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UK initiates third Strategic Defence Review in five years - Army Technology

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 16 July 2024, the initiation of a new Strategic Defence Review (SDR) aimed at a “root and branch” evaluation of the UK Armed Forces, to be completed in the first half of 2025.  The commitment to perform a new SDR was a part of the Labour Manifesto in the 2024 election,  a pledge chosen to ensure the UK is fully prepared to deal with conventional and hybrid warfare. The news follows a reaffirmation at the Washington Nato summit to the UK’s commitme...

China hosts Hungary leader and announces joint exercises with Belarus - Army Technology

One day after China’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) announced joint army training with Belarus, a close ally in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban to discuss a political settlement over Ukraine that hinges on “no fanning by any party over the flames” according the a MND release from 8 July 2024. Free Buyers G...

New Dutch government seeks to dictate defence M&A

The Netherlands government’s working on a law that will step-up the the role of government in defence mergers, acquisitions and investments, as well as enable the Ministry of Defence (MoD), to give directions to defence companies and provide a legal basis to steer the defence industry on strategic stocks, supplies chains, and production capacity. The bill also intends to give the government the power to issue eligibility certificates to Dutch companies that seek to pursue assignments abroad, “s

China's Communist Party expels two former Defence Ministers

The Communist Party of China (CCP) announced on 27 June that it has expelled two former defence ministers with ties to the Rocket Force, the fourth branch of the People’s Liberation Army tasked with operating China’s arsenal of land-based ballistic, hypersonic, and cruise missiles, including conventional and nuclear payloads. Wei Fang, a former commander of the Rocket Force, served as Minister of Defence from March 2018 until his retirement in March 2023, when he was replaced by Li Shangfu, who

Slovak Republic's F-16 Air Base modernisation loses Nato support

The Slovakian Deputy Defence Minister Martin Vojtašovič announced that the Slovak Republic will not be supported by the Nato Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) in renovating Sliač Air Base to receive the nation’s newly acquired F-16 fleet. Sliač Air Base is a strategic operating base for fighter jets that requires upgrades to host the Slovak Air Force F-16 Block 70 fleet of 14 fighter jets. The first two F-16 fighter jets will arrive within a month, but will remain at Kuchyňa Air Base until

European Long Range Strike Approach sees LoI from France, Germany and Poland

A letter of intent (LoI) was prepared for the European Long-range Strike Approach (ELSA) at a meeting of the defence ministers of the Weimar Triangle states – Germany, France and Poland – on 24 June 2024 in Paris. ELSA is an initiative proposed by France for the joint development and procurement of advanced Deep Precision Strike (DPS) weapon systems with ranges over 1,000km. The capability has been identified as one European Allies lack but that Nato demands on a large scale. The LoI on ELSA i

China urges US not to arm Taiwan in backlash over loitering munition green light

The Chinese Ministry of Defence issued a statement on 21 June 2024, that urged the US stop arming the Taiwan region, following the approval by the US state department for potential foreign military sales of loitering munitions worth $360m to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office on 18 June. The Chinese Ministry of Defence asked the US to “implement its commitment to not support “Taiwan independence,” stop arming China’s Taiwan region in any form and take practical actions to ma

F-16 crash leaves questions over flight-control computer

Failure in two of four pitch rate gyroscopes caused the crash of a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) F-16 fighter jet on 8 May 2024, as concluded by a RSAF investigation published 19 June. The F-16 digital flight control computer (DFCC) was presented with ‘erroneous but similar’ readings from the failing gyroscopes, and took these inputs as “correct”, rejecting alternative readings, including the backup gyroscope. As the DFCC manoeuvred in response to the erroneous readings, the jet becam

Nato test for programmes to come in first 100 days of Labour government

The Labour Party Manifesto was released on 13 June 2024, as the campaign to form the next government goes into its final weeks. With a considerable and long-lasting lead in the polls, Labour have played a safe game, moving towards the centre-ground and avoiding any surprise policies that could upset the chances of a major electoral victory. For Defence, the launch of the Labour party manifesto has followed the same initiative. Much of the language on national security and the defence industry h

Toxic artillery: Paradigm Shift Technologies on chrome plating - Global Defence Technology | Issue 147 | June 2024

At the Future Artillery conference in Paris running from 21-23 May, Dr Gennady Yumshtyk gave a presentation that was precise and clear, but left members of the audience with an astonishing question: After 100 years of using chrome plating on artillery barrels, wherein we have found the material to be a highly carcinogenic environmental hazard, why do we not adopt an alternative that is safer, more effective, and has a lower operational cost? Why do we not use EPVD? “It seems like a no-brainer,”

Restoring credible deterrence, Dutch F-35’s begin Nato nuclear role

The F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter will take on the Nato’s nuclear role for the first time on 1 June 2024, as the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF), one of few Nato Allies contributing dual-capable aircraft to this mission, transfer the task from its F-16 fighters to the new fifth-generation airframe. The step up to the F-35 stealth aircraft mitigates issues surrounding the credibility of Nato’s nuclear deterrent. To date, the nuclear deterrent has been a system of American made B-61

Interview: operating as though compromised for C2 resilience

interviewed Alec Bain, the senior principal Command and Control (C2) analyst for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to discuss resilience in a contested-electromagnetic theatre at the C4ISR Global 2024 conference that ran from17-18 April. Bain has been working at DSTL for 12 years, specialising in C2, which had also been a specialism for Bain during his career in the British Army. At DSTL, Bain has been leading work on the Command Advantage at DSTL, and presented DTSL’s findi

China urges Japan to take a U-turn on its militarisation drive

China’s spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense (MND), Senior Colonel Wu Qian, urged Japan to ‘wake up from the old dream of militarism at an early date’ according to a release from the MND on 25 April 2024. The release took issue with Japan’s characterisation of China in the 2024 Diplomatic Bluebook, one that identifies China as an unprecedented, and the greatest, strategic challenge to Japan. “Japanese remarks are purely false narratives, and we are firmly opposed to that,” remarke

Interview: Nato’s new standard for Audacious Wargaming and bespoke simulation

US Army Colonel Steve Banks is head of the modelling, simulations and learning technology branch at NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Norfolk, Virginia. Army Technology interview Banks at ITEC 2024 conference in London on 9 April 2024. Banks was at ITEC 2024 to provide information on a new capability development programme, Audacious Wargaming. The programme aims to take wargaming from an ‘ad hoc’ process defined by each user, and codify this practical method of analysis under a Nato

F-35 sustainment costs soar even as flight hours get cut, says GAO

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) have said the F-35 program sustainment costs have increased by 44%, from $1.1trn in 2018 to $1.58trn in 2023, even as use of the F-35, and its availability, have decreased, with the F-35 Joint Program Office reporting a 21% reduction in flight hours across the programme. The F-35 Lightning II aircraft is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) most costly weapon system, with an acquisition cost of $442bn for the 630 in-service fighter jets, and the approx

New US DoD autonomous weapons officer has collateral damage expertise

Dr Radha Iyenghar Plumb, co-author of a 2010 paper linking civilian casualties in Afghanistan to subsequent insurgent violence, was sworn in on 9 April 2024 as the Department of Defense (DoD) Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer (CDAO), a position that should prove key to the implementation of US policies for autonomous weapon systems and autonomous systems in the kill chain. Iyenghar Plumb most recently served as the DoD Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustai

Lords' defence committee hears lessons for UK from war in Ukraine

Army Technology interviewed Lord Ashton, Chair of the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee (IRDC), to discuss the committee’s latest inquiry, one that examines the lessons learned in the war in Ukraine and their implications on UK defence and procurement. It is the intention of the IRDC to complete the inquiry by the end of June, with the possibility for a follow-up inquiry before the end of 2024, says Lord Ashton, in the event of a late General Election According to ev

DARPA drone-autonomy rapidly delivers to EW contested areas

The US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has moved from concept to contract in 70 days, on a project to provide a plug-in autonomy adaptor for off-the-shelf drones to operate in areas contested by Electronic Warfare (EW). GlobalData spoke to Dr. Lael Rudd, manager of DARPA’s Rapid Experimental Missionized Autonomy (REMA) programme at the end of the first three-month “spiral challenge”, to understand how the development was carried forward so quickly, and whether REMA is writing
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