The defence industry briefing

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

News in numbers


2019 budget requested by Japan’s defence ministry


France’s investment to upgrade its military satellite systems


Amount of military aid released by the US to Egypt


UK’s investment in an alternative to the Galileo satellite system


Number of nuclear warheads Pakistan could have by 2025


DARPA's investment in the next wave of AI technologies


Completion state of the US’s John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier

Quotes from the industry

“Tempest has opened up more questions than the government has so far answered. None of it is real. It’s wishful thinking.”

UK Labour MP Ruth Smeeth, a member of the Commons defence select committee, on the proposed Tempest fighter jet

“#Galileo  could set a dangerous precedent for #Brexit #defence negotiations in the future – or it could serve as a wake-up call for EU and UK negotiators.”

Tweet by Centre for European Reform analyst Sophia Besch on the UK’s position in the EU Galileo programme

“Trying to listen to one’s neighbour is not only unfriendly. It’s called an act of espionage.” 

French Defence Minister Florence Parly, accusing a Russian satellite of eavesdropping on French military communications last year

"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 Israeli Air Force is expected to decide by the end of the year whether it will purchase a third squadron of F-35 jets or Boeing’s latest F-15I. Israel originally intended to buy 75 F-35s but has only committed to two squadrons of 25 so far.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

China is reportedly nearing mass production of its J-20 stealth fighter after resolving engine problems. A new and improved engine is claimed to put the J-20 'on par' with the F-35. China currently has around 20 of the jets.

Source: South China Morning Post

The UK Government has allocated £92m to exploring the feasibility of developing an alternative to the Galileo satellite system.  This is the latest move in an ongoing row over Britain's position in the EU Galileo project after Brexit.

Source: UK MOD

DARPA has announced a $2bn campaign to develop new artificial intelligence technologies. The multi-year strategy “seeks contextual reasoning in AI systems to create more trusting, collaborative partnerships between humans and machines” according to a release by the agency. Specifically, DARPA wants to explore new theories and applications that could make it possible for machines to adapt to changing situations.

Source: DARPA

The US Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman a $47m contract to assess the system and payload requirements for a new missile early warning satellite system. Northrop will build two polar orbiting satellites, known as overhead persistent infrared polar space vehicles. Together with three geosynchronous orbiting satellites built by Lockheed Martin, they will make up a five-satellite system to complement the space-based infrared satellite, which currently operates as the US military’s missile early warning system.

Source: C4ISRNET

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