• 24 MarSyrian Democratic Forces dropped behind IS lines

    The US-led coalition air-dropped Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) behind enemy lines as part of a wider effort to take the Al-Taqbah dam on the night of 21-22 March. The capture of the dam will enable the SDF to cross the Euphrates and begin isolating Al-Raqqah city, the Islamic State's 'capital',

  • NATO battlegroups taking shape in Baltics, Poland

    Deployments of troops and weaponry for NATO's four Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland are picking up speed, with planned contributions from 17 allies. The battlegroups are part of NATO's Readiness Action Plan, which is aimed at deterring Russian

  • US DoD reviewing policies and procedures for countering UAS

    The US Department of Defense (DoD) is stepping up its efforts to combat the threat posed by unmanned systems, from small quadcopters to driverless cars as weapons. The effort is taking on the look and feel of similar work to counter improvised explosive devices (C-IED) during the early years of

  • UNSC condemns North Korean missile launch, engine test

    The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has condemned North Korea's most recent missile launch and rocket engine test. "The launch and engine test are in grave violation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's [North Korea's official name] international obligations under United

  • India to conduct first-ever air exercise with Israel

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) will participate for the first time in the multination 'Blue Flag' air exercise hosted by the Israeli Air Force, senior IAF officials told Jane's on 23 March. They said the IAF would take part in the two-week long biennial exercise, which also features aircraft from the

  • LIMA 2017: MMEA modernisation may follow navy's lead

    The Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency's (MMEA's) modernisation plan may follow the standardisation path set by the navy, Jane's understands. Speaking with Jane's at the 2017 LIMA Exhibition in Langkawi and commenting on the New Generation Patrol Craft (NGPC) programme, the CEO of Destini Armada

  • Tactical tablets: Getac evolves frontline system

    Key Points Getac UK has released a next-generation EUD with SOF launch customers across NATO The MX50 has been designed for use down to the lowest tactical level across the battlefield Special Operations Forces (SOFs) are spearheading the widespread utility of tablet End User Devices (EUDs) at

  • Germany proposes using excess A400M transports for multinational wing

    The German Federal Ministry of Defence (BMVg) is considering sponsoring a multinational air transport wing to fly the excess 13 Airbus A400M transport aircraft it will start receiving in 2018. The German parliament decided in January 2011 to sell 13 of the 53 A400Ms ordered for the Luftwaffe, but

  • Japan to deliver first two TC-90 trainer aircraft to the Philippines

    Japan will transfer the first two of five Beechcraft TC-90 King Air advanced trainer aircraft to the Philippines on 27 March, with the remaining three aircraft set to be delivered by the end of 2017, the Tokyo-based Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency said in a statement on 21 March. The

  • US Army seeks to maintain research funding, divest excess gear

    The US Army is taking a 'five pillar' approach to modernisation that includes maintaining key aviation research, buying next-generation ground vehicles, and divesting excess equipment. The first pillar is continuing to protect science and technology funding for programmes such as Future Vertical

  • USAF looks to lessons learned to improve software-intense acquisitions

    The US Air Force (USAF) acquisition officials hope to improve future programmes with lessons from recent struggles when buying equipment requiring major software developments, Lieutenant General Arnold Bunch, the service's top uniformed acquisition official, told the annual McAleese and Associates'

  • USAF plans to proceed with Compass Call replacement, pending funds

    The US Air Force (USAF) will move forward with plans to replace its Lockheed Martin-BAE Systems EC-130H Compass Call special mission aircraft, which were stalled after a bid protest. Government Accountability Office (GAO) auditors dismissed a bid protest filed by Bombardier earlier in March, and

  • Head of Pentagon's innovation board says new administration continuing efforts

    The Trump administration is continuing the work of its predecessors in trying to bring more innovation to the Pentagon, according to the chair of the Pentagon's innovation board. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent Alphabet and appointed to the innovation board upon its launch under

  • French Marines deploy to Estonia under NATO's Baltic presence mission

    Three-hundred French troops started to join their British counterparts at a base at Tapa, eastern Estonia on 20 March as part of NATO's Baltic Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP). The Joint Tactical Sub-Group (TGAI) comprises sections of the 2nd Marine Infantry Regiment (RIMa), usually based in Le

  • Israel shoots down Syrian SAM with Arrow 2 interceptor

    The Israeli Air Force (IAF) used an Arrow 2 interceptor to shoot down a Syrian surface-to-air missile (SAM) that was heading into Israeli territory on 17 March. This was the first time the Arrow 2 has been used operationally. It was also the first time a SAM has been shot down by another SAM,

  • Yemeni rebels claim second Burkan-2 ballistic missile attack

    Yemen's rebels claimed on 19 March that they had launched a Burkan-2 ballistic missile that targeted and hit Saudi Arabia's King Salman Air Base in Riyadh and released a low-quality video showing a ballistic missile being launched. There was no corroboration that Riyadh was attacked with a

  • China urges Japan 'not to stir up trouble' in South China Sea

    Amid reports that Japan plans to despatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea, Beijing has urged Tokyo to "refrain from causing trouble in the region". "Since last year ... the situation in the South China Sea has been getting better. Relevant

  • Taiwan admits its missiles can strike China

    Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) has said for the first time publicly that the island's armed forces are capable of striking targets in China with missiles. The statement came as the MND released its 2017 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). Lieutenant General Chiang Chen-chung told

  • 'Strategic patience' with North Korea has ended, says Tillerson

    The administration of US president Donald Trump is not willing to follow a policy of "strategic patience" with North Korea and would consider military options should Pyongyang elevate the threat posed by its weapons programme, US secretary of state Rex Tillerson said during a visit to

  • China, Kyrgyzstan vow to upgrade military ties

    China and Kyrgyzstan have expressed their intention to upgrade bilateral military ties, the China Military Online website reported on 20 March. "Bilateral relations have reached an unprecedented high level," General Fang Fenghui, a member of China's Central Military Commission, was quoted

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