• Portugal to order mini UAVs

    The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) will issue a request for proposals for the acquisition of mini unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the Portuguese Army by the end of 2017, a military source told Jane’ s. A contract is expected to be signed during the first quarter of 2018, the

  • Dutch officer commands German panzer battalion for first time

    A Dutch officer has become commander of the German Army’s Panzerbataillon (Tank Battalion) 414 for the first time. The Bundeswehr described this as “historic” and the Dutch Ministry of Defence (MinDef) said it was “a next step” in the integration of the Dutch

  • Indian Navy plans permanent presence in IOR to counter Chinese influence

    Key Points The Indian Navy is looking to establish a permanent presence in the IOR Deployments to the IOR are intended to counter the PLAN's growing influence in the region The Indian Navy (IN) has announced plans to permanently position mission-ready warships and surveillance aircraft along

  • Legal action unlikely to deter militant groups from destroying historic sites

    Key Points The Islamic State’s destruction of cultural and religious sites appears to have been part of a broader propaganda strategy aimed at gaining and maintaining international media attention, and in this regard it was successful. In contrast, it appears that the group enjoyed only

  • US again stresses FONOPS in Western Pacific

    The United States now has three carrier groups in the Pacific amid heightened tensions in the region and as US President Donald Trump readies for a trip there, but the Pentagon said the timing was coincidental. US officials said the concentration of carrier forces is due simply to a confluence of

  • Eyeing Russia, NATO ministers to consider new Atlantic and logistics commands

    NATO defence ministers during a quarterly meeting in November will consider establishing new commands to improve logistics in Europe and for better securing the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. NATO officials are increasingly worried that Russia could complicate the alliance’s movements at sea

  • NATO-Russia Council to discuss Ukraine, transparency, and Afghanistan

    A meeting of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) in Brussels, at ambassadorial level, is set for 26 October, Czech General Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, confirmed on 25 October. The discussions are part of the NRC's regular meetings and the topics this time are to include the

  • New Zealand set to start search for ANZAC frigate replacement

    Key Points The Future Surface Combatant project is being established to identify options for the replacement of the RNZN’s ANZAC frigates HMNZS Te Kaha and HMNZS Te Mana Cross-decking FSU systems to a new platform is one option being studied The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is looking

  • Turkey’s prospective Russian S-400 air defences would not integrate with NATO

    NATO-member Turkey could face "necessary consequences" for buying Russian S-400 air defence systems that cannot integrate into the alliance's similar systems, according to a top NATO general. In September Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara had signed an agreement with

  • USN chief emphasises small-team fixes for ship-handling problems

    While the US Navy (USN) continues its investigation into its recent surface-ship collisions and review of procedures following those deadly mishaps, early feedback from the USN “operational pause” shows a need for greater focus on small-team development, Admiral John Richardson, the

  • Afghanistan to receive six more Super Tucanos

    Afghanistan is to receive a further six Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)–Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light-attack turboprops under a deal announced on 25 October. The aircraft will add to the 20 already received by the Afghan Air Force (AAF). Of these, 12 have so far been delivered to

  • Low serviceability leads to Bulgarian pilots refusing to fly MiG-29s

    Bulgarian Air Force (BuAF) MiG-29 pilots on 24 October stopped all scheduled flight activities other than quick reaction alert (QRA) from Graf Ignatievo air base, near Plovdiv, in south-central Bulgaria. This is a culmination of the crisis in BuAF supersonic aviation, which since late 2014 has been

  • UK re-approves ‘new munitions capability’ for Saudi Arabia

    The UK government has re-approved a license to deliver “a new munitions capability” to Saudi Arabia, according to documentation released by the Department of International Trade (DIT) in October. The DIT stated that, in the first quarter (Q1) of this year, the government approved

  • USAF to deploy F-35As to Pacific

    The US Air Force (USAF) is to conduct its first operational overseas deployment of the Lockheed martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in the coming weeks, the service announced on 23 October. Twelve aircraft and approximately 300 personnel from the 34th Fighter Squadron (FS) based at

  • Brazil, Chile eye potential second-hand acquisitions from UK

    Key Points Brazil and Chile have quietly been given notice of the potential availability of RN frigates and amphibious ships Brazil sees a second-hand Type 23 acquisition as an opportunity to modernise its surface force The navies of Brazil and Chile are assessing the potential acquisition of UK

  • US Air Force denies it is returning bombers to nuclear alert status

    The US Air Force (USAF) on 23 October denied it was returning its nuclear bomber force to alert status after a 22 October news report spread concern among mainstream news outlets that it was returning to alert. USAF spokesperson Ann Stefanek told reporters on 23 October that while the facts of the

  • IAF trials highway runway in northern India

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted a ‘touch-and-go’ exercise involving 14 combat and two transport aircraft on a recently constructed highway in northern India on 24 October to practise for ‘operational contingencies’ in times of conflict. Two IAF Lockheed Martin C-130J-30

  • RS-28 Sarmat heavy ICBM to be test launched by end of year

    The Russian Ministry of Defence plans two launches of the RS-28 Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by the end of 2017, the Kommersant newspaper reported on 23 October. The missile will be fired from a silo at the Plesetsk space centre, according to the newspaper. Kommersant

  • US Air Force hopes longer contract terms will attract retired pilots

    Key Points The US Air Force gained the authority to recruit retired pilots back to active duty The service hopes a longer contract term will help attract these pilots and stem a pilot shortage The US Air Force (USAF) hopes a longer contract term will better attract retired pilots and help the

  • Gen Dunford: Investigation underway over deadly battle in Niger

    The US Department of Defense is investigating the circumstances that led to four US soldiers being killed during a 4 October battle in Niger, the top US officer told reporters on 23 October. A group of 12 US special forces personnel embarked on a two-day patrol with 30 Nigerien troops about 85 km

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