The UK has reorganised its counter-CBRN capability with the Army and Royal Engineers expected to play an enlarged role, while the police re-equip.
There was a time when gun design and manufacturing flourished in the UK and guns were exported to battlefields in India and America.
Germany's Rheinmetall takes stake in BAE Systems as part of a new joint venture to design and manufacture military vehicles in the UK.
UK Chancellor finds an extra £1 billion for UK defence, but it won't plug the £20 billion hole in the Defence Equipment Plan.
MBDA's Brimstone 3 multi-platform missile is put through its paces in Swedish test firing.
Rheinmetall offers Lynx IFV and MSV for Australian Army's Land 400 Phase 3 mounted close combat RFT.
Rheinmetall powers ahead with new laser weapon station for engaging drone and mortar rounds.
US Army order for Oshkosh Defense, which is building the next generation of Medium Tactical Vehicles.
Anti-tank UGV fitted with two MMP 5th generation battlefield engagement missiles demoed at IDEX.
Lightweight single-point inflation boat for army regiments and special forces on display at NAVDEX in Abu Dhabi.
Welcome to another Winter edition of Defence Procurement International. With the International Defence Exhibition and Conference IDEX 2019 set to take place in Abu Dhabi from 17–21 February, our focus shifts to the Middle East for this issue. A region mired in conflict and still battling terrorist organisations like the Taliban in Afghanistan and ISIS (Daesh) in Syria and Iraq, the Middle East has shaped Western defence thinking, procurement and strategy since the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 pre-empted the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.
Although forces withdrew from Afghanistan in 2014, a follow on mission by US and NATO continues to this very day in the country. As at September 2018, there were more than 16,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, alongside a “non- NATO contingent” of approximately 14,000 US troops.
The US is also leading Coalition operations in Iraq and Syria to try and flush out Daesh’s last remaining strongholds in the region. So it came as a surprise in mid-December when US President Donald Trump announced that he was withdrawing US forces from Syria, claiming victory in the fight against ISIS. He is also expected to halve the number of US forces in Afghanistan. That announcement was swiftly followed by the resignation of Trump’s Defense Secretary, James “Mad Dog” Mattis, who reportedly did not agree with the President’s decision to withdraw US forces.
Despite the recapture of Raqqa and Mosul from ISIS, the organisation is far from defeated. Its ideology and network continues to spread to troubled countries like Yemen, Libya and Niger. The Taliban are also far from defeated in Afghanistan. They have regrouped and continue to pose a threat to US-trained Afghan forces.
Trump’s decision demonstrates a lack of understanding of guerrilla warfare tactics. ISIS, the Taliban or Al Qaeda may have seemingly less sophisticated weaponry — an AK-47, IEDs or RPGs — but as the conflict in Yemen has demonstrated, these weapons have been known to take out tanks and Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs) that were thought to be well-protected.
In this issue we interview author Peter Polack whose latest book is about guerrilla warfare tactics from the 13th century to the modern day. Polack says no amount of drone strikes will change the commitment of ISIS or Daesh’s fighters. “Daesh don’t even think about casualties,” he says.
Seventeen years on from the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, conventional military forces are still addressing the threat posed by insurgents, jihadists and resistance militias. But it would be a mistake for any military or political leader to think the battle has been won. The element of unpredictability associated with so-called insurgents and jihadists and their ability to change their strategy and tactics on the fly, which they share in common with traditional guerrilla fighters like FARC and the Sandinista Liberation Front, makes them a force to be reckoned with. No amount of sophisticated defence equipment or weaponry is likely to change that.
We’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.
Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) 2019
Undersea Defence Technology (UDT), taking place on 13 to 15 May in Stockholm, brings together professionals from the military, industry and academia to focus on the cutting edge technologies and developments within one of the harshest environments known to man.
13 - 15 May 2019
Over the past few years mature, offensive EW activity in Europe has demonstrated that in the electromagnetic domain, warfare is no longer theoretical. The AOC’s 24th European event, will consider the future of EW and EM Operations in the changing light of current and emerging threats including Hybrid Warfare, Information Operations/Warfare, the multi-domain battle (MDB), Cyber and Anti Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) where some potential opponents are excelling.
13 - 13 May 2019 (Stockholm)