• Russian submarines present peer competition for Western boats, says US admiral

    Key Points Russian submarines are re-emerging as 'near-peer' competitors for Western navies The addition of a long-range cruise missile capability to Russian boats has changed and multiplied the threat Russian submarine technologies, capabilities, and operations are increasing in quality to the

  • EU 28 create operational and planning HQ for CSDP non-combat missions

    After years of hesitation and in-fighting, the 28 EU nations agreed 6 March to create an operational headquarters (HQ) in Brussels for the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions. However, the HQ will plan and oversee non-combat military missions only, leaving any decision to change

  • JASDF scrambles fighters as Chinese military aircraft fly near Okinawa

    The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) scrambled fighters on 2 March after a total of 13 Chinese military aircraft were spotted flying through the Miyako Strait between the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa and Miyako in the East China Sea, according to the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo.

  • Philippines inducts third multirole response vessel from Japan

    The Philippines Coast Guard (PCG) has commissioned a third multirole response vessel (MRRV) built by Japanese shipbuilder Japan Maritime United Corporation (JMUC). The platform, which has been named BRP Malapascua with pennant number 4403, was inducted in a commissioning ceremony on 7 March at Pier

  • RCAF aims for 2018 first deployment with Cyclone maritime helicopter

    Key Points A Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone ASW helicopter is to deploy on operations in 2018 The aircraft is replacing Sikorsky CH-124 Sea Kings The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) expects to deploy its Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter on operations for the first time in

  • RCAF: Aurora upgrade exceeds expected improvements

    Key Points Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140M Aurora maritime patrol aircraft life extension and incremental modernisation work appears to be proceeding well The aircraft's new capability exceeds RCAF expectations The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is continuing with life extension and upgrade

  • German NH90s begin medevac mission in Mali

    The four German NH90 helicopters deployed to Mali took over the forward air medical evacuation (medevac) mission there from the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) on 1 March, conducting their first medevac the next day. A pair of NH90s evacuated two wounded civilian drivers of a tanker truck

  • Finland dispatches OPV back to the Mediterranean

    Key Points Deployment will see Finnish OPV in the Mediterranean for six to 12 months The vessel will be the first deployment to have a mixed multinational crew from eight other European Union member states The Finnish Border Guard's Improved Tursas-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Merikarhu

  • North Korea fires four ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan

    North Korea launched four ballistic missiles on 6 March that landed within or close to Japan's exclusive economic zone in what appears to be a reaction to joint US-South Korean military drills on the Korean Peninsula. The yet unidentified missiles were fired almost simultaneously around 0734 h

  • UK undertakes major collective training review

    The British Army has embarked on a major programme to modernise its training, Colonel Alistair Rodgers, Assistant Head of Training Capability Development, UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), told the SMi Land Forces Simulation and Training Conference in London. With the end of large deployments to

  • Discovery Air to trial Red Air training services for Australia

    The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has contracted Discovery Air Defence Services Inc. (DA Defence) to provide 'Red Air' aggressor air training services for a two-year trial period, it was announced on 1 March. The Jet Air Support - Fast Jet Trial contract will see the Canadian-based DA Defence, a

  • US Reapers flew majority of strikes against Islamic State in Libya

    Most of the US air strikes against Islamic State fighters besieged in the Libyan city of Sirte last year were carried out by General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), according to a senior US Air Force's UAV officer. Colonel Chase Cunningham, commander of the USAF's 432nd Wing,

  • Avalon 2017: USAF anticipates F-35 IOC with 3F standard software upgrade

    Initial operating capability (IOC) for the US Air Force (USAF) Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) will be achieved later this year when system software is upgraded from 3I standard, an interim and more limited capability, to 3F standard. USAF F-35 Integration Office

  • Germany plans to increase surveillance capabilities in Mali

    The German military (Bundeswehr) plans to improve force protection at its main base in Mali by erecting a dedicated surveillance tower, deploying air defence radars, and procuring aerostats, a Bundeswehr spokesperson told Jane's on 27 February. The Bundeswehr is contributing 772 troops to the UN

  • Malaysia offers submarine training facilities to Saudi Arabia

    Putrajaya has offered its submarine training facilities to Royal Saudi Navy (RSN) in the latter's quest to pursue an initial underwater fighting capability, Malaysian defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein has disclosed via an official social media channel. The statement was issued on the occasion

  • NATO prepares for Taliban spring campaign, with focus on south

    Key Points The NATO-led 'Resolute Support' mission in Afghanistan is expecting the Taliban's spring offensive to focus on the south This year, however, there are raised expectations regarding the capabilities of the ANDSF As in past years, coalition forces in Afghanistan expect a substantial

  • Sweden to reintroduce military conscription

    The Swedish Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 2 March that conscription in the country is to be reintroduced. Registration of those born in 1999 and 2000 will begin on 1 July 2017, with liability to undergo basic military training starting from 1 January 2018, continuing through to 2019. Some

  • Yemeni rebels display UAVs

    Yemen's rebels appear to have provided more evidence that they are getting military support from Iran after they displayed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that looked similar to the Iranian Ababil 2. Called the Qasef 1, the UAV was unveiled on 26 February along with three other smaller unmanned

  • SHAPE's cyber defence unit now trialling three-nation cyber incident system

    NATO's cyber security unit within Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), known as the NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC), is now trialling a new three-nation cyber threat exchange system for a year to test the feasibility of its use during coalition operations. In

  • Thailand launches 10-year military modernisation programme

    Thailand's government has launched a 10-year military development programme through which it intends to address some of its major challenges, including ongoing insurgency in the south. The 'Modernisation Plan: Vision 2026', which was announced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 27 February,

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