• Military Balance Blog

    Douglas Barrie: The advent of laser weaponry

    11 December 2014.  By Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace If in the past the advent of laser weaponry was not so much a bright and shining lie as more a case of heady over-optimism, then the US Navy’s recent trials with a modestly powered system may herald, finally, the beginning of their adoption into the wider weapons inventory. The US Navy has been discussing the results of a series of operational trials with an...

  • Manama Voices

    James Hackett: Developing Lebanon's armed forces

    07 December 2014.  By James Hackett, Senior Fellow for Defence and Military Analysis It was understandable that much debate during the second plenary session at the tenth Manama Dialogue would, in common with many speeches and questions over the weekend, focus on the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and extremist ideologies. One section of the speech by France's defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reminded delegates that this...

  • Manama Voices

    Douglas Barrie: The air campaign against Daesh

    06 December 2014.    For Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace, the 2014 Manama Dialogue provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the US-led coalition air campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS, or Daesh). The air strikes have been the most visible part of the strategy against the insurgents, in terms of both Western involvement and the participation of a number of countries from the Gulf and Middle East, which...

  • Manama Voices

    Douglas Barrie: Arab air power and Operation Inherent Resolve

    06 December 2014.  By Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace While operational detail of Arab nations’ involvement in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) patchy, the continuing level of commitment of the United Arab Emirates is becoming increasingly apparent. The UAE remains second only to the US in the number of sorties flown in the air campaign to contain and degrade ISIS’ military capability. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond...

  • Military Balance Blog

    Douglas Barrie: Phantom image supports Iranian air involvement in Iraq

    04 December 2014.  By Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace The apparent intervention of the Iranian Air Force (IRIAF) in Iraq, providing air support to Iraqi ground forces against ISIS, pays tribute to its ability to keep an ageing fleet of combat aircraft operational. The only type so far identified from imagery is the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, which was delivered to the pre-revolution regime in the early 1970s. While the IRIAF...

  • Military Balance Blog

    Douglas Barrie: Beijing and Moscow's Fighter Export Ambitions

    21 November 2014.  By Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace There were two fighter aircraft débutantes at this year's air show in China, held in Zhuhai from 10–16 November. One was Chinese, and one was Russian; both raise interesting questions with regard to the countries’ respective aircraft export ambitions. China's self-styled fourth-generation fighter, for the moment called the Shenyang FC-31 (J-31) made its public debut at the show. The aircraft has obvious low-observable airframe...

  • News

    Kobane’s reprieve?

    23 October 2014.  For the first 20 days, coalition air-strikes in Syria failed to halt the advance by ISIS jihadists on the town of Kobane. But the operation did buy time for diplomacy and a shift in strategy to loosen the militants' grip

  • IISS Voices

    Nicholas Crawford: Kobane’s reprieve?

    23 October 2014.  For the first 20 days, coalition air-strikes in Syria appeared to do little to halt the advance by ISIS jihadists on the town of Kobane. But the operation did buy time for diplomacy and a shift in strategy to loosen the militants' grip. Can it continue to keep ISIS at bay?

  • Expert Commentary

    CNN: Complexities of Tackling ISIS in Syria

    25 September 2014.  CNN Connect the World interview with Emile Hokayem, Senior Fellow for Regional Security, IISS-Middle East BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: three-and-a-half years and almost 200,000 deaths since the Syrian civil war began. The international community now responding in Syria with force, but not against Bashar al-Assad. The spread of ISIS in the north of the country has prompted the US and its allies into action, but they enter a situation a lot more complex...

  • Military Balance Blog

    Douglas Barrie & Joseph Dempsey: Ukrainian air force capability erodes further

    25 September 2014.  By Douglas Barrie, Senior Fellow for Military Aerospace and Joseph Dempsey, Research Analyst, Defence and Military Analysis Programme The ceasefire in eastern Ukraine declared on 3 September 2014, should it hold, will provide a welcome respite for the Ukrainian air force and army aviation units, both of which have suffered notable losses of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. Arguably, however, as much damage had already been done before fighting began due to years...

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