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Netherlands requires ‘smarter’ GBAD software and data fusion, among new capabilities

DefenceIQ - Tue, 09/02/2016 - 06:00
Air and missile defence has grown in importance for nations around the world: as the threats to national security and infrastructure have increased dramatically in rece
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South America and Caribbean Defence & Security: In Numbers [Infographic]

DefenceIQ - Tue, 09/02/2016 - 06:00
CABSEC 16 will be taking place in Colombia in 2016, bringing the South American, Caribbean and international security decision-makers together in one place to tackle discuss the countering of mutual threats. To provide perspective, we look at some of the latest figures relevant to this
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Paradise Regained: Why Defense and Security Companies are Finding New Business in the Caribbean Sea

DefenceIQ - Tue, 09/02/2016 - 06:00
In spite of progress, security efforts in the Caribbean and South America are far from won. Indeed, the nexus between transnational organized crime and extremist organizations continues to pose a global threat as much as remaining a critical risk for countries within this
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News Roundup: 1 February – 7 February 2016

SSR Resource Center - Mon, 08/02/2016 - 14:54
Want to keep up to date on the SSR field? Once a week, the CSG’s Security Sector Reform Resource Centre project posts pertinent news articles, reports, projects, and event updates on SSR over the past week. Click here to sign-up and have the SSR Weekly News Roundup delivered straight to your inbox every week!   SSR Resource Centre
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CCLKOW: Part 2 – The Military Must Inevitably Take the International Lead In HADR

Kings of War - Mon, 08/02/2016 - 14:35

And this, dear CCLKOW readers, is the second instalment. In it, the necessity for the military response is argued. Take note, do-gooderism is not the driving force behind this argument. Rather, the linkages between these events and security drive the need for proper consideration, while the needed capabilities already held within the armed forces argue for their appropriateness. So, now that you have read both, it is for you all to consider which side of the argument you fall down on and join the conversation on Twitter at #CCLKOW.


While the spectre of global conflict is a daunting proposition to the human condition, the looming potential for disasters, both man-made and natural, to wreak similar havoc and impose like consequences upon humanity should equally concern societies. If the migrations of late from conflicts abroad are but the mildest preview of what might be faced in the aftermath of any significant humanitarian event, at the worst end is the magnitude of managing communicability on a global scale or contested salvation. The disaster flashpoints in the world centre around points of great population densities, and too often correspond with populations already on the brink. Taking the other side from my dear colleague, then, this piece will argue the inevitably necessary leading role for the armed forces in HADR. Although their efforts are important, and must continue, private and NGO capabilities will not be sufficient to the growing demands. As humanitarian crises are likely to be an increasing feature of the international security landscape, armed forces must plan and prepare robustly for the spectrum of contingencies it will confront.

The top end scenarios matter. Contrary to the dismissal in the first piece of the armed forces for their utility in the extreme circumstances only, it is exactly for contingency’s sake that these organisations must prepare for humanitarian operations. We do not, for example, put aside the armed forces role in conflict because war is an extreme iteration of organised violence. Furthermore, I would argue that HADR is the top end of emergency response. ‘Disaster’ is not your every day ‘sticky situation.’

The Faceless Bureaucrat is correct to note that many emergencies do not require a military response. However, as the capabilities, doctrines, and tactics are developed, it will certainly be useful for them to face live testing in lower echelon events. Exercising the skills, equipment, and approaches will make for improved performance in larger, more critical events.

I am ever mindful that the militarisation of activities is a slippery slope. However, the security ramifications of human suffering is not a new or extravagant concern. Wellington certainly understood that the humanitarian disaster of the strategy at the Lines of Torres Vedras would have to be mitigated. So too did the Western Allies connect humanitarianism with security after WWII. And the population upheavals wrought by natural and conflict disasters of late serve only to highlight this point. The matter is, and has been for at least two centuries, of geo-strategic concern. The armed forces are not the only response that must be readied, but it is the critical one.

The armed forces encompass the broad spectrum capabilities necessary. The armed forces maintain the far and away edge in contingency logistics that can endure. While civilian capabilities have their niche specialisms, across the breadth of demand it is the armed forces that are best placed to answer. And in disaster operations this will be wider than most contemplate – see for example, the panoply of marine demands required in the Haiti earthquake relief operations. (1)

It bears considering as well that at some point the need for security and force will be necessary. Most obviously, this will be a need in R2P HADR scenarios. Thinking more pragmatically, to maintain order against the worst circumstances, whether destruction or disease, will be a necessity. It is not a pretty thing to admit, but its distasteful nature does not absolve us of our requirement to prepare for such contingencies.

The security implications demand serious response.

HADR is neither optional nor altruism. At both ends, sceptics would like to dismiss the necessity for armed forces in these events. From the military there is often the sense that these are ‘nice to have’ operations that can be disregarded as necessary, whereas the civilians dismiss the effort for being self-serving. Both are wrong. The security risks of humanitarian disasters are already manifest and will only worsen. And it is for this reason that the debatable altruism of such actions is irrelevant: such a sentiment will no longer be necessary to save lives and rebuild.

In the 21st century, saving lives will no longer be the province of the do-gooder. Rather, this metric of effect is about to assume strategic proportions. The struggles of at least the near future will be decided by the lives saved, not taken, in conflicts averted not won. Looking only to the realm of natural disasters, both weather/environmental disasters and communicable disease scenarios demand the state take this planning on board with the armed forces. Dealing with these contingencies must become part of the domestic and international defence and political discussions. Not only must strategies and plans be in place and practised, but international agreement must be achieved. When considering that the use of forces might be necessary in some instances, international agreement on the standards must be agreed.

Delicate circumstances, robust response. The human condition in these circumstances is delicate. This does not mean that a robust answer is not the best response. One could easily blanch at the practices found in an emergency room. However, in such circumstances, delicacy is not necessarily helpful. So too in the first phases of a disaster. Squeamishness will not assist our response to the worst of human calamities.

This does not mean that the armed forces should not adopt and practice an approach for such circumstances that includes the recourse to gentility wherever practicable. And returning to the medical analogy, it will be in the recovery phases, once the trauma has been passed and the long path to recuperation is begun, that issues of ‘bedside manner,’ of the attention to the social, political, and cultural delicacies will come to the fore. It is at this point that the provision of care from the civilian sector will be most effective and useful.


Thus, given its demands and security implications, the armed forces are best suited to lead the delivery of capabilities in HADR. Accepting this reality and responsibility sooner will mean the international community is best suited to deal with this emerging and critical contingency.






1 “Haiti Earthquake Port Rehabilitation” from Think Defence.

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CCLKOW: Part 1 – In HADR Humanitarian Principles Mean Civilians Must Lead

Kings of War - Mon, 08/02/2016 - 14:30

Greetings CCLKOW readers. This week we bring you something different. Rather than a single post on a theme, today we present two sides of an issue for your consideration. In this case, we are discussing HADR, and more specifically the proper lead for this growing contingency. Below, The Faceless Bureaucrat argues the case for the civilian and public sectors, largely short of the armed forces. Against the demands of the circumstances, both tangible and otherwise, these actors are the ideal lead. The second piece, from me, will argue the opposite. It will be for the Twitter discussion to consider both perspectives and debate the merits of each. So, enjoy this blog, and then move on to the next one! (JSR)


While many (mostly Western) military forces may consider themselves the best candidates for conducting Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief missions around the world, I posit that, in circumstances short of Level 3 mega-disasters, they are not.  I base this argument on three main ideas:

1.  Military action is an extension of politics and is, therefore, at odds with humanitarian principles.

Humanitarianism is meant to address affected populations on the basis of need alone.  Military intervention is usually carried out to further a particular foreign policy goal, whether it be improving a country’s image on the world stage or winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of a particular society.  I am not saying military delivered or facilitated aid cannot do material good, but it cannot be seen as being purely altruistic, either.  The simple fact that international militaries respond to emergencies based on a set of strategic calculations means that they are not, by definition, humanitarian.

Furthermore, given that foreign militaries are political actors, sometimes their enormous technical capabilities are overshadowed by political considerations.  Following the Katmandu earthquake last year, for instance, USMC Osprey aircraft could not operate in many parts of the country, due to the sensitivities of Nepal’s neighbours. Hence, the humanitarian value of these aircraft was severely limited because of their political significance.

2.  The militarization of humanitarian aid has knock on ethical implications for the beneficiary population.

When a hungry or displaced population is ‘rescued’ by a military force, rather than by its own state apparatus (ideal) or another civilian entity (second-best), it perpetuates the notion that the military provides the best solution to difficult problems.  In most parts of the world, there is considerable effort  being made to de-militarise essential services (through DDR and SSR programmes, for instance) and to normalise the state’s ability to provide for its citizenry.  Much of this effort is erased if the cavalry (quite literally) comes over the horizon to save the day.

3.  There are alternate mechanisms that can and do work, most of the time.

While the military is capable of providing logistical services quickly and effectively at short notice and with global reach, the civilian humanitarian system (composed of host countries; the International Red Cross/Red Crescent system (ICRC, IFRC, and national societies); Agencies, Funds and Programmes of the UN system; and national and international NGOs) manages to provide a wide-range of humanitarian and disaster relief services to millions of people around the world without military assistance.  For instance, the World Food Programme (part of the UN family) is a world leader in humanitarian logistics, fielding an impressive Air Service with 70 cargo aircraft and operating a fleet of over 5000 trucks every day, in places like Somalia, Syria, and Central African Republic. The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs provides the necessary ‘command and control’ (to use a not 100% apt military term) mechanisms–such as planning, liaison, information management–to help make the myriad actors work effectively to support the affected states and their populations.

In mega-emergencies, military assistance is required and very much welcomed, but it, too, must be coordinated and subordinated to the needs of the affected people.  It should be as humanitarian as possible (given the political realities) and disappear when it is no longer needed.  Commercial providers, such as DHL, are also starting to play major roles in logistics provision in HA/DR scenarios.  While they are also not entirely humanitarian actors (and may engage in HA/DR missions for PR reasons) they can offer services that were once only available from military sources.

Yes, the humanitarian system is imperfect: it needs more money and requires reform, especially in the area of involving the people who are most affected (reform will be the subject of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul later this year), but these problems cannot be neglected in favour of having some militaries ‘step up’ and then taking over these delicate operations.

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Springfield Armory XD - Mon, 08/02/2016 - 09:10

American Springfield Armory XD Pistol
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Your opinion needed for analysis of naval combat systems market

DefenceIQ - Mon, 08/02/2016 - 06:00
We are currently conducting some research exploring future trends in the naval combat systems sector. If you are working in this field or have knowledge of the systems, programmes, or requirements we are keen to hear your thoughts on the future of this market to help us produce high-le
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Steyr M - Sat, 06/02/2016 - 00:55

Austrian Steyr M Pistol
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Iranian UAV shown striking targets in Syria and Iraq

Jane's Defense News - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 18:30
Iran appears to have conducted strike missions over Syria and Iraq using its Shahed-129 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), according to footage released by national media on 2 February. A news report filed by media channel SimaNews shows at least two armed Shahed-129 UAVs being demonstrated at an
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Local and External Perceptions of Security Sector Reform in Guinea-Bissau

SSR Resource Center - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 16:28
For almost ten years, the small West African country of Guinea-Bissau has been subject to security sector reform as part of international peacebuilding interventions. Since gaining independence in 1973-74, the former Portuguese colony has been characterized by political instability, coups d’état, military overthrow attempts, and the interference of military factions within politics.   —– This
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Finland approves MLRS missile purchase

Jane's Defense News - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 14:46
Finland has decided to purchase new missiles for its 22 Lockheed Martin M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs), the Finnish Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 4 February. Valued at EUR70 million (USD78.4 million) by the MoD, the sale includes both M31A1 Unitary Missiles and M30A1
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Highlights - EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia: state of play and future perspectives - Subcommittee on Security and Defence

On 17 February SEDE will exchange views on the state of play and future perspectives of the EUMM Georgia with Kęstutis Jankauskas, Head of Mission of EUMM Georgia and Kenneth Deane, Director of the EU Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability, EEAS.
Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP

Highlights - Draft reports to be discussed on 17-18 February - Subcommittee on Security and Defence

At its meeting on 17-18 February, SEDE will discuss the draft report on Peace Support Operations - EU engagement with the UN and the African Union, Rapporteur Geoffrey VAN ORDEN (ECR, UK) and the draft report on space capabilities for European security and defence, Rapporteur Bogdan Andrzej ZDROJEWSKI (PPE, PL).
Further information
Draft reports
Source : © European Union, 2016 - EP

Mexican Air Force's Beechcraft T-6C+ fleet expands

Jane's Defense News - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 11:34
The Mexican Air Force (FAM) now has a fleet of 33 Beechcraft T-6C+ Texan II trainers, a military source told IHS Jane's on 3 February. A total of 48 aircraft have been ordered by the FAM since January 2012, when an original contract for six planes was placed. A FAM officer told IHS Jane's the
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Thales flies Searchmaster radar for Atlantic MPA upgrade

Jane's Defense News - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 11:22
Thales has test flown the new Searchmaster multirole surveillance radar for the French Navy's Dassault Atlantic (Atlantique) 2 (ATL2) maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) upgrade programme, the company announced on 4 February. Flight trials of the radar, which is also available for export, commenced on
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Kenya receives 30 Norinco VN4 armoured vehicles

Jane's Defense News - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 11:18
The Kenyan police commissioned 30 Norinco VN4 light armoured vehicles on 1 February in a ceremony attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The Chinese-made vehicles will be used by the paramilitary General Service Unit (GSU) of Kenya's National Police Force for anti-terrorism, international
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USAF to Become the Agents of SHiELD | Pentagon: Multi-Billion Investment in Tomahawks and SM-6 | UK MoD Buying Zephyr Solar Planes

Defense Industry Daily - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 01:20

  • The USAF is considering defensive lasers for future fighters such as the F-35 and F-22, along with future bombers from 2021. A Request For Information (RFI) notice posted by the US Air Force Research Laboratory is looking for market information for a podded laser weapon system that can destroy missiles directed at stealth fighters and bombers. The search for an advanced laser, referred to as the Self-protect High-Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) program would be significantly more powerful than current-generation self-protection capabilities and potentially burn or otherwise disable infrared and radar-guided missiles at high speeds.

  • The Pentagon is to invest in the development of Tomahawk and SM-6 missiles which will be capable of hitting moving vessels. $2 billion has been requested for the purchase of 4,000 Tomahawk missiles with manufacturer Raytheon. Raytheon has invested in a multi-modal seeker that would allow the missiles to hit moving targets so that missiles may be adapted from land missiles into anti-ship missiles. A further $2.9 billion will also be made available for the purchase of 650 SM-6 interceptors as well, to advance them to become anti-ship missiles for the first time. This will allow the SM-6 to operate in an offensive capability instead of operating solely as an anti-ballistic weapon.

  • USAF orders of the F-35A jet will drop from forty-eight to forty-three in Fiscal Year 2017. However, the budget will include increased money to purchase ten additional F-35C models for the Navy and three F-35B models for the Marines over what had been planned. It’s unclear whether the total number of total aircraft to be procured under the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program will decrease overall. The move has not been too surprising as analysts and government officials have hinted that changes to JSF procurement could change. The cutting of the F-35As in 2017 is expected to free up millions in savings over the next several years.

Middle East North Africa

  • Turkey may look to purchase four more airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft as part of an add-on option to an existing $1.6 billion order. With the original order placed in 2003, the last of four of the aircraft was delivered last December, after initial delivery was planned for 2008. Amid rising security issues along Turkey’s borders, after the eruption of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, and increased tensions with country’s like Russia, it is likely that more of the spy planes may be bought to help with reconnaissance and battle management operations. If the procurement is to go ahead, the planes would be bought under Ankara’s next 10-year procurement plan currently being drafted.


  • The UK plans to buy two unmanned solar-powered aircraft, known as Zephyrs, which are capable of carrying small payloads that might consist of reconnaissance cameras or communications equipment. The Zephyrs hold the absolute endurance record for un-refuelled aeroplanes staying up for 336 hours, 22 minutes and eight seconds. Developed in the UK by QinetiQ, the technology has been recently bought and marketed by Airbus with the MoD’s vote of confidence expected to lead to an increase in sales. High altitude, solar powered planes have often been used for civilian purposes by companies like Google and Facebook to deliver broadband to locations that lack fixed-line connections.

  • Former Communist-era jets and helicopters used by the Albanian Air Force are to go under the hammer later this month. The Chinese and Soviet Union built aircraft include 10 Mig-19s, six Mig-21s, six Yak-18s and four Mi-4 helicopters. They will be auctioned off in the capital Tiriana with the total value estimated at $483,000. Albania’s defense ministry has said that they only have historic value, and are for civilian purposes with expressed interest coming from museums and private collectors in Europe and the US. After seeing pictures showing the state of some of them, one would hope no one has ambitions to put them to military use as Albania says goodbye to relics of its past.

  • Finland’s former prime minister has given his backing to the Saab Gripen as the jet of choice to replace the Finnish Air Force’s F/A-18 Super Hornet fleet. Matti Vanhanen stated his support for the Swedish aircraft in a book published this week mentioning the deepening defense cooperation between the two countries. While the government has yet to state any preference between the Gripen, Dassault’s Rafale, Boeing’s Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and the Eurofighter Typhoon, Vanhanen acts as a close advisor to current Prime Minister Juha Sipila. With a final decision not to be chosen until the 2020s, the Gripen looks to be gaining the early lead in a procurement that could range between $5-11 billion. While both Sweden and Finland are non-aligned nations, increased cooperation between them, Baltic, and other Nordic states are bringing them into closer cooperation with NATO.

Asia Pacific

  • Chief of US Naval Operations, John Richardson, has said talks with India over development of New Delhi’s next aircraft carrier are progressing well. US assistance will mostly come in the form of providing new electromagnetic launch technology that will enable the navy to fly heavier planes from a carrier, and is set to become the biggest military collaboration between the two countries. The vessel, to be India’s third, will be their biggest one yet, and the third to be inducted into the Indian Navy. It will join the Russian made INS Vikramaditya and the indigenously produced INS Vikrant, which will enter service between 2018-2019 and will patrol the waters in the Indian Ocean. Increased naval activity from China in the region has worried both countries, and India has been bulking up their fleet with a dozen new submarines, six of them nuclear-powered and has more than 40 warships which are under construction.

Today’s Video

  • The Zephyr UAS to be bought by the UK:

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BAE Systems and Singapore university to collaborate on cyber security

Jane's Defense News - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 01:00
BAE Systems has signed an agreement with Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to jointly develop cyber-security technologies. The NTU said on 4 February that the arrangement, signed in the United Kingdom, would be supported by investment worth SGD2.5 million (USD1.8 million) and would
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BAE Systems awaits UCAV decision

Jane's Defense News - Fri, 05/02/2016 - 01:00
A Franco-British industry team is waiting for Paris and London to decide the way forward for a cross-channel effort to develop an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV). Martin Rowe-Willcocks, BAE Systems' head of business development for Future Combat Air Systems (FCAS), told IHS Jane's on 2
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