Turkey has paved the way for Finland to join NATO but continues to hold up Sweden’s membership, presenting the prospect of the two Scandinavian countries now following separate paths to NATO accession. “We have decided to initiate the ratification process in our parliament,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a press conference in Istanbul […]
In the course of 2022, an unofficial new female saint joined the Ukrainian pantheon. Her halo was not the traditional gold colour used in Orthodox iconography, but used the colours of the Ukrainian flag. Her hands were not raised in gesture of blessing, but cradled the recognisable form of a Raytheon/Lockheed Martin FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank […]
The US Army Futures Command (AFC) celebrates its fifth anniversary in August 2023. The Pentagon created this dedicated command in the hope of avoiding the kinds of mistakes that had plagued numerous development and procurement programmes in recent decades and delayed much-needed replacement of legacy systems. Many observers see 2023 as a pivotal year for […]
When the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the globe, the military in many countries supported the civilian authorities in many roles, from assisting medical professionals, to enforcing the lockdown, and in general law and order support roles. In providing support to doctors, nurses, and paramedics, the military also transported patients both on the ground and in the […]
The British Army’s troubled Ajax AFV programme, which has been plagued by excessive noise and vibration issues, is back on track, according to UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. Following a visit on 22 February 2023 to Bovington Camp in Dorset, where he met Ukrainian troops training on Challenger 2 main battle tanks but was also […]
While rocket artillery has been around for a very long time, recent decades have seen improvements to accuracy and firepower, coupled with extensive proliferation. This has resulted in the present situation, where multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) are a common and often highly oppressive presence on the modern battlefield, with significant second-order effects beyond their immediate […]
As to whether the EU is envisaged as a security institution depends very much on how one defines such a security body in the first place and whether it possesses the relevant tools. On the other hand, from the very beginning, NATO has very clearly been accepted as an international security institution with its well-known […]
Clearly Iran is a disruptive element in terms of the strategic environment in the Middle East, it seeks to change the strategic situation to meet its own needs. However, Iranian interests run counter to those of the majority of Arab states and other regional actors. Increasingly, these ambitions are not just limited to the Middle […]
The sudden withdrawal of NATO from Afghanistan in 2021 and Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine in February this year have thrown the international special operations forces (SOF) community into a state of flux as they prioritise future responsibilities. After two decades of counter-terrorism (CT) and counter-insurgency (COIN) campaigns focused primarily on south-central Asia and the […]
There used to be very little attention paid to energy security in Europe, and it was hardly thought of as a critical problem. Instead, the conversation was dominated by themes such as climate change, or the climate crisis. To this you could add decarbonisation, net-zero, renewables, green new deal, energy transition or ‘Energiewende’ as it […]
It is almost a year since Russia began what it called its ‘Special Military Operation,’ in reality its invasion of Ukraine. What was supposed to be a campaign that was to last a matter of days, that was supposed to see the decapitation of the political and military leadership in Kyiv, leading to the rapid […]
In February 2023, ESD interviewed Markforged, a company known for their additive manufacturing platforms, commonly known as 3D Printers. Although not primarily targeted at the defence sector, the company has been making inroads as armed forces increasingly begin to experiment with the applications of 3D printers. These typically include rapidly delivering often highly-specific components, one-off […]
The balance of armour in the Ukraine conflict appears to be shifting, as Russian losses mount and the transfers to Ukraine of main battle tanks (MBTs) and other weapons from its Western allies gather pace. As of 9 February 2023, as the first anniversary of Russia’s 24 February 2022 invasion of Ukraine approached, the Oryx […]
Despite the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine and the continuing reassurances coming from NATO that Georgia’s interests are being taken into consideration, Georgia’s NATO accession process has come to an impasse. Instead of reaching a national consensus and keeping society united, the population remains divided and polarised. The only progress that can be highlighted is […]
The gathering pace of experimentation with electric propulsion was a key takeaway at this year’s Defence IQ International Armoured Vehicles conference (IAV23), held at Twickenham in London from 23-26 January 2023, with a number of UK initiatives reported to be making progress. IAV attendees were told that the three platforms being trialled with various hybrid […]
Superficially, armoured vehicles used to be a less complicated proposition, it was not that long ago that a tank would have had a voice-only radio, there would have been an intercom system for crew communication, the main gun would have been stabilised, with the sight being a relatively simplistic optic. Realistically a tank of this […]
It is hard not to be cynical when looking at British defence programmes, or to be more precise the management of those programmes. Over the years British defence procurement has been characterised by short term thinking and ineffective financial management. This has led to cost overruns and seemingly an inability to deliver the end-user a […]
At first blush, Russian tank casualties in the ongoing war indicate a weakness in Russian vehicle protection. The truth, however, maybe more nuanced. The statistics are damning. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the country’s armed forces have lost 1,450 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), according to the Oryx Blog, which stated that […]
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 was supposed to be a campaign of rapid decision, operations were due to be concluded in a matter of days, with the end result being the collapse of the Ukrainian state, its government, and its military forces. At this point Russia would have established a client regime […]
Barely a year goes by without some debate on the utility of tracks vs wheels, and alongside questions about the validity of tanks it appears to be one of the most recurrent themes discussed by armoured fighting vehicle enthusiasts. It is difficult to arrive at any conclusive answers about the role of wheeled vehicles, but […]
As the war in Ukraine rages there have been multiple attempts to draw lessons from the conflict. The multitude of social media platforms carrying footage from the conflict have made it feel uniquely accessible and given many an insight into war that is otherwise difficult to gain without becoming a combatant. This has empowered many […]
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