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GD NASSCO delivers US Navy’s third MLP vessel

Naval Technology - Tue, 16/06/2015 - 01:00
General Dynamics (GD) National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (Nassco) has delivered the US Navy's third mobile landing platform (MLP) ship, the USNS Lewis B Puller, bringing the first MLP afloat forward staging base (AFSB) variant into navy's fleet.
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UK Royal Navy tests remote-controlled aircraft to inspect warships

Naval Technology - Tue, 16/06/2015 - 01:00
The UK Royal Navy has successfully tested a remote-controlled aerial system, which could be used to monitor its fleet, at the Portsmouth Naval Base.
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Curtiss-Wright to support US Navy's Virginia-class submarine programme

Naval Technology - Tue, 16/06/2015 - 01:00
Curtiss-Wright has secured contracts worth more than $480m to deliver pumps, valves, generators, and propulsors for the US Navy's Block IV Virginia-class submarine programme.
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Su-35

Military-Today.com - Tue, 16/06/2015 - 00:45

Russian Su-35 Multi-Role Fighter
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SAES at UACE 2015

Naval Technology - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 17:07
SAES has announced it will participate in the third edition of the Underwater Acoustics Conference & Exhibition (UACE) 2015 at the Island of Crete, Greece.
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Tikrit: An Iraqi Saratoga?

Kings of War - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 13:57

 

In this week’s #CCLKOW piece I tread warily into analogy to offer a framework to consider policy and strategy of intervention. There is no wisdom in asserting Situation A is just like Historical Event B. Analogies in policy are impossibly tricky, and the most we can do is to understand well the terms of the past as we consider what may be possible in the present or the future. In this case, “the Saratoga turning point” and the subsequent French participation in the American War for Independence offer some insights into an effective intervention. Why Saratoga enabled a shift in French policy to full diplomatic support of the Colonies in Rebellion and how the assistance was managed were key factors in the objective to assist the American cause. Keeping these in mind as the western nations contemplate whether and how best to assist Iraq against IS offers a compelling alternative perspective to the narrative of intervention which has framed much of American military policy and doctrine since the end of WWII. Read the piece, give a thought to the questions at the end, and join the discussion on Twitter at #CCLKOW. Enjoy!

 

Last July IS opened its overt campaign within Iraq. In rapid fashion they took and held key points which they added to their holdings in Syria to form their Franken-state. Contemplating the gains from Jihadi Blitzkrieg, many did not give the remaining territory or the political entity of the republic much of a chance to survive. As a military historian of the American tradition, I have come to view with scepticism the decisiveness of opening campaigns, so I did not count the contest as over. And in the face of the dominant theme of imminent collapse, through summer’s end and into fall and winter the Iraqi state managed a remarkable political and strategic makeover and turnaround. The clear manifestation of the local will in this fight was the recent ejection of IS from Tikrit. Site of one of IS forces’ more irredeemably abominable acts at Camp Speicher, this victory demonstrated the Iraqi state’s ability to fight and win for themselves.

In much the same way victory at Saratoga manifested American devotion to their cause in the fight for Independence – and the feasibility of their efforts – sufficient to gain allied support from France, retaking Tikrit offers a potential moment and basis to act in the current conflict. As well, this example offers a framework to better understand how to act effectively in the wars of others. War is political, but the terms of those politics are decided by where one sits in the conflict. Thus, from the perspective of a party considering intervention, Saratoga and the French intervention offer some useful markers. There is first the utterly necessary manifested political will of the party seeking assistance, as well as their ability to lobby support for their cause effectively. Second, the policy and strategy of intervention must serve own needs, but is best written in the client state’s terms. Whether the Iraqis are the Americans in Rebellion, the thornier, less considered question may we be whether US could ever match the French policy and strategy.

First, to deal with the initial resistance to this comparison. It is not my intention to directly relate the two conflicts or the parties, but rather to utilize the key diplomatic and policy and strategy issues arising from the outcome of that battle to consider alternative terms of assistance to the Iraqis in this fight. Furthermore, it is to remind that significant though this battle was in the course of the American War for Independence, this advance did not preclude a future rocky course nor the constant refrain of tactical and seeming strategic setbacks. To argue that Tikrit might portend a significant political shift is not negated by critical weaknesses in the ISF or battlefield setbacks. Ando, even as the naysayers have been shouting “But Ramadi!” since the start of this piece, it is worth remembering that after Saratoga the Americans went on to struggle through Valley Forge and a trail of defeats on its way to winning the war. And while I certainly do not need to, I want to make it abundantly clear that IS is not Great Britain, nor do its forces offer anything like the clear superiority of the British Army or Royal Navy facing the Americans. As well, to be fair to France, the United States and the west have more capabilities than Louis’ 18th century France. Finally, it should never be forgotten that France had clear political interests to serve in assisting the Americans. Very often lately this is seen as some bit of seemy double dealing, but it would be best not to be naïve about why states aid others – there must always be some benefit to sustain the intervention. Thus, while I maintain caution as to the analogy, it is necessarily adequate to the current context, especially as it offers a different perspective on policy and strategy options.

Turning to the critical political outcome of the battle, French participation in the war. In the military terms of the alliance, from my perspective, the very compelling aspect of the French intervention was its strategy. Most fundamental to this, France did not assume it was their war. Important points of their participation in the American cause must be remembered. That the needs of the Americans and their military strategy were not France’s primary concern. In alliance they agreed to provide the support the Americans requested as they could. Second, they brought a significant augmentation to the naval war, which degraded British dominance and culminated at the Battle of Chesapeake. Increasing the cost and difficulty of British transport and logistics in the war would reverberate across the entire effort through to Yorktown. When it came to the French Army’s direct participation the style was distinctive. In sum, they subordinated their activity to American needs, their commands to American leadership. Rochambeau’s Army arrived with political and military respect for their allies, and the French commander in chief put himself and his forces at Washington’s discretion. Deficient though the American military forces may have been in comparison to European armies, the role of French advisors was relatively minimal with respect to their total effort. It should also be noted that the French deployed to the American colonies as friends and were hosted warmly by the locals of Newport in their first winter.

The obvious problem here is that the US is not in the habit of subordinating itself politically or militarily. Whether other western powers would be willing to do so may be irrelevant given that American resources would likely dominate any significant intervention. Thus, while the politics in Iraq have a clear chance, how the US and the west respond will determine whether their action aids the cause.

And so, for discussion I would like to consider the issues which confront and confound the strategic latitude the French enjoyed in their intervention:

 

Can the US military ever effectively work as the subordinate force? Is the refusal to a weakness of the American system? What is the view of other western forces on this issue? Do you even agree that it is necessary or wise in this case or ever? 

Does the west have the patience to weather a campaign of difficulties and setbacks on the way to the eventual defeat of IS in Iraq? 

French officers served in American forces. Should western militaries allow professional sabbaticals so that their own might serve abroad in certain causes?

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One week to go until Italian Blade 2015

EDA News - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 09:07

Italian Blade 2015, the 8th training event organised under the framework of the European Defence Agency’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), will start on 22 June in Viterbo, Italy. Gathering about 40 helicopters from seven different countries, it will be one of the largest exercises organised since the establishment of the HEP.


Aircraft from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Slovenia will attend this year’s exercise. The event will be hosted by the Italian Army Aviation (Aviazione dell'Esercito) in Viterbo airbase, about 80 km north of Rome. In total, more than 1000 military personnel are expected to take part in the event which will run from 22 June to 3 July.

As with previous HEP live-flying exercises, Italian Blade’s main objectives will be to train European helicopter crews in conditions likely to be faced in possible future operations, while promoting cooperation in helicopters training and developing joint interoperability between multinational elements, both in the air and on the ground. A particular focus will be given to the integration of ground forces into the exercise’s scenarios so as to develop common procedures and build trust between flying crews and ground personnel from different nations.

The HEP exercises are only one of multiple projects undertaken by the European Defence Agency to increase the overall availability of European military helicopters, with other initiatives such as the Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) or the Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course (HTIC) now ongoing. These efforts demonstrate that at very low-cost, quick operational benefits can be yielded to ensure success on tomorrow’s battlefields.


More information
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Poland to upgrade its Leopard 2A4 tanks

DefenceIQ - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 06:00
The Polish Ministry of Defence is seeking to modernise its fleet of Leopard 2A4 tanks with a contract likely to be signed in late 2015, according to

Conflict and unrest drive demand for armoured vehicles in Africa

DefenceIQ - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 06:00
From east to west coasts, the African continent has continued to see active conflicts and escalating threats from insurgencies and militants over the past year. While there are various regional bodies actively addressing conflict situations – for example, the African Union, ECOWA
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Poland to upgrade its Leopard 2A4 tanks

DefenceIQ - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 06:00
The Polish Ministry of Defence is seeking to modernise its fleet of Leopard 2A4 tanks with a contract likely to be signed in late 2015, according to

Interview: Captain King, Major Program Manager, PEO IWS, U.S. Navy

DefenceIQ - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 06:00
Ahead of the Naval Combat Systems conference (28-29 July 2015, London, UK), which will  explore the value and advantages o
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Fighter jet news digest: June 2015

DefenceIQ - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 06:00
Italy primed for first international F-35 flight Italy will conduct the first F-35 flight outside the US in October, according to Lockheed Martin. The first test flight will be followed by a transatlantic crossing in early 2016 to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona wher
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China’s Hypersonic Vehicle Reportedly Passed Third Test in Row | Northrop Joins GD-Gulfstream Team for JSTARS Competition | AF Wants Cheap High-Speed UAV Demo

Defense Industry Daily - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 02:08
Americas

Europe

  • On Friday, France successfully test-fired [French] an ASMP-A nuclear-capable cruise missile, launching the supersonic ramjet-powered missile from a Rafale fighter. The new missile is an upgrade to the ASMP (Air-Sol Moyenne Portee – medium range air to surface) missile, with the new model boasting a longer range. All Rafales in the F3 configuration are capable of carrying the missile, with this representing all jets delivered from 2008.

  • Spain’s defense ministry has authorized Airbus to restart flight tests of its previously grounded A400M fleet, following a crash in early May. International operators of the transport aircraft have retained their grounding orders, with the company’s Seville facility recently becoming clogged with the grounded aircraft.

  • Poland’s defense ministry has reportedly begun the process of arranging upgrades for the country’s fleet of Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks, with a contract expected within months. Two Polish firms have been invited to tender for the program, which was originally planned for 2013. In that year Poland ordered 105 2A5-model Leopards, without investing in bringing their existing 2A4 model tanks up to spec. As such, the Poles are now playing catch-up to equalize their fleet’s capabilities.

  • The Saab/Diehl RBS15 Mk3 anti-ship missile has been successfully launched from a German corvette, completing an operational test in order to secure qualification. The missile is sub-sonic, with customers including Poland, France, Sweden and Finland.

Asia

Today’s Video

  • Friday’s launch of an ASMP-A from a French Air Force Rafale…

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North Korea test-fires three short-range anti-ship missiles

Naval Technology - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 01:00
North Korea has reportedly test-fired three short-range, anti-ship missiles into the sea from a site near the eastern city of Wonsan, the latest development after the underwater test of a ballistic missile in May.
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Tasneef to inspect Lockheed’s new military naval vessel design

Naval Technology - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 01:00
Emirates classification society Tasneef has signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin to issue classification certificates and carry out inspections for its new military naval vessel.
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SeeByte to provide UK MOD with autonomy demonstration system

Naval Technology - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 01:00
SeeByte, the global leader in creating smart software for unmanned maritime systems, is pleased to announce that it has received an order from the United Kingdom's (UK) Ministry Of Defence (MOD) Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) to deliver a marit…
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Kormoran II Mine Countermeasure Vessels (MCMV)

Naval Technology - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 01:00
Kormoran II is a modern mine countermeasure vessel being developed as part of the Polish naval modernisation programme, with the aim of improving maritime safety and security in Polish waters.
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India and Australia to conduct first joint naval exercise

Naval Technology - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 01:00
India and Australia are reportedly set to conduct their first joint naval exercise later this year as part of efforts to strengthen the military relationship between the countries.
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DCNS delivers FREMM frigate Provence to French Navy

Naval Technology - Mon, 15/06/2015 - 01:00
French shipyard group DCNS has delivered the French Frégate européenne multi-mission (FREMM) frigate Provence to the French Navy.
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