• Expert Commentary

    France 24: Where do the anti-FARC camp raids leave the peace process?

    16 April 2015.  Interview with Antonio Sampaio, Research Associate for Security and Development

  • Military Balance Blog

    Douglas Barrie: Iran’s 'indigenous‘ cruise-missile design underscores Kh-55 heritage

    15 April 2015.  By Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace Some 14 years after illegally acquiring at least six Raduga Kh-55 (NATO reporting name: AS-15 Kent) cruise missiles from Ukraine (China at the same time acquired six Kh-55s through the same Ukrainian sources), and in the wake of reports that it was developing cruise-missile technologies, Iran revealed the result of its efforts for the first time in early March 2015. The Soumar cruise...

  • Military Balance Blog

    Saudi Arabia - Selected Military Capabilities

    30 March 2015.  On the morning of 25 March, Saudi Arabia’s armed forces – leading a coalition of neighbouring states – began airstrikes on targets in Yemen in support of the beleaguered de jure administration of President Hadi. It is reported that key objectives include targets associated with the rebel Houthi group as well as forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saudi military forces had previously engaged Houthi targets in Yemen...

  • Military Balance Blog

    Douglas Barrie: Russian strategic-bomber upgrade indicates new cruise-missile deployment

    18 March 2015.  By Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace Although lately British focus has been on occasional pictures of the Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS strategic bomber (NATO reporting name: Bear) in the UK flight-information region, an arguably more significant image of the Bear flying over Russia has recently also appeared. The aircraft has been photographed fitted with four sets of large-weapon pylons between the engine nacelles. The pylon design is not new...

  • Military Balance Blog

    James Hackett: The Military Balance – equipment continuities over time

    13 March 2015.  By James Hackett, Editor of The Military Balance; Senior Fellow for Defence and Military Analysis Those of us who work on The Military Balance, like our readers, look for patterns and trends in our data. Sometimes these can relate to ways in which states are developing their defence forces, prompted perhaps by the outcome of defence reviews; these might lead to changes in the number, or role, of military organisations. Sometimes trends...

  • Military Balance Blog

    James Hackett: Deepening defence ties across the Pacific

    08 March 2015.  By James Hackett, Editor, The Military Balance and Senior Fellow for Defence and Military Analysis  Debate at the inaugural IISS Cartagena Dialogue has seen much focus on the growing commercial and political ties between the states on either side of the Pacific. Cooperation is increasing, and this mounting trans-Pacific relationship can also be seen in the defence realm. Though these associations are slight compared with the intensity of US defence relations with...

  • Military Balance Blog

    Ben Barry: Prospects for the United Kingdom's armed forces in 2015 and beyond

    03 March 2015.  By Ben Barry, Senior Fellow for Land Warfare As is detailed in The Military Balance 2015, the UK is still the fifth biggest defence spender in the world, and it remains the second biggest spender in NATO. In addition to this, as Ben Barry notes, the British armed forces continue to uphold a reputation for professionalism and effectiveness. But, the 8-9% decrease in the UK military defence budget as compared to...

  • Military Balance Blog

    Douglas Barrie: Chinese military aircraft developments in 2014

    20 February 2015.  By Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace The People’s Liberation Army Air Force continues to recapitalise its combat-aircraft fleet, improve the capabilities of its special-mission aircraft and work on a considerably greater airlift capability. At least six of the heavy fighter design Chengdu J-20 development aircraft have already been built, four of which were flown for the first time during the course of 2014. The J-20 prototype flew for the...

  • Military Balance Blog

    Douglas Barrie: Russian armed forces' equipment recapitalisation programme progress

    17 February 2015.  By Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace Russia is in the midst of a defence modernisation programme covering all services – land, sea, air and strategic systems. This is by no means the first effort Russia has made to recapitalise across the service domains. However, in the past few years progress has been significantly better than in previous efforts and the current State Armaments Programme has seen much more success...

  • Strategic Comments

    Japan’s defence budget bolsters altered military roles

    17 February 2015. 

    Japan's rising defence spending is part of an effort by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to carve out a greater regional security role for his country, commensurate with its status as the world's third-largest economy.

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