joint announcement by the government and the guerrilla group on

  • Rockwell Collins posts positive Q1 results

    US Avionics and communications supplier Rockwell Collins published results from the first quarter of its 2017 financial year (FY) on 20 January, showing a 2% growth in revenue year on year. In the three months to December 31 the company generated sales of USD1.2 billion, while net income rose 7.4%

  • Saab buys more of Brazilian company Akaer

    Saab has agreed to buy an additional 10% of Brazilian aeronautics group Akaer, the company announced on 23 January. The additional purchase will increase Saab's holding in Akaer to 25%. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. Saab had originally acquired a stake in Akaer in 2012, when it made a

  • Trump to nominate Heather Wilson as USAF secretary

    President Donald Trump announced on 23 January that he plans to nominate Heather Wilson, a former congresswoman, to become the next secretary of the US Air Force (USAF). Wilson is a USAF Academy graduate, current president of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and formerly a New Mexican

  • Nammo to begin work at US Navy facility

    Norway-headquartered ammunition manufacturer Nammo AS announced on 19 January that it had signed an agreement to begin activity at a US Navy facility, part of its establishment of a new company called Nammo Energetics Indian Head (NEIH). Operating under a public-private partnership agreement signed

  • US targets Islamists in Syria and Libya in final actions of Obama's presidency

    The United States conducted airstrikes against Islamist targets in Syria and Libya in the last military actions to be ordered by President Barack Obama before he left office on 20 January. The strikes against Al-Qaeda leadership in Syria took place on 12 and 17 January, with a raid against Islamic

  • Argentina upgrades three AS365N2s for EUR24 million

    Argentina's Ministry of Security approved a EUR23.943 million (USD25.47 million) direct purchase from Airbus Helicopters to upgrade three AS365N2 helicopters operated by the Prefectura Naval Argentina (coast guard). The upgrade to the AS365N3+ model includes a complete overhaul of the airframe, new

  • FLT claim responsibility for attack in Mexico's Mexico City

    IN A STATEMENT released on 25 December, Frente de Liberacion de la Tierra (FLT, or Earth Liberation Front) claimed responsibility for an improvised explosive device (IED) attack targeting a branch of the Mexican state-owned power company Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE, or Federal Electricity

  • IED attack targets electricity company branch in Mexico's capital

    AN IMPROVISED explosive device (IED), emplaced by Frente de Liberacion de la Tierra (FLT, or Earth Liberation Front) militants, detonated at a branch of the Mexican state-owned power company Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE, or Federal Electricity Commission) in the capital Mexico City on 24

  • US Army selects Sig Sauer for new XM17 Modular Handgun System

    Sig Sauer has been awarded the long-running XM17 Modular Handgun System (MHS) contract for replacing legacy 9 mm M9 Beretta pistols, the US Army announced on 19 January. It is understood that Sig Sauer bested bids from Beretta, FN Herstal, and Glock, after Smith & Wesson and partner General

  • USN says shipyards, tooling, workforce would have to surge to support 355-ship navy

    Key Points Investing in shipyard facilities, specialised tooling, and a larger skilled workforce are critical for delivering a larger navy A surge in build rates would affect multiple US shipbuilding industry tiers, including infrastructure and technology The US Navy's (USN's) leadership has

  • NATO commanders emphasise alliance's counter-terrorism role

    NATO is at the "forefront of fighting terrorism", according to the alliance's most senior military official, General Petr Pavel, chair of NATO's Military Committee. Gen Pavel, as well as the alliance's two most senior commanders - General Curtis Scaparrotti, Supreme Allied Commander

  • Mexico's management of its US relationship to define ruling PRI's ability to stay in power beyond 2018

    Key Points Incoming US president Donald Trump has already managed to persuade a select group of companies to put investment plans in Mexico on hold, reducing investment and employment prospects in parts of Mexico's Nuevo León and San Luis Potosí states. A slowdown in economic growth and

  • US looks to joint RC-135 base with the UK

    A senior US Air Force officer has revealed that the service could set up a joint base with the United Kingdom Royal Air Force (RAF) for Boeing RC-135 Rivet Joint electronic and signal intelligence aircraft operations after the closure of the USAF's Mildenhall air base in 2022. Mildenhall is

  • DRS gears up for electric, hybrid drive potential

    Concerns over security and long-term energy costs will still drive the equipment market despite recent dips in fuel prices that have somewhat dampened interest in developing hybrid and electric drive propulsion plants for naval ships, predicted Greg Reed, a senior business development director for