The ongoing Combat Air Strategy under development within the Ministry of Defence faces a difficult choice, with significant capability, industrial and geopolitical cost trade-offs involved. The F-35 is at the centre of this dilemma.
Three different designs from the contenders for the US Navy’s MQ-25 unmanned tanker contract have now been proposed. Despite the modest ambition behind the MQ-25 requirement set, the eventual selection will have a significant shaping effect on the future of airpower well beyond the context of the US Navy.
The latest Quadrennial Defense Review promises to increase the numbers, sophistication and use of unmanned aerial vehicles, known as drones. Their use has rendered the boundaries of the theatres of war more fluid, requiring the rapid integration of this weapon to be piloted more carefully than ever before.
The current restructuring of India’s defence industrial base is aimed at improving the quality of indigenous platforms, increasing defence exports and reducing the cost of procurement to India’s armed forces