• IrvinGQ develops airdrop cage for THeMIS UGV

    UK-based aerial delivery equipment and parachute developer IrvinGQ has developed ATAX, an airdrop system that can deliver Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), Estonia’s Milrem Robotics announced on 26 March. The ATAX is a modular, rapid-rig/de-rig,

  • French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle deploys to North Sea region for first time in 10 years

    Key Points The French Navy aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle is conducting its first deployment to the eastern North Sea region in a decade As part of the deployment, the carrier strike group exercised with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 The French Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier FS

  • BAE touts Sceptre fast jet mission management tool for multidomain applications

    BAE Systems is pitching its Sceptre mission management tool for fast jets as a core campaign planning tool for multidomain operations. Speaking to Jane’s on 26 March, Louise Aiken, head of Mission Planning Programmes, and John Loader, Operational Requirements Specialist, said that the Sceptre

  • Covid-19: Czech IFV contract threatened by budget cuts

    The Czech Republic is preparing big cuts in defence spending and strategic contracts in its state budget as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. “I do not think we need the new tracked infantry fighting vehicles [IFVs] immediately but we need other items for this war [against Covid-19],”

  • Covid-19: Piaggio Aerospace extends deadline for Expressions of Interest in company

    Italian aviation technology firm Piaggio Aerospace announced on 24 March that is was extending a deadline for Expressions of Interest (EoI) in acquiring the company to 4 May. The extension comes in response to the current Covid-19 crisis, with the original closing date for the EoI being 3 April.

  • Covid-19: Spain’s military lab to manufacture drugs to counter pandemic

    The Spanish government is reported to have ordered a Ministry of Defence (MoD) laboratory to start producing drugs for civilian use during the Covid-19 crisis. Paracetamol, antiviral drugs for injections, and disinfectants are on the list to “guarantee the supply of essential products”,

  • Covid-19: UK MoD monitoring effect of coronavirus on specific procurement programmes

    The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is monitoring the effect of coronavirus on specific procurement programmes, and is working with industry to mitigate any potential fallout from the global pandemic. Speaking to Jane’s on 25 March, an MoD spokesperson noted that manufacturing shutdowns and

  • Gripen E/F shifts focus from flight to sensor tests

    Saab has shifted the focus of its Gripen E/F testing away from basic flight trials towards the aircraft’s tactical and sensor suites as the programme ramps up ahead of the first upcoming deliveries to Sweden and Brazil. Speaking at Saab’s annual Gripen Seminar on 26 March, the

  • Raid on suspected DHKP-C cell in Athens finds high-powered firearms, indicates group's intent to continue attacks in Turkey

    Key Points The Greek counter-terrorism service raided two locations in the capital Athens on 19 March, detaining 26 suspected members of the Turkish Marxist-Leninist Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Partisi-Cephesi (DHKP-C) militant group. The raid was the largest targeting the group recorded outside

  • Covid-19: Romanian Air Force airlifts coronavirus supplies from Germany and Turkey

    The Romanian Air Force (For?ele Aeriene Romane – FAR) mobilised its fixed-wing air mobility assets to airlift urgent coronavirus supplies from Germany and Turkey on 24 March. A Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules and a Leonardo C-27J Spartan transport aircraft from the 901st Squadron and

  • Covid-19: Czech Republic and Slovakia mobilise SALIS to deliver emergency equipment

    The Czech Republic and Slovakia are both using the NATO Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) programme to airlift in emergency equipment from China during the coronavirus crisis, the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has announced. The first SALIS flight using an Antonov

  • Covid-19: NATO co-ordinates assistance to Spain, Ukraine

    Spain and Ukraine have sent requests to NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), the alliance has announced. "On 23 March the EADRCC received a request for international assistance from the armed Forces of Spain in their response to the global pandemic of the

  • Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions to produce ammunition for US F-35 programme

    A joint venture (JV) between Rheinmetall Defence Australia (RDA) and Australian munition and weapon systems specialist NIOA announced on 25 March that it is set to produce and supply medium-calibre ammunition for the US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme. Called Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions

  • Belarus hosts joint exercise with UK Royal Marines

    Belarus hosted Exercise ‘Winter Partisan’ on the Losvido training area in the northeast of the country close to Vitebsk on 1–14 March along with the UK Royal Marines’ 42 Commando and the UN peacekeeping brigade of the Belarusian 103rd Guards Airborne Division, the Belarusian

  • Covid-19: DGA tests face masks

    The Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), the French armament procurement agency, announced on its website on 23 March that its Maîtrise NRBC (nuclear, radiological, biological, and chemical management) centre has been tasked with measuring the effectiveness of protective face

  • Covid-19: RAF Red Arrows cancel overseas training, air displays to be reviewed

    The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Red Arrows aerobatic display team has cancelled its annual oversea training deployment due to the coronavirus, and will review its air display commitments for the 2020 season. The decision, announced by the RAF on 24 March, will see the BAE Systems Hawk T1-based display

  • Covid-19: Spanish MoD drafts in A400M to deliver masks

    The Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) has utilised an Airbus-owned and operated A400M transport aircraft to deliver face masks to help combat the coronavirus. The airlift, which took place the day prior to Airbus’ announcement on 24 March, saw aircraft MSN56 fly “thousands” of

  • Covid-19: UK military mobilises to support civilian authorities

    UK military chiefs have been ordered to make preparations to call thousands of ex-service personnel back into the armed forces to fill gaps in their 20,000-strong force dedicated to support civilian agencies during the Covid-19 crisis if its members start falling sick. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace

  • Covid-19: Russian MoD details efforts to fight virus

    The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is ramping up its efforts to fight Covid-19, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced during a teleconference on 20 March. “On 12 March we established a response team headed by First Deputy Defence Minister Ruslan Tsalikov to prevent the emergence and

  • NATO receives first AGS mobile exploitation station

    NATO has received its first mobile and transportable ground-based exploitation station for its Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) programme, it announced on 23 March. The first of the European-sourced Mobile General Ground Stations (MGGSs) that will provide datalink connectivity, data processing,