As the U.S. Navy struggles to define a new variant of its Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a smaller, better-armed, multi-role warship is in production. Analysts expect 50-60 of these to be built, while the LCS fleet has been cut to 32 from 52 pending approval of the modified version. Unfortunately for the U.S. Navy, the new and smaller vessel is Chinese.
The tensions between Ukraine and Russia are expected to loom large in conversations and buying decisions at Eurosatory 2014 in Paris next month (June 16-20). Countries that have a common border with Russia may well be paying special attention to land-defense assets, such as tanks and missiles.
The U.S. Navy’s Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft made the headlines in March when aircraft of patrol squadron VP-16, deployed to Kadena AB in Okinawa, supported the search for the vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. But although the P-8A is the largest and most costly aircraft ever built for ASW, its ability to detect submarines at long range is inferior to that of the P-3C Orion, which it is intended to replace.
One of the rare women executives in the male-dominated business of missiles, Veronique Cham-Meilhac, vice president of ballistic missile defense at MBDA, sees her job primarily as protecting people. A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars, she explains this complex subject in straightforward terms, as she did recently for European Defense Editor Christina Mackenzie.
The Asia-Pacific region is a critical area that could soon be hotly contested, with Russia, China and India vying for influence and others determined to protect their interests and maintain the maritime status quo.
Many factors could upset the balance of power. China's ambitions in the Pacific possibly include establishment of sea-denial boundaries up to 2,700 km (1,678 mi.) from its coasts.
Vehicle protection technology has made enormous strides since the improvised explosive device (IED) threat emerged in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the use of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and ballistic threats. The V-hull concept pioneered in South Africa was adapted and modernized for different conditions. New materials were introduced, starting with ceramics that had previously been confined to tank armor, progressing into sophisticated ceramic and plastic hybrid systems, and much stronger transparent materials.
A “wait-and-see” banner flies over France's 2013 defense budget, which, like all others for EU defense ministries', has to contract to meet the government's goal of bringing the country's public debt down to 3% of GDP from the current 5.2%.