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In the latest market forecast for the military
aviation market, Janes
revised the forecast for China upwards by 12.5%, with total programme spending
expected to hit USD228.7 billion between 2020 and 2029. Previously, the trusted
global agency for open-source defence intelligence had forecast a spend of
“China is expected to continue ramping up
production to expand its fleet and reinforce its regional military strength,”
said Alessandra Giovanzanti, senior analyst at Janes. “Alongside keeping up
production with programmes such as the J-20 and Y-20, China is likely to
procure new Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft and fifth-generation
fighter aircraft for carrier-borne operations, as well as continuing with the
recapitalisation of its rotary-wing fleet.”
“Recent reports confirm ongoing manufacturing
activities for all known major aircraft programmes as well as progress in the
development of new platforms such as the Xian H-20 stealth bomber aircraft,
which, according to military sources, is ready for delivery to the People’s
Liberation Army Air Force and may make its first public appearance later this
year,” said Giovanzanti.
The trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence today welcomes Adam Versteeg to drive talent strategy globally
LONDON (16 July 2020) – Janes – the trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence – today announced the appointment of Adam Versteeg as Chief Human Resources Officer. Adam will lead human resources for Janes globally as the company continues its transition from its publishing legacy into the leading provider of open-source data, intelligence and analytics.
“I’m excited to join Janes at such an exciting time in the company’s history” said Adam Versteeg, Chief Human Resources Officer at Janes. “I’m passionate about delivering business-aligned people leadership that supports and empowers company culture and am looking forward to working with the global team that delivers Janes connected data and intelligence.”
Adam brings more than twelve years’ human resources experience in change management and leadership roles, including at PwC, the Royal Household and most recently the Economist Intelligence Unit. He further served for more than seven years in the British Army as an Infantry Officer.
“Adam’s unique experience in change management for complex organisations makes him the perfect fit for Janes as we continue our transformation into the global intelligence provider,” said Blake Bartlett, CEO at Janes. “Our people are our most important asset, and I’m delighted that Adam has joined us to develop and execute our talent strategy globally.”
The latest forecasts from the trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence estimate a programme decline of USD5 billion in Russian military aviation
The latest forecast from Janes for the Russian military aircraft market expects it to reach the cumulative value of almost USD80 billion between 2020–2029. Janes now forecasts Russian total programme value of USD79.5 billion, a 6.9 per cent reduction when compared with the earlier forecast of USD85.3 billion.
“The decline in programme value is mostly attributed to delays in several long-term programmes, and constraints in the ongoing production and deliveries of aircraft,” said Alessandra Giovanzanti, senior aviation analyst at Janes. “Nonetheless, construction of the first PAK-DA has been recently reported as under way, with a final aircraft to be completed in 2021. The recapitalisation of strategic airborne capabilities is essential to ensuring a modern and capable air force.”
Janes notes that despite the likely exacerbation of the downward trend of oil and gas prices, budgetary constraints and a comparatively weak rouble, Russia is still moving on with the acquisition of combat aircraft.
The trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence today welcomes Elena Rodriguez to drive global product strategy
LONDON (15 June 2020) – Janes – the trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence – today announced the appointment of Elena Rodriguez as Chief Product Officer. Elena will spearhead the development and execution of product strategy at Janes as the company continues its transition from its publishing legacy into the leading provider of open-source data, intelligence and analytics.
“I’m excited to be joining Janes at such a pivotal time in the transformation of its global digital and data propositions, and ensuring we deliver maximum value to our customers” said Elena Rodriguez, Chief Product Officer at Janes. “I’m passionate about leading the growth of the products and capabilities that leverage the world-class news, data and analysis for which Janes is renowned.”
Elena joins with over twenty years’ experience in product management for data and information services firms, including MoneySuperMarket.com, Experian and more than fifteen years at Thomson Reuters.
“I’m delighted that Elena has joined us to head up our global product strategy and delivery,” said Blake Bartlett, CEO at Janes. “Her strong background in product leadership across data services and in digital transformation will be vital as we build on our legacy and find new ways to deliver the trusted data, open-source intelligence and analytics on which our customers rely.”
The Janes stamp of trust means supplying our customers with timely, validated, unbiased and relevant intelligence in a world crowded with increasingly unreliable information. With an unmatched legacy of more than 120 years, Janes has adapted, expanded, and developed its unique tradecraft while transitioning from a traditional military publisher to the leading global agency for open-source defence intelligence.
Sam Cranny-Evans, Charles Forrester, Pat Host, Gareth Jennings, and Melanie Rovery are all shortlisted finalist at the 2020 Aerospace Media Awards
LONDON (11 June 2020) - Janes analysts have been shortlisted nine times in the Aerospace Media Awards 2020, reflecting the continued strength of the trusted global agency for open-source intelligence’s news and insights. The awards celebrate excellence in aerospace journalism, and Janes analysts have received nominations across six categories.
“I’m delighted that Sam Cranny-Evans, Charles Forrester, Pat Host, Gareth Jennings and Melanie Rovery have been shortlisted in the Aerospace Media Awards. I look forward to watching the now-digital event next month,” said Sean Howe, head of research and analysis at Janes. “The Janes stamp of trust is inherent in our analysis, and throughout our continued and ongoing transformation into the leading provider of open-source intelligence, our validated and trusted news is vital to workflows across the defence industry, national security, and government activity.”
Janes analysts have been nominated in the following categories:
The latest budget forecast from Janes predicts minor adjustments in defence expenditure in European countries
LONDON (8 June 2020) – Janes has revised its forecast for European defence expenditure in 2021 down to USD288.8 billion – a 0.97% decrease on the previous year – after accounting for the economic impact of Covid-19, both in general economic terms and on public spending. Before the Covid-19 crisis, Janes forecast European military expenditure to increase by 2% in 2021 to USD302 billion.
Differences are set to widen in the medium term. Before the crisis, Janes expected defence spending to reach USD324.4 billion in 2025, whereas now the forecast is USD270.9 billion: a difference of almost 20%.
In countries where military expenditure was expected to track economic growth, Janes expects a series of cuts until 2025, followed by a pattern of limited increases to 2030. Defence spending is forecast to lag behind GDP in terms of recovery. That said, an increase in regional tensions, especially in the Baltics or Eastern Europe, could be an incentive for quicker and more significant recovery. However, this would not significantly affect overall expenditure as most of the heavy spenders are in Western Europe.
“The United Kingdom, France and Germany account for up to 50% of overall European spending on defence,” said Ana-Roxana Popescu, senior industry analyst at Janes. “Given the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis on overall budgets, they are likely to implement cuts to their military expenditure in the near term, bringing down the overall European average. The effect will be relatively long lasting and their combined defence spend in 2031 will be USD25 billion less than initially expected: USD165 billion versus USD190 billion.”
Janes expects countries that had their medium-term defence expenditure linked to certain procurement programmes will try to keep to their military spending plans in nominal terms.
“Countries like Finland, Denmark and Norway are all in the process of modernising their fighter fleets,” said Popescu. “The Covid-19 pandemic has caused the exchange rate to shift in favour of the euro, meaning that in real terms Finland is the only country mentioned whose growth is seen in real terms*. Other European countries with procurement plans in the near future will not escape unscathed. While stable at present, cuts to their defence budgets are expected to be delayed to later in the decade.”
The Janes stamp of trust means supplying our customers with timely, validated, unbiased and relevant intelligence in a world crowded with increasingly unreliable information.
LONDON (14 May 2020) – Janes – the trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence – today relaunched the Janes brand to coincide with the relaunch of Janes.com, reflecting the company’s continued transformation from its publishing legacy into the leading provider of open-source data, intelligence and analytics. In a world crowded with increasingly unreliable information, Janes delivers validated open-source defence intelligence that is aligned with workflows across the defence industry, national security and government activity.
With data and insights spanning the defence and national security domains, Janes has combined its intelligence into four main capability areas: threat; equipment; country and industry, all of which continue to be assured by Janes and adhere to the unique tradecraft that Janes has honed throughout its unparalleled history of collecting open-source information.
“Our customers have trusted us for 120 years. As part of our promise to deliver the intelligence that they need in their daily tasks, we have adapted, expanded and honed our unique tradecraft,” said Blake Bartlett, CEO of Janes. “Everything we produce is assured by Janes. Our stamp of trust is reflected in our new brand identity which reinforces our strategy to transition from traditional military publisher to the leading global agency for open-source defence intelligence.”
“Our market-leading solutions enable organisations to identify and query key information that drives clear decision-making in their daily tasks. The processes, sources, and expert judgement that make up Janes tradecraft enables us to offer the highest level of assurance. We continue to offer the objective open-source intelligence and analytics that the world of defence and security relies upon, delivered by our award-winning team of analysts.”
Janes was started by naval enthusiast Fred T. Jane in 1898 to document the world’s fighting ships. Janes has since evolved into a provider of unique, proprietary open source data, with a global team of almost 400 subject matter experts delivering analysis spanning 41,000 pieces of equipment across air, land and sea, and more than 600,000 events that impact risk or security.
Monthly CBRN update from the trusted agency for global open-source defence intelligence reveals ongoing activity across Iran’s nuclear sites
London (12 May 2020) – Analysis from Janes – the trusted agency for global open-source defence intelligence – reaffirms the continuation of Iranian nuclear activity in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In April’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) defence update, Janes analysed four Iranian facilities using commercially available satellite imagery. The activity and launch noted at the Shahrud Missile Test Complex in particular indicates that Iran’s missile and space programmes remain largely unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Janes notes that the new generation of centrifuges slated to be unveiled and stationed at Natanz, as announced by the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), could potentially be in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) restrictions on the research and development of centrifuges. Although there is no evidence to indicate that the enrichment levels have increased beyond 4.5% U-235, the revelation of a new generation of centrifuges will likely raise concerns regarding Iran’s persistent breach of the JCPOA limitations.
Escalating tensions in the Gulf
Janes reflects that Iran’s war of words with the United States and statements regarding nuclear and military activities during the pandemic crisis reveal a show of strength directed towards the domestic as well as the international audience.
“Heightened diplomatic and military tensions between Tehran and Washington in April are likely to continue as the Covid-19 pandemic settles in the following months, fuelled by the US administration’s persistent ‘maximum pressure’ campaign and potential diplomatic manoeuvres, including that of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo positing that the US may still legally be a signatory to the JCPOA, alongside Iran’s increasing economic woes and ballistic missile technology related tests, ” said Srishti Punja, CBRN analyst at Janes. “There is a somewhat high risk of escalation of tensions and direct confrontation between Iran and the US in the Gulf, which has remained subdued since the confrontations in January 2020.”
Janes is delighted to welcome Susan Michaels to lead Global Sales and Customer Care
LONDON (11 May 2020) –– Janes, the trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence, today announced the appointment of Susan Michaels as Chief Sales Officer. Susan will be responsible for accelerating the growth and go-to-market strategy for Janes data, open source intelligence and analytics.
“I’m excited to be joining Janes and for the opportunity to drive the expansion of Janes unique data and analysis,” said Susan Michaels, Chief Sales Officer at Janes. “I’m passionate about accelerating business growth and look forward to joining the team at this crucial time in Janes development.”
Susan joins Janes from Dun & Bradstreet, where she has spent 5 years developing go-to-market strategies and optimising alliances and partnerships. She brings over 25 years of experience to Janes, including more than 15 years working across data and insights and with further experience in the financial and investment banking sectors, at Dun & Bradstreet, LexisNexis, Edgeview Partners and JP Morgan.
“I’m delighted that Susan has joined Janes and I’m confident that her strong background in Sales and data services will further accelerate Jane’s growth,” said Blake Bartlett, CEO of Janes. “Susan will lead our global go-to-market and partnerships strategy to ensure that we find new ways to deliver the trusted open source intelligence that our customers rely on.”
London (5 May 2020) - Janes Intelligence Review has worked with colleagues at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC to publish analysis of a new and previously undocumented military facility in North Korea that appears to be related to the country's ballistic missile programme.
Joe Bermudez, CSIS's Senior Fellow for Imagery Analysis, has ascertained that the nearly complete facility - near the village of Sil-li and the main airport at Sunan - has a number of unique characteristics that suggest it has a missile support role. In particular, a large structure at the site is identified as a potential missile check-out facility that would be large enough to accommodate any of North Korea's currently known ballistic missiles.
Complete analysis of the site and 3D-modelling of its structures is available via Janes Intelligence Review and analysis with additional imagery is available via CSIS.
Robert Munks, editor of Jane' Intelligence Review, commented: "In these times when the world's attention is distracted, it's important to remember that other global security threats have not disappeared. This analysis shows that the site near Sil-li will likely be operational by the end of this year or in early 2021, and that will mean another step forward for North Korea's already potent ballistic missile programme."
First instalment of Jane’s Defence Industry Conversations sees Hon. David Trachtenberg discuss the impact of Covid-19 on US defence priorities, while defence budgets data from Jane’s reflects the likely squeeze on military spending
LONDON (4 May 2020) –– Speaking in Jane’s inaugural Defence Industry Conversation, Hon. David Trachtenberg reinforced the need to work together in order to protect US security interests in light of Covid-19. The new webinar series from Jane’s brings together experts – such as the former U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy– to discuss the most pertinent issues affecting the defence industry.
Trachtenberg discussed the implications any disruption in the supply chain has on the defence industry, whilst also noting that multi-national initiatives such as the F-35 programme are crucial to US defence success.
“Global partners are essential to American security. By partnering with others, especially on sophisticated high technology products that will improve the American competitive edge, the United States can distribute our programme costs more broadly and more equitably,” said Hon. David Trachtenberg in a conversation with Jane’s head of industry, Doug Dixon. “Failing to do that simply increases the cost for the American taxpayer.”
Trachtenberg further stressed the need for government to work with private industry.
“How well prepared the defence enterprise is to deal with threats – such as Covid-19 – depends on the ability of government and the private sector to work together to confront challenges,” said Trachtenberg.
What next for the world’s largest defence budget?
Jane’s notes that the impact of the American political situation has high impact on American security policy and defence discretionary spending.
“In this presidential year I might expect some fireworks between mandatory spending on the one hand and discretionary defence spending on the other,” said Trachtenberg. “With shifting power dynamics on Capitol Hill, we are destined to continue to have this enduring debate over the proper allocation of resources between mandatory spending and discretionary spending.”
The President submitted his FY21 President’s Budget Request (PBR) to the Congress for review on 10 February 2020. Baseline discretionary FY21 requested outlay for defence is USD753 billion and for non-defence is USD733 billion totalling USD1,486 billion in planned discretionary spending. Planned FY21 mandatory outlay is USD3,010 billion with USD379 estimated for interest on the debt. Total FY21 discretionary and mandatory spending thus equals USD4,875 billion.
Jane’s highlights that FY21 defence spending equals 15.4 per cent of total outlay and 3.2 percent of FY21 initial estimate of GDP, which is expected to contract at 5.4 per cent.
“Given that the defence budget is over half of discretionary spending for the US government it will likely be seen as a bill payer for a deficit driven drawdown,” said Guy Eastman, senior budget analyst at Jane’s. “With an expected fiscal downturn Jane’s anticipates downward pressure on the defence budget. At this point, it is too early to predict how fast and how much the defence budget will drawdown."
Jane’s data highlights South American countries shifting policy direction and government instability linked to the novel coronavirus, while in Europe Spain relies on its armed forces to treat the pandemic.
LONDON (27 April 2020) – Jane’s Covid-19 Events Monitor has recorded more than 10,000 events using a combination of proprietary and open-source data. The monitor – from the global agency for open source defence intelligence – looks specifically at the involvement of armed forces, government responses and the effects of the novel coronavirus outbreak on defence and national security operations worldwide.
Analysing the global outlook, Jane’s notes:
South American countries recorded the highest number of events in policy direction and government instability. Jane’s recorded the highest number of policy direction events in Peru, predominantly led by domestic concerns about the long term economic and social effects of the lockdown. Indeed, Chile’s Ministry of Labour revealed that 95 percent of the companies in the country requested for employment protection due to Covid-19 concerns.
Instances of Civil War in Syria continue alongside the Covid-19 outbreak, with more than three quarters (115 of 151 recorded by Jane’s) of the events linking civil conflict and coronavirus taking place in the country.
Most countries have been under some form of lockdown for over a month. This suggests that civil unrest is set to increase as already demonstrated in countries like Colombia, Iran, Nigeria, and Lebanon. Jane’s expects these kinds of incidents to rise in the next few weeks across the globe.
The Covid-19 Events monitor from Jane’s covers events such as troop deployment, military medical assistance, evacuations, law enforcement tasks performed by the military to support internal security forces, and cases of Covid-19 infections and deaths in each country’s armed forces. It also covers events enumerating government responses and policies, labour strikes, protests and riots and government instability because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
effect of Covid-19 on defence industrial bases in the Asia-Pacific region has
been largely mixed to date, although temporary lockdowns across the region
could have major adverse repercussions for local companies and their contract
of early April, the impact of the virus has forced many regional defence firms
to halt industrial activities, while companies in East Asia are ramping up work
close to pre-pandemic levels. And like in many sectors, working from home has
become the norm.
defence companies in the Asia-Pacific region have faced similar challenges –
albeit in different periods of time – the longer-term impact of Covid-19 could
be starkest in terms of defence funding. This could force regional countries to
consider downsizing military modernisation initiatives or introduce spending
rationalisation measures: something that the Japanese MoD has already indicated
it is pursuing.
Jane’s Defence Budgets, the impact of the pandemic in the Asia-Pacific region
could reduce cross-region defence spending by several percentage points, with
the worst of the cuts coming in the early 2020s.
long-term requirement emerging from the Covid-19 crisis could be industrial
restructuring and consolidation. This has been a trend in the Asia-Pacific
defence industrial base in the past few years – especially in Northeast Asia –
and could accelerate and expand if the impact of the virus persists.
2 April 2020 | Jon Grevatt, Asia-Pacific Defence Industry Analyst, Janes.
Looking through the lens of the coronavirus pandemic, Jane’s updated Covid-19 Events Monitor keeps industry, government and national security customers informed about key incidents and threats that are affecting their operations.
London (16 April 2020) - Jane’s – the trusted global agency for defence intelligence – has recorded 8,029 events using a combination of proprietary data and open source intelligence relating to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 Events Monitor looks specifically at the involvement of armed forces and the effects of the novel coronavirus outbreak on defence and national security operations worldwide.
“As the world remains focussed on the spread of Covid-19 – its greatest threat to date – we have turned our attention to producing a range of analytics to help our customers understand the impact of Covid-19 on the defence and national security landscape,” said Blake Bartlett, CEO of Jane’s. “We are continuing to deliver the trusted news, data and intelligence that we’re known for – while expanding our coverage across the many threats to industry, governments and national security.”
“Our global team continues to work remotely whilst delivering the intelligence that our customers rely on – providing unique insight into changing priorities, budgets, markets and military operations worldwide,” said Bartlett.
The Covid-19 Events monitor from Jane’s covers events such as troop deployment, military medical assistance, evacuations, law enforcement tasks performed by the military to support internal security forces, and cases of Covid-19 infections and deaths in each country’s armed forces.
significant increase in attacks in Myanmar particularly reflects the intensifying
conflict between the armed forces and the Arakan Army ethnic insurgent group in
Rakhine State”, said Matthew Henman, head of Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency
Centre. “The conflict has spread broadly across key areas of the state, and
while the figures recorded from open sources reflect this, the true scale of
the fighting – and casualties suffered by the armed forces – has been obscured
by a media blackout in Rakhine, preventing a more accurate recording of events
the same time period, JTIC recorded an 11.8% increase in the number of NSAG
attacks across Asia-Pacific.
Various sources, including within Hizbullah’s military wing, have reported to Jane’s that the group’s hospitals in Beirut are overwhelmed by members infected with Covid-19. The virus has reportedly been spread extensively by fighters and leadership figures returning from Iran and Syria.
The impact of the health crisis on Hizbullah’s regional operational capabilities remains unclear, yet sources in the group have claimed that containment of the virus is diverting operational focus away from the Syrian conflict and will likely decrease capacity to travel and project force across the broader region.
Although the emergency response to the pandemic could serve as an informal means of control, and cultivate a broader base of support within Lebanese society, wider political and socio-economic consequences are likely for Hizbullah in the coming 6–12 months.
In line with information circulating on social media, on 26 March, Hizbullah announced a health emergency plan in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, including the deployment of 24,500 doctors, nurses, paramedics and field staff. Moreover, the group states they are dedicating their hospitals to provide free Covid-19 testing and treatment addition to manufacturing ventilators. In addition, Hizbullah declared it will make its resorts and hotels – non-profit sites usually used for summer and recreational activities for youth and scouts – available as quarantine sites.
The Covid-19 outbreak therefore presents serious challenges for Hizbullah: much of the group’s attention has been diverted from an operational focus on Syria, where the group’s fighters play a critical role in defending the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Moreover, with its fighters falling victim to the virus, the effect on the group’s military capabilities remains to be seen.
The group is already under pressure: since its intervention in Syria, the group is facing a legitimacy and accountability crisis among its supporters and the wider Lebanese population. Dissent among supporters is increasingly reported, although difficult to verify due to a lack of transparency and physical access.
The war in Syria continues to negatively impact Lebanon’s already precarious economic situation and result in refugee and host community tensions, food price hikes, and pressure on health and education systems, housing and employment opportunities.
Yet, the health crisis might also present an opportunity for Hizbullah. Given the (general) weakness of public institutions, the group once again has the chance to showcase the strength of its governance services and social welfare networks. Known to make access or quality of the services dependent on active political or military participation, or at least on compliance with the group’s policies, the emergency response to the pandemic could serve as an informal means of control and cultivate a broader base of support within Lebanese society.
In addition to a potential operational impact and a decreasing capacity to travel and project force across the broader region, there may consequently be wider political and socio-economic consequences for Hizbullah in the coming 6–12 months.
LONDON (10 March 2020) ––The Taliban has overtaken the Islamic State as the world’s deadliest terror group, according to the latest report from Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre (JTIC). The report from the open-source defence intelligence agency highlights a 25% decrease in the number of non-militant fatalities caused by the Islamist group’s activities.
“JTIC recorded 2,381 fatalities attributed to Islamic State activity in 2019 – down from 3,151 in 2018,” said Matthew Henman, head of Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre. “The increase in Taliban activity – with an 87.6% increase of Taliban-attributed attacks – has taken the group to be the world’s deadliest, with casualties exceeding the total number for the next nine groups combined.”
Down but not out?
The 18.4% decrease in Islamic-State attributed attacks reflected a substantial downturn in activity in Iraq and Syria, although the group’s continued operations in West Africa and the Sahel underline the ongoing significant threat posed.
“While Islamic State activity in Iraq and Syria was largely reduced to a steady tempo of insurgent-style violence, in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, and Burkina Faso in particular, the group continued to perpetrate mass-casualty violence and challenge state control of territory,” said Henman.
JTIC notes that Islamic State held the position as world’s deadliest terrorist organization between 2014 and 2018.
JTIC recorded 1,077 attacks by the Taliban in 2019, up from 574 in 2018 – an increase of 87.6%. Despite being the third most active group worldwide in terms of attacks – behind Ukrainian pro-Russia separatist group the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Islamic State – the Taliban was by far the deadliest group worldwide in terms of civilian casualties.
Congratulations to Jane’s principal journalist and unmanned systems editor Kelvin Wong for picking up the Aerospace Media Awards Asia award for Best Military Aviation submission. You can read his winning investigative piece on the Singapore air force’s UAV capabilities here.
The killing of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani in a US airstrike in Iraq on 3 January has significantly increased tensions between the two nations, with a significant probability of retaliation or possible escalation by Iran. In addition to conventional military means, Iran has an array of non-state proxy groups across the broader region that could potentially be utilised to threaten US military and government targets.
Better known as the Houthis, Ansar Allah has been provided with both arms, training, and manpower by Iran. The most serious threat potentially posed is to international shipping – particularly oil tankers – traversing the Bab al-Mandab strait, with the group having deployed both anti-ship missiles and explosives-laden unmanned maritime vehicles (UMV) against sea vessels previously.
In the event of either an escalation of hostilities between Iran and the US, or as an act of retaliation for Suleimani’s killing, the Iranians could utilise Ansar Allah, or its own forces likely stationed alongside the group in Yemen, to target and threaten tankers transporting oil to the US. There is also the risk of the use of ballistic missiles and weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to target US military personnel, assets, or facilities at bases in Saudi Arabia.
The military wing of Lebanese group Hizbullah, al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya, has been extensively armed, trained, financed, and supplied by Iran since its inception, and represents Iran’s most operationally-proficient proxy. Hizbullah forces are present in both Syria and Iraq alongside Iranian-backed Shia militia groups and could directly target US forces/interests in either countries as either retaliation or an escalation of hostilities.
Separately, Hizbullah and the IRGC-Quds Force were blamed by Israel for a series of attacks targeting its interests in Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Egypt, Georgia, India, Thailand, Turkey, and the US between 2010-12, highlighting a potential capacity to strike US interests beyond the immediate region. While US officials have repeatedly highlighted an alleged Hizbullah presence in South America, it remains unclear to what extent, if any, this represents any potential operational capacity for attacks either regionally against US interests or targeting the US directly.
In Iraq and Syria, the IRGC has funded, armed, and supported a broad range of Shia militias to fight as its proxies in the territorial campaign against the Islamic State and as part of the broader conflict in Syria. In addition to domestic Shia militias in Iraq (broadly operating under the aegis of the Hashd al-Shaabi) and Syria, Iran has also funded, armed, and facilitated the involvement of Afghan and Pakistani Shia militias in the conflict in Syria. These forces could directly attack remaining US military forces in northeast Syria or target US military or government individuals and facilities in Baghdad. This would most likely take the form of indirect fire attacks on static bases and positions, with a lower potential for a direct assault on US military positions.
A secondary, but lesser, threat would also be posed to US military and government personnel and interests in Afghanistan and Pakistan by returnee Shia militiamen.
Analysis from Jane’ highlights that the sixth consecutive year of global defence spending growth was bolstered by a 5% jump in Europe as the US budget fell from 2018 spike to USD726.2 billion.
LONDON (January 9, 2020) – According to Jane’s Defence Budgets 2019 Annual Report, growth in global spending slowed to just 1% compared to the 2018 spike of 6%. While growth slowed in most regions, Europe experienced exceptional growth of 5.2%, outperforming most emerging markets. Six of the ten fastest growing defence budgets in the world in 2019 were situated in Europe – including Bulgaria, which reported the fastest growth globally, with defence spending growing by 125% as the country made payment for eight F-16 Block-70 fighter jets in August.
“While growth in global defence spending slowed dramatically this year, Jane’s projects that global spending growth will moderate to between 1.5-2.0% a year over the next ten years” said Fenella McGerty, principal defence budgets analyst at Janes. “Increases are dependent on the continuation of a stronger emphasis on defence in Europe but also on a return to more robust growth rates in emerging markets.”
Europe tops global growth chart as regional spending approaches USD300 billion
European defence spending is set to hit USD300 billion in the next 24 months, having languished between USD250 billion and USD275 billion since 2005.
Janes notes that Eastern European spending grew by 12% in 2019, the fastest rate globally while growth in Western Europe reached 4%, the fastest rate since the Cold War. Key Western European growth markets in 2019 include Germany and Sweden with respective defence budget increases of 11% and 9%. Germany is now the 7th largest spender globally, up from 9th in 2018.
“Shifting strategic conditions have driven growth in European spending since 2014 as the regional security environment has deteriorated,” McGerty said. “Increases in Eastern Europe have been focused on improving readiness and bolstering capabilities. As such, spending on military investment in Eastern Europe has more than doubled since the annexation of Crimea in 2014 – from USD4 billion in 2013 to USD10.4 billion in 2019.”
Over the next decade Janes expects that growth in Eastern European defence spending will average 4.0% annually to reach USD57 billion by 2030 and account for 2.7% of the global total.
US continues to invest in modernisation
After a 10% surge in 2018, US spending rolled back to USD726.2 billion but still accounts for 40% of the global total.
“In real terms, funding levels of USD742 billion in 2018, USD726 billion in 2019 and USD721 billion in 2020 have enabled the US DoD to start and continue on the road to improved readiness and acquire improved warfighting capabilities” said Guy Eastman, senior analyst at Janes. “Modernisation accounts are expected to reach the level of USD247.3 billion in FY20 - the highest request level of investment funding in the last ten years. This will permit accelerated acquisition of capabilities inherent in ballistic missile defence, shipbuilding, military aircraft and missiles and munitions as well as RDT&E in science and technology.”
“The US continues to focus spending increases on innovation, with 2020 funding extensions for hypersonics, artificial intelligence, directed energy, autonomy, cyber and space.”
Gap between North America and ASPAC defence spending shares projected to close over the 2020s
In 2009, North America accounted for over half global spending of USD1.67 trillion, while ASPAC markets accounted for less than a fifth. Growth in emerging markets since then has seen North America’s share fall to 41% compared to 26% for ASPAC in 2019.
“Janes highlights that the North American share of global spending could fall to 33% by 2029, matching that of ASPAC. Wider growth is expected to be led by a return to more robust increases in established markets in the Middle East and Asia and augmented by a continued expansion in European defence spending.” said McGerty.
Fourth time lucky? Sub-Saharan Africa reports spending increase after 3 years of negative growth
“Military expenditure in Sub-Saharan Africa recorded a 2% increase this year, with growth expected to continue in the coming decade. Jane’s notes that regional budgets in 2030 are expected to be close to USD18 billion – as opposed to the USD13 billion we see this year,” said Ana Popescu, senior analyst at Janes. “Modest growth has been seen by Kenya and Tanzania, which recorded growth of 9% and 4.5% respectively.”
Bigger spenders – like South Africa, Angola and Nigeria – saw budgets cut year on year, but all are expected to recover, except Angola, which is expected to see its budget fall further to USD1.6 billion in 2020. Nigeria, meanwhile, will have a significant increase of 36% in spending in 2020, but Janes notes that the funds are almost entirely allocated to personnel costs, putting into question the commitment to procurement.
Middle East spending predicted to surpass USD200 billion by 2026
Middle East regional spending came to USD174 billion in 2019 and should surpass USD200 billion by 2026 despite a short term slow-down in Saudi Arabia’s defence budget. Janes notes that growth remains conservative by regional standards as governments generally remain cautious about pursuing expansionary budgetary measures, particularly in light of volatile energy prices. Nonetheless, complex security threats have ensured defence spending was ringfenced from wider cuts as countries pursued an expansion of personnel numbers, increased readiness, greater operational activity and major investment programmes.
“The acute nature of security concerns within the region mean that defence budgets will continue to be shaped by strategic factors. Despite fiscal constraints, widespread militant activity, intense inter-state rivalries, and the adoption of a more pro-active stance towards regional stability continues to result in elevated levels of military spending in the Middle East,” said McGerty. “Consequently, regional spending continues to account for almost 5% of GDP compared to the global average of 2%.”
Growth in Asia-Pacific continued to stall in 2019, falling to its lowest rate since 2010
Janes highlights that regional spending came to USD472 billion in 2019, up from USD250 billion in 2005, a 90% increase in real terms over a 14-year period. While 2019 growth maintained the region on an upward trend, growth of just 2.9% was also the slowest annual expansion since 2010. Stronger growth should be possible from 2020, driven primarily by an acceleration in Chinese spending.
Janes Defence Budgets estimates that the Chinese defence budget came to USD217 billion in 2019, accounting for 46% of the regional total, up from 40% in 2012. The next biggest spender in the region is India, whose 2019 budget was set at USD56 billion, or just over 12% of total spending.
“Economic expansion has been the primary driver of increases in defence expenditure in ASPAC since 2009 and growth in defence funding has closely tracked the expansion of the region’s economies over the same period. On the strategic side, the threat from North Korea has spurred growth in Japan as well as South Korea; conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir has been rekindled; and there has been sustained investment in countering long-running insurgencies in South-East Asia,” Popescu said.
More NATO members to hit spending targets
Ten NATO members reached the 2% of GDP benchmark for defence expenditure in 2019 – the US, Bulgaria, Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, UK, France, Poland and Lithuania. This compares to just four members in 2014 – the US, the UK, Greece, and France (figures include military pensions).
“NATO’s 70th year saw ten countries achieve the 2% of GDP benchmark up from just four members five years ago. Crucially, more and more countries are also investing over 20% of their defence budget in equipment with 19 members reaching the goal in 2019 – the highest number since 2007,” McGerty said.