Serbia’s Soviet-Legacy Military Rearmament Project Gets New Supplier

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

MiG-29

In an interesting twist to the long-expected Serbian acquisition of a batch of MiG-29 combat aircraft and Russian-designed missile systems, Serbia’s defense minister, Zoran Djordjevic, has announced that both military platforms will be donated from Belarus. Continue reading

Thailand-Russia Relations Warm as Defense Industrial Collaboration Agreement Nears Finalization

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Mi-8MTV-5 (export variant: Mi-17V-5) is a medium-lift military helicopter. Photo – Russian Нelicopters, JSC.

Ties between Russia and Thailand appear to be heating up on the defense front following a meeting in Bangkok on January 16 between Russian defense officials and military leadership of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. According to reports, the meeting involved discussions of a potential government-to-government accord aimed at military-technical cooperation. The agreement outline in question would extend Thailand partnership status on a jointly run production and maintenance facility for the Mil Mi-17V-5 transport helicopter export variant. Continue reading

Japan’s Lower House Passes Defense Bills Amidst Protest, Shifting Regional Security Environment

by Dan Darling, International Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.

Japan FlagTwo security bills that passed in the lower house of Japan’s legislature, the National Diet, on July 16 elicited a strong public reaction. The bills involve the reinterpretation and revision of existing laws while expanding the range of allowable activities for the nation’s military, the Self-Defense Forces (SDF).

For a nation steeped in pacifism following its defeat and post-conflict occupation in World War II, any loosening of the constraints imposed on Japan’s military under Article 9 of its U.S.-influenced Constitution provokes alarm in large segments of the population. This was indeed the case when the security bills – championed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – were approved by the Lower House’s Special Committee on Security Legislation on July 15, thus enabling them to be put to a vote in the lower chamber dominated by Abe’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The move created an uproar sparking large demonstrations by up to 100,000 protestors outside the Diet building and prompted the major opposition parties in the legislature to walk out in protest. Continue reading