Start Archive: News & Articles

Archive: News & Articles

The path ahead for tube and rocket artillery

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has very clearly demonstrated the continued importance of artillery – both tube and rocket – on the modern battlefield. It has also supplied real world data on what artillery can achieve today and what it needs to achieve to meet the conditions expected in the conflicts of tomorrow. Developers of […]

Modern artillery fire control equipment is a requirement for all armed forces

The ongoing Russia–Ukraine war has shown that artillery – traditionally known as the ‘king of the battlefield’ – remains a key element of any country’s armed forces. This runs contrary to the previous assessment in many countries that modern guided munitions and aviation would mostly replace artillery. It has also become clear that modern digital […]

Gap crossing: the challenges of water obstacles in Europe

The European continent is criss-crossed by a large number of waterways that make large-scale ground military manoeuvres difficult. This article examines the extent of the challenges that water obstacles present and why gap crossings are relevant in the case of the War in Ukraine. It discusses the risks inherent in performing a water-crossing operation and […]

The greatest test for Ukraine

The capture of Avdiivka on 17 February 2024 marked a tactical and symbolic victory for Russia. Yet far more significant than the capture of the town itself was that the offensive heralded the deeply troubling trend of the return of Russian air power. As this column warned back in ESD’s January edition (see ‘Breaking the […]

Beachheads and amphibious armour

Establishing a beachhead is the defining component of an amphibious assault. Fail, and the following forces may have to find an alternate landing site or fight their way onto shore. Succeed and it is possible to achieve surprise at scale, which has been identified as an important component of military success.[1] The impact a successful […]

Smooth Sailing? The Strategic Relevance of (Un)contested Control of the Black Sea

As the war in Ukraine enters its third year, access to the Black Sea for both sides has remained deeply strategically relevant. As the battle for control continues, neither side can afford to surrender control of this vital area.  A stalemate and renewed sense of urgency As Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine seems to become […]

Delivering the Royal Navy’s future surface fleet

The British Royal Navy is in the middle of a significant programme of fleet renewal. Two major projects are currently underway that will ultimately see the commissioning of eight Type 26 anti-submarine warfare and five Type 31 general purpose frigates. Together, they will replace over two thirds of the navy’s major surface combatants. Responsible for […]

Keep it short

The ongoing war in Ukraine underscores just how hotly contested the airspace over the tactical edge will be in future conflicts. There are no firm definitions for very short-range air defence (VSHORAD) or short-range air defence (SHORAD), though a 2019 official UK publication entitled ‘Joint Air Defence’ provides some useful thresholds. The document states that […]

Examining the future of C-UAV and C-RAM

The battlefield threat posed by small and medium unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as well as by precision artillery continues to evolve. Both are driving a demand for counter-UAV (C-UAV) and counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) systems, and there is a good degree of overlap between the two. Intense research and development efforts are necessary to […]

Defending the Kingdom

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is faced with an extremely challenging strategic environment in which previous strategic certainties no longer apply. For years, the economic and defence links between Saudi Arabia and the US were such that they constituted an implicit guarantee of support from Washington in the event of the Kingdom facing a […]

Search and destroy: Middle East theatre stages showdown between conducting and countering UAV operations

Uncrewed capabilities have often been touted as ‘game changers’, at strategic and operational levels. The current crises and conflict across the Middle East are demonstrating how one type of uncrewed system – uncrewed air vehicles (UAVs) – can have such impact. Western militaries have for some time been working on delivering new capability and operational […]

US security aid to Ukraine falls hostage to the cult of Trump

Any potential Ukrainian progress in pushing back the country’s Russian invaders is already being threatened by political machinations in Washington, but if Donald Trump were to be re-elected president in November 2024, Kyiv’s position could be fatally compromised. As 2023 drew to a close, the administration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky must have looked with […]

MEDEVAC – keeping the wounded alive

The efficient medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) of wounded soldiers from the battlefield follows a planned pathway involving trained personnel using the latest available equipment and medical procedures. Battlefield wounds often present medical professionals with the most complex injuries encountered. A soldier may be wounded in the remotest of locations, making it all the more urgent for […]

Turret options for modern AFVs

Turrets are central to armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) design and house many of the most important subsystems on any platform. These can include the main armament, sensors, fire control systems, and protection systems. The choice of turret can affect greatly what a system can or cannot do. The market for standalone turrets provides potential users […]

Another new dawn beckons for UK heavy armour

UK procurement for its heavier armoured formations has not been a happy experience in recent decades, but the British Army now has a plan – another one – intended to deliver the land-based fighting capability it requires. On 9 March 2021 a UK House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC) report was published that focused on […]

Breaking the stalemate

For the overwhelming majority of the war in Ukraine, the highly capable air defences of both sides have greatly limited the employment and usefulness of manned combat aircraft of all types. In cases where aircraft were used, pilots typically stuck to low altitudes to avoid being detected and engaged, or relied on long-range standoff weapons […]

The Bundeswehr special fund – a year and a half later

The Bundeswehr special fund was legally established in July 2022. In the initial economic plan, a total of 38 projects were listed in five spheres, totalling EUR 100 billion. In December 2022, a new economic plan – heavily revised following criticism – was adopted for the first time in connection with the adoption of the […]

De-lousing: the Role of ISR in Enabling Maritime Operations

Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities are an essential, overlaying enabler for naval operations. As the strategic importance of operational tasks such as mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare returns, so does the requirement to expand and enhance ISR capability and its support for such tasks, particularly through enhancing multi-domain command, control, and communications. Intelligence, surveillance, […]

The Battle for Low Earth Orbit and the Stratosphere

Amid an uncertain security environment, competition in Low Earth Orbit and the stratosphere is heating up. SpaceX launched their 42nd Starlink delivery mission of the year on 25 September 2023, at 4:48 a.m. EDT, when a Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The rocket placed 21 V2 Mini Starlink […]

Dynamic Messenger 2023: Extending the Envelope of Unmanned Capabilities at Sea

In a round of related exercises off the coast of Portugal, NATO has been exploring the future potential of maritime unmanned assets. Hosted by the Portuguese Navy out of its Maritime Experimentation Operations Centre on the Tróia peninsula and its naval facilities in Sesimbra, NATO has recently conducted two overlapping exercises focused on integrating maritime […]

Detecting Missile Threats from Space

As the threat from manoeuvrable hypersonic missiles adds to the already vast array of ballistic and other missile threats, increasingly extensive and sophisticated space-based satellite constellations providing missile warning and tracking functionality are being deployed to bolster US missile defences for the protection of the US and its Allies. This article examines the threats demanding […]

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