The defence industry briefing

The news, views and numbers you need to know about this month

News in numbers


Drop in French arms exports from 2016-2017 


The number of new Type 55 destroyers launched by China 


Number of C-135 reconnaissance plane flights cut short since 2016 


Number of Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft contracted by the Qatar Emiri Air Force 


Expected cost of the design, construction and support of Australia's Future Frigates programme 


The German armed forces' budget for 2019, an increase of €4bn over the previous year 


The gap between the claimed savings on the F-35 programme and the actual amount saved 

Quotes from the industry

“I am hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.”

President Trump, announcing his intention to create a military branch dedicated to space

"Militarisation of outer space is the path to disaster.”

Victor Bondarev, head of the Russian Parliament’s Upper House Committee on Defense and Security, in response to the President Trump’s declaration

"The relationship must be reinvented every single day. Politicians and everyone in Europe and North America have a role to play."

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, warning of the work required to maintain the NATO alliance 

"We will bring every tool to bear against them in every corner of cyberspace.”

Howard Marshall of the FBI’s cyber division on a joint US and UK response to alleged Russian cyber attacks.

Around the world

The US government is reportedly preparing for a review of its strategy in Afghanistan following a year of little progress in the deployment of US military advisers, trainers, special forces and air support for Afghan security forces.

Source: Reuters

Documents containing sensitive information on the US MQ-9 Reaper drone have been made available on the dark web in a security breach discovered by Insikt Group. A hacker obtained the data by hacking the computer of a captain at the 432d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Reaper AMU OIC, a maintenance unit based in Nevada.


The US Army has contracted Raytheon to develop a preliminary design for a 100kW class laser weapon system. The $10m contract is part of the US Army's High Energy Laser Tactical Vehicle Demonstration programme.

Source: Army Technology

Turkey has successfully tested the IŞIN Project laser system and released a video showing the weapon's long-range effectiveness. The weapon was able to cut through 22mm ship armour steel from a distance of 500m.

Source: defense-aerospace

NATO members including European nations and Canada have pushed back against accusations from US President Trump that they don't spend enough on defence. Sharing the burden of defence costs is expected to be a key topic at the NATO summit this week. 

Source: Bloomberg

Sweden's largest military and security drone producer, CybAero, has filed for bankruptcy after it failed to secure a deal with China for unmanned aerial systems.

Source: UAS Vision

Airbus has warned that it could leave the UK following a no-deal Brexit. In a recently published risk assessment the company states that if the UK left the EU single market and customs union without a transition deal it would "lead to severe disruption and interruption of UK production".

Source: BBC

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