• Exercise reveals NATO vulnerabilities to Russian hybrid threats in North Atlantic

    NATO is currently digesting the lessons of a tabletop exercise held at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington, DC, in February 2017 that confronted participants - including former senior alliance officials - with Russian asymmetric threats in the Greenland-Iceland-UK (GIUK) gap,

  • US arming Syrian Kurds for Raqqa fight

    Key Points President Trump has approved arming Syrian Kurds as the US-led coalition prepares to fight for Raqqa The announcement is likely to further strain relations with Turkey, which believes some of the Kurdish fighters have ties to the PKK US president Donald Trump has approved the arming of

  • Xponential 2017: Risk-averse DoD hopes to speed robotics acquisitions

    Developing and fielding equipment in rapidly advancing realms such as software and robotics is consistently problematic for the risk-averse US Department of Defense (DoD), but officials are exploring some new pathways to speed processes. Technology is being developed faster than the Pentagon can

  • Xponential 2017: US Army to trial new Robotic Complex Breach Concept

    The US Army is working on a new Robotic Complex Breach Concept that will explore how to use robotics and autonomous systems during a combined arms breach mission. Combined arms breach operations are among the army's hardest missions - generally involving a defending enemy force whose position must

  • Xponential 2017: US Army's SMET programme advances cautiously

    The US Army plans to move quickly into experimentation with a Squad Maneuver Equipment Transport (SMET) system as the service seeks to finally determine if such a capability is worthwhile. "We're still struggling to understand this device and what we want it to do for us," Lieutenant

  • Turkey to deploy up to 600 troops at military base in Qatar

    More details on the military base that Turkey has established in Qatar were revealed when a Turkish general disclosed to a parliamentary commission that up to 600 troops will be deployed there. Brigadier General Ihsan Bulbul, deputy undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of National Defence, told

  • Xponential 2017: 'Open architecture' solutions still largely an unrealised ambition

    Pentagon requirements and acquisition officials have for years cheered 'open architecture' systems as a solution for better introducing and eventually upgrading disparate systems across organisations, but the concept has yet to fully take hold. The sort of ever-changing, dynamic requirements that

  • Sweden may retain Gripen C fighters beyond current 2026 retirement date

    The Swedish Air Force (SwAF) may continue operating its Saab JAS 39 Gripen C fighters beyond their current planned 2026 retirement date as the service looks to make up an anticipated shortfall in Gripen E numbers, a senior official told reporters. Speaking in Stockholm on 8 May, Colonel Magnus

  • Xponential 2017: Trust is key to unlocking full benefits of autonomous systems

    Trust in unmanned systems must be furthered before the full potential of their capabilities can be leveraged by operators, according to Anthony Jones, an engineer at the US Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR). The trust element needs to be built into the design of unmanned

  • Leonardo to develop expendable decoy technology with RAF Rapid Capabilities Office

    Leonardo has partnered with the UK Royal Air Force's (RAF's) newly established Rapid Capability Office (RCO) to work together on the introduction of new radio frequency (RF) expendable active decoys (EADs). As well as working to clear the existing second-generation BriteCloud EAD for early

  • Sweden touts 'strategic depth' concept with Finland

    The Swedish Air Force (SwAF) has drawn up a concept of 'strategic depth' that would enable Finland to use its bases should that country have to withdraw its forces in the face of an invasion by Russia. Briefed to reporters in Stockholm on 8 May, the concept is part of a wider bilateral defence

  • Swedish QRA scrambles remain at record levels

    Sweden is still conducting high levels of Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) fighter scrambles in response to airspace incursions and unauthorised flights from Russia "and others", an air force official told reporters on 8 May. Colonel Magnus Liljegren from the Swedish Air Force (SwAF)

  • Xponential 2017: USMC seeks artificial intelligence for better unmanned 'teaming'

    The US Marine Corps (USMC) is studying how to advance human-robotic teaming beyond tele-operation, but leaps ahead in artificial intelligence (AI) technology will first be needed. USMC planners are exploring the strength of humans and machines to find ways to actually make robotics part of the team

  • Key US Air Force officer endorses 'Fast Space' concept

    Key Points Key officer supports findings of report Technologies being developed by commercial space industry could be leveraged for national security A key US Air Force officer believes the time is right for the service to capitalise on the national security benefits that can be gained from a

  • US Senate confirms Wilson as next US Air Force secretary

    The US Senate on 8 May confirmed Heather Wilson as the US Air Force's (USAF's) newest secretary. Senators voted 76-22 in Wilson's favour. Wilson is the second Pentagon official to pass confirmation and take his or her position. Defence Secretary James Mattis is the other. Wilson is also the first

  • Xponential 2017: Innovative concepts set to broaden MUM-T applications

    Industry and operators need to change the manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) paradigm to most effectively utilise systems' capabilities, according to Wayne Prender, Textron Systems' vice-president of control and surface systems. Speaking at Xponential 2017 in Dallas, Prender said that the concept of

  • Xponential 2017: US Army aims to speed technology development and fielding

    The US Army hopes to reduce the timeframe in which it delivers new capabilities to the field, to address requirements for technology turnaround and upgrade within two years, Lieutenant General Michael Shields, director of the Joint Improvised threat Defeat Organisation (JIDO), stated at Xponential

  • Xponential 2017: US Navy seeks common implementation of unmanned standards

    The US Navy fields a variety of unmanned aerials systems (UAS), unmanned underwater vehicles, and unmanned surface vessels for multidomain systems suites aboard vessels such as the Littoral Combat Ship, and this adds complexity and creates a need for greater interoperability across this range of

  • Mauritius National Coast Guard gets new patrol vessel

    The Mauritius National Coast Guard (NCG) received its second fast patrol vessel (FPV) on 30 April, the vessel's manufacturer, India's state-owned Goa Shipyards Limited (GSL) announced. CGS Valiant is the second of two FPVs ordered by Mauritius from GSL, with CGS Victory having been handed over in

  • US cautious over Syrian safe zone plan

    The US State Department said it has "reason to be cautious" about a plan to establish safe zones in Syria that was agreed by Russia, Turkey, and Iran during talks in Astana on 4 May. The United States was represented at the talks by an acting assistant secretary of state, but did not

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