Lacking ‘clarity or purpose’, UK’s strategic policy receives heavy criticism from the House of Lords

The UK’s cross-party House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee (IRDC) released a trenchant rebuke of the Government’s strategic policy, as set forth in the 2021 Integrated Review and the Defence Command Paper, finding it had a ‘lack of clarity or purpose’ and held little detail for how the UK could achieve its defence ambitions. In a report, ‘UK defence policy: from aspiration to reality?‘, published last week, the IRDC called on the Government to set out “clear, robust and r

Intruder defence 'passive listening' saves lives in seabed warfare

Seabed warfare has come into sharp focus in the last twelve months, with several major interruptions to the security of seabed infrastructure, the most notorious being the as yet unattributed intruder attack to the Nord Stream pipeline. Such deep-sea operations are hard to carry out, not only because of a myriad of factors derived from the great distances being traversed and the intense underwater pressure, but also because they are difficult to complete covertly and without notice, says Ioseba

Indo-pacific wave of defence trade for Malaysia and South Korea

Malaysia’s plans to upgrade its current inventory to deal with the territorial disputes and protect its territory in the South China Sea will result in the country’s defence spending increasing at an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3% over the period 2022-2027, according to GlobalData, with the growth primarily driven by Malaysia’s desire to protect its territory in the South China Sea and concerns from the Indo-Pacific. Across the seas, South Korea’s goal of becoming one of t

Patriot missiles to Ukraine: US regaining escalation dominance?

After a meeting at the White House on 21 December between US President Joe Biden and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, the US administration announced that it will send one of the most advanced air defence systems in operation today, the Patriot missile system, to assist in the defence of Ukraine from the Russian invasion. In a call on 21 December with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “The supply of weapons continues and the range of supplied weapons is expanding. All of t

Seabed warfare is a ‘real and present threat’

Seabed warfare truly began in the 1960s with operations such as the United States Navy’s Operation Ivy Bells, a cooperative effort by the US Navy, CIA, and NSA to wiretap Soviet undersea communication links during the Cold War. Since then, the size of infrastructure networks on the seafloor and the dependence of civic society on these networks have exploded. Never-before-seen densities of pipelines, optical fibre, and power cables traverse the ocean, allowing data transfer in telecommunications

Predictive maintenance in US military needs action: GAO

A report published by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) on 8 December found that while the Department of Defense (DoD) had issued a policy for predictive maintenance in 2002, until recently the military services had made ‘limited progress’ implementing the approach. Predictive maintenance, which is often utilised in the private sector, employs personnel to use condition-monitoring technologies and data analytics to plan maintenance based on evidence of need. This contrasts with prev

Deepening Indo-Pacific partnerships, US clears Chinooks for South Korea

The release this week of the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) 2022 Strategic Survey puts the US sale of new platforms to South Korea into context with broader strategic concerns in the Indo-Pacific. Following US State Department approval on 6 December, South Korea may purchase 18 Boeing CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift military transport helicopters and supporting equipment for $1.5bn. Given that the US Indo-Pacific Strategy places a strong emphasis on alliances and partnerships, t

Seabed warfare is a ‘real and present threat’ - Global Defence Technology | Issue 138 | December 2022

In February, the French Navy unveiled a new strategic seabed warfare doctrine, while in May, the UK Royal Navy met with private operators in the undersea, indicating that navies in the area are studying seabed warfare vulnerabilities. Due to the experience gained building the infrastructure developed by the oil and gas industry, it is thought that the commercial sector has primacy in ocean floor operations at depths beyond the continental shelf. “The civilian sector, such as offshore oil and ga

Airbus summit comes with raft of environmental design initiatives

The annual summit of European aerospace prime Airbus saw a fleet of new partnerships and initiatives introduced that are geared to pushing the aviation industry toward reaching environmental goals in sustainability. The projects announced between 31 November and 1 December cover a range of improvements, with interventions at a number of stages in the hydrogen fuel delivery ladder, as well as partnerships with CERN and Renault to improve electrification prospects, and progress in sustainable avi

US won’t let China take Taiwan chip-makers ‘intact’

Speaking at the Richard Nixon Foundation’s Grand Strategy Summit on 10 November, former US National Security Advisor Ambassador Robert O’Brien appeared to lend credence to reports the US will disable Taiwan’s semi-conductor chip manufacturing capabilities if China attempts to reunify the island with the mainland. “If China takes Taiwan and takes those factories intact – which I don’t think we would ever allow – they have a monopoly over chips the way OPEC has a monopoly, or even more than the w

Former MoD climate change director calls for ice-strengthened warships

With the knowledge that within 15-20 years climate change will make for open waters in the Arctic Sea during the summer months, the UK Royal Navy should harden the hulls of its ships in order to remain competitive with peers and rivals in the disruptive ice flows of the High North, according to a senior former UK military official. Speaking before the UK Parliament’s Defence Committee on 22 November, Lt Gen Richard Nugee (retired), former climate change and sustainability strategy lead at the F

Environmental pressures are reshaping the defence industry

As world leaders gathered in Egypt for the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) to discuss current and future environmental policies, the progressive electrification of the aerospace and defence industry illustrates the opportunities and challenges faced by armed forces worldwide in attempting to reduce energy emissions and waste. GlobalData forecasts that electric vehicles will account for 31.1% of total light vehicle production by 2035, a 27.9% increase over the figures for 2

Ukraine’s full-circle on Iron Dome air defence may pan out with new Israeli PM

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky once more asked for the provision of the Israeli Iron Dome air defence system during a press conference on 16 November, with Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s recently elected Prime Minister-designate, stating that he would consider the proposition. As early as 15 February, in advance of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth was reporting that Ukraine had unsuccessfully sought the Iron Dome system which has been responsible f

Fincantieri display PPA Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Vessel at Euronaval

Fincantieri displayed the Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Vessel (PPA) last week at Euronaval to demonstrate to other markets, following its deployment with the Italian Navy, that the PPA it is a proven product. Fincantieri, working from the integrated shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano in La Spezia, have completed two ships from their contract to build seven PPA for the Italian navy at 6000 tonnes and supporting 171 crew. Fincantieri are the only manufacturers in the Italian naval market makin

OSINT in Ukraine: civilians in the kill chain and the information space - Global Defence Technology | Issue 137 | October 2022

Open-source intelligence (OSINT) has a long history of use in the intelligence community and the verification and crosschecking of evidence against data points is a standard tool for security services. The war in Ukraine has been exceptional regarding civilian activity in verification of OSINT information, with large online open-source investigation communities and individual researchers sourcing and geolocating evidence before disseminating it to a public audience. “Ukraine’s armed forces have

Tanker aircraft procurement rises with the likelihood of global deployment

Tanker aircraft spending is expected to see an upswing in over the next few years, with procurement rising from today’s value of $4.5bn up to peaks of $6.6bn in 2024, according to GlobalData. As various nations alter their armed forces to become more ‘expeditionary’ and mobile in posture, demand for aerial refuelling capabilities will rise to support this increased mobility, predicts Tristan Sauer, defence analyst at GlobalData. Concerns over high intensity warfare have propelled a change in fo

Japan as the third global military power

If Japan fulfils its budget goals in the next five years the nation will go from the fifth or seventh strongest military power – in terms of firepower or defence spending respectively – to third in the world after the US and China. Japan’s defence expenditure is anticipated to increase from $53.1bn next year to $70.4bn in 2027, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of 7.3%, according to GlobalData. After the Cold War, Japan maintained a ‘dual hedge’, encouraging relationships with both Chin

Pound fall is putting UK military spending targets out of reach

The UK Government’s ambitious plan to double its defence budget took a blow yesterday after the financial markets reacted to the Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s 30 point ‘mini-budget’ announced on Friday 23 September and the pound fell to a new low against the dollar. Prime Minister Liz Truss, during her recent campaign for leadership of the Conservative Party, pledged a multi-billion pound increase in defence spending that would raise the military budget to 3% of GDP. Under existing conditions tha

Crewed-Uncrewed Teaming is driving global UAV surge

Crewed-Uncrewed Teaming, previously known as Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T), will cause a global surge in armed forces induction of military uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs), with the market forecasted to reach $12bn in 2032 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.12% over the next ten years, according to GlobalData. “The MUM-T system aims to develop a synchronised fleet of UAVs to support manned aircrafts, enabling rapid and better-informed decision making,” said Rithik Rao, aerospace and
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