This Occasional Paper examines the efforts underway in the UK, France, Germany and the US to produce new combat aircraft and systems over the next fifteen to twenty years; sheds light on some of the challenges and drivers; and suggests some potential options for force optimisation
Exasperated at the lack of air support to from the United States to fight ISIS, the Iraqi government has purchased second-hand Sukhoi fighter jets from Russia and Belarus. But how effective will they be in confronting the Jihadist threat on Baghdad’s door?
NATO’s primary military response to the Russian annexation of Crimea was to reinforce its long standing Baltic Air Policing operations. Airpower is a domain in which NATO can credibly challenge Russian dominance in the region and provide ‘hard’ deterrence against military intimidation.
The recently Oscar-nominated film Gravity underscored the very real danger of space debris from old and existing satellites and space missions in the low earth orbit. Reducing the number of satellite missions will not be enough, and there are a number of initiatives underway to have space junk removed.
The RAF’s acquisition of the RC-135 ‘Airseeker’ represented a deliberate effort by both the RAF and US Air Force to set the conditions for further integration. The current lack of greater progress on this vision will represent a lost opportunity for both air forces that will only serve to drive up operating costs.
Despite the slow proliferation of tilt-rotor aircraft across the special operations community, conventional rotary wing platforms remain a primary and critical capability for Special Operations Forces (SOF) across the contemporary operating environment