As Bulgaria prepares to relaunch a tender seeking new combat aircraft to replace its Air Force’s small inventory of 1980s-vintage MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters, Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov has indicated via state-run radio that his ministry will be requesting an offer from Boeing for its F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighter. Continue reading
After years of talk with little to show for it, the governments of Europe are finally moving forward with long-held cooperative defense ambitions through the auspices of the European Union. The announcement by the EU on June 7 of a European Defense Industrial Program co-financed by members to the tune of EUR500-EUR590 million annually through 2020, thereafter growing to EUR1-EUR1.5 billion annually, marks the launch of an effort to bring commonality and unity to an otherwise fragmented market. Continue reading
Pamela Hurt, Forecast International.
A day after meeting with President Trump at the White House, NATO head Jens Stoltenberg discussed the unique challenges of a time when the line between peace and war is increasingly unclear.
“Before, it was easy to distinguish whether it was war or peace,” the Secretary General stated, during a talk on Thursday, at George Washington University. Now “there is a much more blurred line between peace and war,” he said, observing that in past conflicts, war occurred in identifiable geographical areas, and within defined periods of time.
That clarity is now often absent.
Under the Estonian government’s 2017 budget, recently has passed by the Parliament, topline defense spending will reach a record high. The FY17 state budget will see government expenditures climb by 7.6 percent year-on-year, with defense receiving a 5.8 percent boost to bring military spending up to EUR477 million ($498 million). More importantly, the uptick in military-related spending will increase the defense budget to 2.2 percent of GDP – above the symbolic 2 percent of GDP minimum threshold required of its members by the NATO Alliance. Continue reading
The U.S. election has been decided and, contrary to the overwhelming predictions by the establishment media and pollsters, Republican candidate Donald Trump will be the country’s next president.
The question for America’s European partners now becomes, what will happen to their relationship with the U.S. under a Trump administration? Continue reading
Norway’s center-right, government-led Ministry of Defense unveiled the country’s latest long-term defense plan (titled “Capable and Sustainable”) on June 17. The new LTDP follows the previous iteration published in 2012 by the former Red-Green (center-left) government of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, which drafted the plan during a period when the greater European security environment had yet to be upset by Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further destabilization activities in eastern Ukraine. Continue reading
By Derek Bisaccio, Military Markets Analyst, Forecast International.
On June 2, Egypt received the first of its two Mistral helicopter carrier vessels, constructed by French shipbuilder DCNS. The ship, named for Egypt’s late President Gamal Abdel Nasser, is partaking in exercises with the French Navy prior to setting sail for Alexandria. Continue reading
As the crisis in Ukraine unfolded in 2014, risk perceptions stirred across the European continent. Defense policy reassessments and heightened security footing skewed depending on geography, but across Europe in general there was a sense of renewed threat emanating from Russia. Continue reading
In an ongoing quest to replace its badly aging fleet of Warsaw Pact-era MiG-21 Lancer fighter aircraft, Romania continues to scour the secondhand market for an additional batch of F-16s with which to bolster its incoming stock of ex-Portuguese fighters. Continue reading
As tensions between Moscow and the West persist nearly two years after Moscow’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, the trend among Eastern European nations that are members of the NATO Alliance has been to move away from Russian-sourced military hardware. Most of these former Warsaw Pact states are seeking to retire their aging and obsolete Soviet-vintage equipment and replace such materiel with NATO-standard, Western-produced hardware. Continue reading