SMi MRAS 2022: 16 Air Assault Brigade to be British Army's first robotics-enhanced brigade
06 April 2022
by Alexander Stronell
Horiba Mira's VIKING during demonstrations on Salisbury Plain, March 2022 (Janes/Alexander Stronell)
16 Air Assault Brigade has been chosen to become the British Army's first robotic autonomous systems (RAS)-enhanced brigade, it was announced on 6 April.
Speaking at SMi Military Robotics and Autonomous Systems 2022 (SMi MRAS 2022) conference in London, Lieutenant Colonel Iain Lamont, SO1 Robotics and Autonomous Systems, British Army, confirmed that 16 Air AssaultBrigade Combat Team had been chosen for the role.
The British Army intends to field its first RAS-enhanced light Brigade Combat Team by 2025 with a view to developing a Deep Recce Strike Combat Team by 2030, and finally multiple RAS-enhanced brigades by 2035. In March 2022, Janes reported that the British Army would nominate its intended RAS-enhanced Brigade Combat Team imminently.
16 Air Assault Brigade is the British Army's airborne rapid reaction force. It forms the core of the UK's high-readiness Air Assault Task Force, which can be deployed at short notice for a wide range of operations.
Thailand scrambled two F-16s after a Myanmar MiG-29 violated Thai airspace on 30 June 2022. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)
A cross-border violation by a Myanmar Air Force military aircraft engaged in military operations on 30 June prompted a scramble by Thai fighter jets.
According to air force spokesperson Air Vice Marshal Prapas Sonjaidee, two F-16s were scrambled after a Thai radar detected an aircraft in Thai airspace close to the border with Myanmar.
The incident occurred at “about 1106 [h] local time at Phop Phra, Tak province,” AVM Sonjaidee told Janes. He added that the border was violated while the aircraft was attacking an ethnic armed group along the border.
According to the spokesperson, the aircraft, identified as a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 fighter, spent no more than two minutes in Thai airspace. The airspace violation was prompted by weather and a large hill in the area, AVM Sonjaidee told Janes.
Thai media reported that the low-flying aircraft caused panic in two Thai villages near the border. Multiple types of aircraft appear to have been involved in the attack on the ethnic group.
New reform of NATO's partner-oriented Trust Funds hikes pressure on deliverables
01 July 2022
by Brooks Tigner
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told journalists on 29 June that Ukraine could count on NATO members to continue to provide it with military and financial aid. (NATO)
With allied leaders agreeing, during the June 29–30 Madrid summit, to massively ramp-up the defence of NATO's home territory against external aggression, attention will now turn to how effectively the alliance can deliver assistance to its partner countries, particularly Ukraine, to shore up their security via NATO's newly reformed multination Trust Funds (TFs).
The timing of the TFs' reform – hammered out during the previous 18 months – could not come sooner, and Ukraine will be an obvious acid test. As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced during a press conference on the first day of the summit, “Ukraine can count on us for as long as it takes. Allies will continue to provide major military and financial help.”
Ukraine conflict: NATO invites Finland and Sweden to become alliance members
30 June 2022
by Nicholas Fiorenza
NATO enlargement from 1952 to the present. (Janes/NATO)
NATO leaders invited Finland and Sweden to become the alliance's 31st and 32nd members on the first day of their 29–30 June summit in Madrid. Speaking to journalists on 29 June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg described the invitation as a “historic decision”.
It will enable NATO to prepare accession protocols for Finland and Sweden, amending the 1949 Washington Treaty that created the alliance for signature and ratification by allies. For many of NATO's 30 members, ratification requires parliamentary approval, although for some, executive approval is sufficient. Asked by a journalist how long this would take, Stoltenberg responded, “so far this is the fastest accession process ever”, expecting ratification “as soon as possible”.
Podcast recording date: 26 April 2022.
Huw Williams of our EMEA news team chairs a discussion focussed on the Russian invasion of Ukraine featuring Amael Kotlarski, Senior Analyst at Janes, Thomas Bullock, Senior Russia and CIS OSINT Analyst a...