A closer look at NATO figures

Earlier this week the United Kingdom’s General Chris Deverell, commander of joint forces command, made a speech at the annual International Concept Development and Experimentation Conference*, being hosted by the UK Ministry of Defence for the first time in 17 years, in which he tried to reassure his audience of the UK’s commitment to Defence […]

Uncertain future for Ukrainian robots

Robots, robots, robots … these are clearly the stars of the 14th Arms & Security show being held this week in Kiev, Ukraine. Ground or airborne, micro or mini, these ground robots or remotely piloted air systems (RPAS) are difficult to miss as there are so many of them on show despite the many obstacles specific […]

First operation in Niger for French A400M

A French air force A400M transport aircraft has carried out its first operational mission to Niger, carrying helicopters, freight and personnel directly from France onto a semi-prepared dirt landing strip. The mission took place over a month ago but the French Air Force publicised it only last week. On 1 September, an A400M Atlas from […]

Innovation in France’s MoD

France’s Ministry of the Armed Forces yesterday launched its innovation, transformation and modernisation strategy backed by a 2018 research and development (R&D) budget of €4.67bn of which €723m is earmarked for upstream studies. Florence Parly, the minister, has been an advocate of innovation since taking up her post last June. Visiting the ministry’s cybersecurity centre […]

Focus on France’s National Guard

National Guard? Reserve? What’s the difference? After a breakfast this morning with Major-General Gaëtan Poncelin de Raucourt, Secretary General of France’s National Guard, FOB can enlighten you, and this a few days before the force’s 1st anniversary. Officially created on 13 October 2016 it has the threefold objective of strengthening the armed forces, the national police […]

Future of Germany’s foreign missions?

Without a new coalition, Germany’s military operations abroad could find themselves with no formal mandate by January … unless the current government persuades the newly elected Bundestag to extend these operations for three months without modifying their scope. This is one of the unexpected consequences of the crisis created by the result of Germany’s federal […]

Nuancing the French defence budget

with Christina Mackenzie “Redressing the defence effort of our country” is the motto of the French Defence Budget 2018 presented on 27 September by Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly. The budget, unveiled in broad terms by President Emmanuel Macron on 13 September, will rise by €1.8bn to €34.2bn (excluding pensions) in 2018, an […]

Macron on Defence Europe

“At the beginning of the next decade Europe will have to have a joint intervention force, a common defence budget and a common doctrine.” The French head of state, Emmanuel Macron, could not have given a clearer vision of Defence Europe than he did in a 90-minute speech delivered yesterday at the University of La Sorbonne […]

What of Merkel’s security programme?

And it’s four in a row! Not exactly a surprise, German Chancellor Angela Merkel led her alliance of Christian Democrats of the CSU/CDU to victory in yesterday’s German elections with 33% of the vote. Even if the electoral shock of seeing an extreme right-wing party return to the Bundestag must not be ignored, our role […]

COSME open to defence clusters

What if the construction of a European defence industry was also founded on clusters, those clusters of companies that seem to be flourishing in the four corners of Europe? This is in any case what the European Defence Agency (EDA) is banking on by opening the COSME * programme to defence clusters, with the stated aim […]