• UN peacekeeping force for Ukraine discussed with Russia

    A proposed UN peacekeeping force for Ukraine was last discussed with Russia in January and the ball is now in Moscow’s court, the US special representative for Ukraine has said. Kurt Volker told the German Marshall Fund (GMF) of the United States’ Brussels Forum conference on 10 March

  • US ambassador to NATO calls for transparent and open PESCO

    The US ambassador to NATO has called for transparency and openness in the EU’s Permanent Structured Co-operation (PESCO). Expressing concerns that “the Europeans would have an advantage in any kind of a bid for products or equipment”, Kay Bailey Hutchison told the German Marshall

  • Saudi Arabia signs MOI for 48 more Typhoons

    Saudi Arabia has firmed-up its long-awaited procurement of an additional 48 Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft, with a memorandum of intent (MOI) being signed on 9 March. The MOI for the BAE Systems-built aircraft was announced by the company in a notification to the London Stock Exchange. It is

  • USN, USMC accelerating directed-energy programmes

    The US Navy (USN) and US Marine Corps (USMC) are developing their directed-energy (DE) programmes at a much faster clip, service officials told Congressional members during recent testimony on the fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget proposal. “We’ve been accelerating this as fast as we can and

  • Japan mulls over requests for defence equipment from Southeast Asia

    Key Points Japan is studying several requests from Southeast Asian governments for donations of defence equipment However, Japanese operational requirements will take precedence over assistance to foreign governments, a top military official has told Jane’s The Japanese Maritime Self

  • New CGS for Czech army confirmed

    On 8 March, the Czech government confirmed a nomination submitted by the Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) to appoint Lieutenant General Ales Opata as the new Chief of General Staff (CGS) of the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR) in May. Defence Minister Karla Slechtova nominated Lt Gen Opata on 1

  • Turkey confident of Afrin victory, despite Kurdish reinforcements

    Key Points Operation ‘Olive Branch’ should be completed by May, the Turkish foreign minister has said. It is unclear if the Syrian government is allowing Kurdish reinforcements into Afrin. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu announced on 8 March that the

  • NATO aims to create new Atlantic Command, new European logistics command

    NATO ministers are considering adding two new entities to improve logistics and support capabilities, in addition to a new cyber-operations centre, as part of a wider reform of NATO’s command structure, according to Czech General Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee. Alliance

  • New USCG commandant nominated

    US President Donald Trump nominated US Coast Guard Vice Admiral Karl Schultz on 8 March to be the next commandant of the service, taking over from Admiral Paul Zukunft, who has had the position for four years and is slated to retire after the change of command scheduled for 1 June, Kirstjen Nielsen,

  • USN, USMC gear up for confrontations with Russia, China

    Russian forces and Chinese intentions underscore the Pentagon shift back to those peer competitors and budget boosts for a bigger US naval force, US Navy (USN) and US Marine Corps (USMC) officials told members of Congress. “A major component of resurgent Russian has been in the

  • UK submarine arrives in the Arctic for joint exercise with USN

    A UK Royal Navy (RN) nuclear-powered attack submarine is heading under the Arctic ice pack for the first time in more than a decade as part of a joint exercise with two US Navy (USN) submarines. ‘Ice Exercise 2018’ ('ICEX'), which started on 7 March, aims to test operational readiness

  • PAF launches new JF-17 squadron

    The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has inaugurated a new squadron equipped with the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) JF-17 Thunder multirole combat aircraft, according to a 28 February report by the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP). Named No 28 Multirole Squadron and stationed at PAF Base Samungli

  • Indonesia inaugurates explosives plant

    State-owned Indonesian company PT Dahana – a specialist in military explosives – inaugurated a new production facility in Subang, West Java, on 7 March. In a statement, the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the new plant would help reduce the Indonesian Armed Forces’

  • USN to conduct new force structure assessment

    With a bigger fleet, an updated long-term shipbuilding plan, and revamped US and defence security plans under its keel, the US Navy (USN) is looking to carry out a new force structure assessment (FSA) that will more specifically spell out the types and numbers needed to fulfil the fleet’s

  • USS Essex leads ready group through first SWATT exercise

    The USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) departed Naval Base San Diego on March 4 to participate in the first ARG Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise. The drill is focused on advanced tactical training at sea to improve warfighting proficiency, lethality, and ship

  • AFRICOM commander concerned by Chinese influence in Djibouti

    The US military’s operations in Africa could be seriously impacted if China gained control over Djibouti’s port, General Thomas Waldhauser, the head of Africa Command (AFRICOM), told the House Armed Services Committee on 6 March. Djibouti’s government announced in February that it

  • British Army to deploy Lynx Wildcat helicopters to Estonia

    Key Points Four British Army Lynx Wildcat are deploying to Estonia next month as part of the NATO eFP mission It is the type’s first operational deployment Four UK Army Air Corps (AAC) Lynx Wildcat AH1 battlefield reconnaissance helicopters are to deploy to Estonia next month on the

  • National defence ministries mull creation of new military-assistance fund for Europe

    National defence ministries across the European Union are considering the idea of creating a joint fund to support military training, defence reform, and even equipment transfers in favour of the European Union’s partner countries. Dubbed the European Peace Facility (EPF), its financing would

  • DIA chief concerned about Chinese military’s growing capabilities

    US Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Robert Ashley has expressed concern over the Chinese military’s growing capabilities, especially those extending further into the Pacific Ocean. “Chinese military forces continue to develop capabilities to dissuade, deter, or

  • New National Defence Strategy prompts US amphibious operations review

    The new US National Defence Strategy has prompted US Navy (USN) and Marine Corps (USMC) officials to review, rethink, and revamp the way they perform amphibious operations. The strategy’s shift away from anti-terrorist operations towards missions geared to combat China, Russia, and other peer

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