Features

Land

Renault-tanks-The-Weald-Foundation-Militracks

Two fully restored Renault FT and TSF tanks will be driven round a special track at Militracks 2019 in Overloon.

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CBRN

CBRN-3M-Respiratory-Protection-Equipment

Under challenging CBRNe conditions, Respiratory Protection Equipment should aid effective communication.

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Land

Challenger-2-tanks-british-army-tank-regiments-in-decline

Tank regiments and numbers are in decline in the UK, which has less tanks in service than Cambodia.

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Air

Counter-UAV-Roshel

Commercial-off-the-shelf drones give terrorists the ability to launch attacks without complex support networks.

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Latest News

Aquabotix-swarm-diver-US-Navy

Aquabotix secures its fourth order from the US military for its underwater unmanned swarming technology.

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ECA-Belgium-Naval-And-Robotics-Consortium

Belgian and Dutch navies award €2 billion contract to ECA Group and Naval Group for minehunters with unmanned 'toolbox'.

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Streamlight-tlr-8-military-Strobing-tactical-light

STREAMLIGHT® TLR-8 ® G Rail mounted Strobing tactical light with green laser sight

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Arnold-Defense-FLETCHER-rocket-launcher-SOFIC

Arnold Defense is experimenting with integrating its FLETCHER laser-guided rocket system on a UGV.

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SPECTRA-SOFIC-tactical-radios

Spectra Group reports increased orders for its SlingShot tactical radio system from NATO countries.

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BAE-mortar-systems-CV90-Sweden

New vehicle-mounted mortar system will give Swedish army more firepower.

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Latest Digital Edition


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.
Anita Hawser
Editor


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