Increased Russian naval activities in the North Atlantic have refocused Western military attention on Iceland’s geostrategic importance. But even if the US has resumed irregular Cold War-style maritime and anti-submarine patrols from Iceland, there are no plans to reopen the American military base on the island.
Europe’s leading manufacturers are competing with each other to sell the latest generation fighters. But in an age of decreasing defence budgets, air forces around the world are being more cautious with their new purchases.
China’s sudden declaration of an Air Defence Identification Zone covering the uninhabited Senkaku islands is not intended to extend Chinese airspace as part of an area-denial/anti-access strategy. China’s real aim is instead to strengthen their quasi-legal territory claims in the long term.
Last week, the normally secretive ‘Skunk Works’ division of the Lockheed Martin company unveiled a new, remotely piloted, hypersonic jet with strike and reconnaissance capabilities. Given the right investment, it has the potential to revolutionise military aerospace technology.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter remains a source of controversy and polarising performance claims. While problems with both the aircraft and the programme remain, there are no competing solutions that offer anything approaching the current or upcoming capabilities of the F-35 in contested airspace.