• Military Balance Blog

    Tom Waldwyn: China’s surface-to-air missiles in the South China Sea

    29 February 2016.  By Tom Waldwyn, Research Analyst for Defence and Military Analysis China’s construction activity on features it occupies in the South China Sea has in recent years attracted increasing scrutiny internationally. In a briefing to the United States Congress in late February 2016, Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr, commander of US Pacific Command, said that China is engaged in ’destabilizing militarization of the South China Sea’. Beijing’s activity there has so far...

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    Military Balance Recap: Russia's new Armata tank

    22 February 2016.  At the launch of The Military Balance 2016 on 9 February, Ben Barry, IISS Senior Fellow for Land Warfare, talks about Russia’s new T-14 Armata main battle tank. ‘Assuming Armata is successfully developed and enters service, Western land forces should be very concerned,’ he says. Russia’s long history as an armoured-vehicle manufacturer has resulted in the development of a new tank with advanced technical capabilities, which could reduce the effectiveness of...

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    Military Balance Recap: North Korea’s military capability development

    18 February 2016.  At the launch of The Military Balance 2016 on 9 February, Nick Childs, IISS Senior Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime Security, talks about the significance of North Korea’s nuclear tests and recent rocket launch. ‘A large part of the elements of this are to do with political messaging,’ he says. These actions can be seen as a further assertion of the current leadership’s abilities, and ability to retain power. However...

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    Tom Waldwyn: China’s new Type-052D destroyer

    17 February 2016.  Tying into a new equipment graphic in The Military Balance 2016, Tom Waldwyn, IISS Research Analyst for Defence and Military Analysis, talks about two key systems on China’s new Type-052D (Luyang III-class) destroyer, and the advantages conferred by them. The graphic analyses the ship’s key propulsion, missile launcher, radar and gun systems; displays deployed missile ranges; and provides comparisons with Japan’s Akizuki-class and India’s Kolkata-class destroyers. Watch the full launch on the IISS...

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    Joseph Dempsey: China's increasing inroads into the African defence market

    17 February 2016.  By Joseph Dempsey, Research Analyst, Military Balance Online The Military Balance 2016 features a colour graphic showing China’s continued inroads into the African defence market, based on observed military equipment now in African inventories. Currently, more than two-thirds of the countries on the continent operate equipment of Chinese origin, with at least ten new operators emerging within the last decade. In addition, the types of equipment now being imported are...

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    Giri Rajendran: NATO, Europe and the 2% of GDP target

    16 February 2016.  By Giri Rajendran, Research Associate for Defence and Economics Last week was a busy one for Europe’s defence policymaking and defence-industrial community, with NATO’s latest defence ministers’ meeting convening on 10–11 February and the annual Munich Security Conference on 12–14 February. Firmly on the agenda was the growing threat that both state and non-state actors pose to European security, as well as the level of resources on which armed forces in...

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    Military Balance Recap: NATO’s strategic policy towards Russia

    12 February 2016.  At the launch of The Military Balance 2016 on 9 February, Bastian Giegerich, IISS Director of Defence and Military Analysis, talks about NATO’s approach to Russia following the failure of the European strategic partnership with Moscow. In the run-up to the Warsaw Summit, ‘we will see a much bigger focus on deterrence,’ he says. NATO will try to solve the concurrency challenge of balancing geography, with simultaneous threats in its East...

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    Ben Barry: Modernising the British Army’s Armoured Fighting Vehicles

    10 February 2016.  By Ben Barry, Senior Fellow for Land Warfare The Military Balance 2016 contains an assessment of modern armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), examining significant technology developments in key AFV manufacturing states. It concludes that the combination of firepower, protection, mobility and capacity means that a wide range of tracked and wheeled armoured vehicles will continue to play key roles across the spectrum of combat, notably high-intensity land combat, and particularly in urban...

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    Ian Keddie: Type-26 and beyond - Future frigates

    10 February 2016.  By Ian Keddie, Research Analyst, Defence and Military Analysis Programme The United Kingdom’s 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), released in November, announced that eight Type-26 frigates would be built for the Royal Navy (RN). The Type-26 ‘Global Combat Ship’ is intended to replace the Type-23 in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) role. However, the SDSR also noted that another five Type-26s originally planned would instead be replaced with a cheaper alternative...

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    Giri Rajendran: Russia and China drive global defence-spending increases in 2015

    09 February 2016.  By Giri Rajendran, Research Associate for Defence and Economics The Military Balance 2016 – released today – contains both raw data as well as text and graphical analysis highlighting ongoing trends in the global defence economy. Key findings in the present edition include the degree to which Russian and Chinese defence spending has driven global increases in the past year, India’s overtaking of France in the global ranking and, lastly, the...

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