- @DefenceGirl No refuelling necessary as far as I know. It is bad - you should keep making noise about it, people listen 1 day ago
- RT @SamTannerIQ: Register to attend @DefenceIQ's Defence IT conference before Friday 24th May 2013 and save 100 EUR bit.ly/165qDtl 1 day ago
- @DefenceGirl And I hope all's well with you. If it matters any, I agree on the legal aid issue. 1 day ago
- @DefenceGirl VTO is more a function than a capability - like in a car where reverse is just used for positioning, not driving. 1 day ago
- BAE Systems to Provide Advanced Data Management Capabilities to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency: defenceiq.com/press-releases… 1 day ago
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April 30, 2013Posted by on
During the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, IED attacks on coalition troops climbed to the top of the threat ladder, owing to their prolific presence, their ability to be made easily and cheaply, and their fundamentally effective results.
Along with the drawdown, there is now a realisation that the theatre in which the IED remains a serious threat is anywhere and everywhere. In the months and years to come, homeland security measures will be faced with an increasing need to detect and defeat a device that requires little sophistication to take lives.
The question is whether the lessons and training methods refined in the deserts of the Middle East can be transposed to urban environments and the civilian response teams that often oversee them.
This year’s 7th annual Counter IED conference will be going further to assess the IED in the context of homeland security. Ahead of the conference, a day of interactive workshops will meet some of these issues head on, allowing professionals involved in this domain to both converge and converse openly on the topic.
The first two-hour workshop will explore training and retraining – looking at the broad scope disciplines, processes and capabilities that need to remain fresh as emerging asymmetric threats arrive at our doorstep. Mr Zach Kramer, C-IED SME, JMRC US Army Europe, will lead the discussion.
Following this, Mr Robert Shaw – who has trained ISAF forces and other authorities worldwide – will helm a must-attend session on predicting the future of EOD, assessing how the technologies and countermeasures will likely evolve and advising those involved in the discussion on how to use that information.
Finally, delegates will be treated to a visual walkthrough guide to attacking the network, arguably the key to closing down terrorist actions on a large-scale but also a more convoluted task than diffusing a physical bomb. Professor Caroline Kennedy-Pipe will help delegates address the challenge of crossing national boundaries, linking terrorist cells to organised criminals and ultimately undermining the “tangled web” of modern violent extremism.
Don’t want to miss out? Visit www.CounterIEDevent.com.
Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 (0) 207 368 9737.
April 16, 2013Posted by on
Modern defence systems are required to gather, disseminate and store more information than ever before. The challenge of meeting the technology demand in a cost-effective manner is one that is shared by all governments and military organisations.
To solve this problem, military information leaders will assemble in Brussels, to get to grips with the latest strategies and equipment, which will enable global armed forces to assess the rapid increase in digital data.
The Defence IT 2013 conference, taking place in June, will build on the success of Defence IQ’s information technology portfolio, which includes the renowned annual Cyber Defence & Network Security (CDANS) conference. The full Defence IT conference agenda is available to view at http://www.defence-it.com.
Defence IT 2013 will include key presentations from several EU and UK MoD programme leaders. With the budget for improving IT infrastructure in the European Commission reaching into the billions, Defence IT will provide the platform where government agencies seek to engage with leading solution providers.
Topics under discussion include, enterprise application platforms, Big Data, Cloud Computing, online learning, codification and standardisation. Additionally, the workshop day on 20th June 2013 will focus on the tools and applications required to visualise data and how to develop information systems for situational awareness.
Belgian Minister of Defence, Pieter De Crem, hailed Defence IQ’s CDANS conference as “an exceptional platform to discuss new ideas and initiatives; to identify benchmarks, as well as to coordinate existing capabilities”. A post-show report highlighting key findings of the conference, alongside insight on CNI-targeting malware and regional digital security strategies is available to the Defence IT community at http://www.defence-it.com.
Further information on Defence IT, including the agenda, speaker lists and topics to be discussed are available online at http://www.defence-it.com, where you will also be able to register for the conference.
Notes to editor:
Defence IT will be taking place in Brussels, Belgium between 18-20 June 2013. If you would like a press pass for the conference, please contact Samantha Tanner at email@example.com or call +44 (0) 207 368 9300.
April 9, 2013Posted by on
With the official bilateral visit of UK Defence Minister Philip Hammond to Libya last week, there comes the news of the “reborn” nation finally opening up its defence coffers with reports of a $4.7 billion budget approval designed specifically to modernise the rusting armed forces, following decades of underfunding and the overthrow of a paranoid regime.
While the British defence industry is certainly on the books to help begin the rebuilding of air defence infrastructure taken out by NATO two years ago, other nations are also being consulted on delivering rapid upgrades to Libyan forces during this time of vulnerability. Defence IQ confirmed with the Libyan Air Force that consultations with Russia and Italy are underway to provide new trainer aircraft. Meanwhile, the fleet of Libyan C-130s that have been embargoed in the US for over 40 years are finally being discussed, but the Libyans are veering away from the offer to trade them in for a C-130J replacement.
Those involved in air systems would do well to keep their ears open as other ministers book flights to the Middle East over the coming months. A country that once commanded one of the biggest forces in the region wants to return to its old glory, and unlike many nations across the world today with similar dreams, Libya has the resources to make it happen.
Interested in the integration of modern military air weapons and systems? Network with decision-makers in London this May at Air Integration 2013.
April 8, 2013Posted by on
Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister from 1979 – 1990, passed away on Monday morning leaving behind a legacy few others could equal. A divisive figure and political enigma, the first woman Prime Minister will be revered by many as the Iron Lady who protected British sovereignty on the Falkland Islands in 1982.
She sent 27,000 men and over 100 ships to the remote islands near the Argentinian coast. Following the successful defence of the islands some weeks later, she said:
“What the Falklands proved was that we could still do it, and do it superbly. There was a feeling of colossal pride, of relief, that we could still do the things for which we were renowned. And that feeling will stay with us for a very long time.”
Despite brash calls from Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández over the last 12 months for the islands to fall under her government’s control, the Falklands are, and will remain, British. Last month a referendum was held with 99.8% of islanders voting to preserve the status quo under British rule.
Even as a reluctant foreign policy premier, Thatcher’s alliance with U.S. President Ronald Reagan also provided a united front in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The Iron Curtain eventually fell in 1991, 13 months after the Iron Lady resigned from office following a leadership challenge from Michael Heseltine.
Love or loathe, respect or revile; Thatcher deserves to be recognised as a true giant of British politics and an icon of 20thcentury independence. She was a heck of a character; a pioneer, a visionary and fearless antagonist. A grocer’s daughter.
Margaret Thatcher the person will not be forgotten. Nor should the democratic, sovereign values she stood for in the Falklands be.
That feeling Thatcher talked about is still with us. But only just.
March 13, 2013Posted by on
Despite the latest cinematic adventure celebrating a successful joint personnel recovery operation thanks to the collaborative work of Canadian and U.S. agencies, we must not forget the far less successful endeavour to rescue others during this time.
In this article, James P. Farwell explores the long-term impact of Operation Eagle Claw, the aborted personnel recovery effort that cost lives and careers, including that of President Jimmy Carter. Could a single question that went unasked have turned this tragic story into a Ben Affleck worthy sequel?
Decades may have passed since this misstep, but personnel recovery remains a burning issue today with recent experiences in Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa demonstrating the importance of effective planning.
As such, many in the global personnel recovery field will be gathering in London for the annual Joint Personnel Recovery conference this May, where topics of discussion will range from training operators in isolated situations and developing the capability to rescue military and non-military alike from behind enemy lines.
For more information on how to be a part of this important conference, visit www.JointPersonnelRecovery.com
January 22, 2013Posted by on
Following recent indications that the Shamoon virus (aka Disstrack) that targeted and disrupted about 30,000 Saudi Aramco workstations last year was “worse than originally believed”, new information has been dropped onto the desk at Defence IQ.
John Bumgarner, Chief Technology Officer at the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, has forwarded a summary report on the Unit’s research findings that suggest a more likely source to be an extremist Islamist group based in Saudi Arabia – or at the least, not an Iranian hacker, as initially suspected.
While the findings are still circumstantial and could of course have been designed to throw forensic analysts off the scent, the evidence at hand is compelling.
The report was initially circulated at the end of last year to a number of government agencies but has been made public for the first time to Defence IQ, entitled Decapitating Saudi Aramco with the Sword of Justice.
Bumgarner will be speaking at the annual Cyber Defence & Network Security (CDANS) conference in London next week, where a number of senior government and military personnel will be joining commercial solution providers, academia and others to discuss faster progress in this field.
Find out how to attend here.
January 15, 2013Posted by on
Defence IQ, London UK 15/01/2013
Senior military decision makers and industry heads will be gathering in Paris at the end of the month to discuss how operating environments are shaping new platform and upgrade requirements for both emerging and established military powers within the airborne early warning and battle management environment.
Defence IQ’s 12th annual Airborne Early Warning & Battle Management conference is widely regarded as the most well respected and independent forum targeted at the AEW&BM community. Each year provides the top military speakers, cutting edge themes and industry solution developments. This year’s agenda is no different and is available at http://www.airborneearlywarning.com.
Ahead of the conference, programme leaders from the US Navy and Northrop Grumman Corporation have detailed the progress on the E-2D Hawkeye in an exclusive interview ahead of the company’s involvement in Paris. Listen to the full interview with Bart LaGrone, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems vice president for the Airborne Early Warning and Battle Management Command and Control (AEW/BMC2) programmes, and the new USN programme manager for the E-2D, Captain John “Chet” Lemmon at http://www.airborneearlywarning.com.
See who you could meet at Airborne Early Warning & Battle Management by viewing the 2013 delegate list, which is available to download now from the event website.
Notes to editors:
If you would like to attend Airborne Early Warning as press, please get in touch with Samantha Tanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Airborne Early Warning & Battle Management 2013 is sponsored by Northrop Grumman and Saab.
About Defence IQ:
Defence IQ is an authoritative news source for high quality and exclusive commentary and analysis on global defence and military-related topics. You can join the 65,000-strong community now for free: http://www.defenceiq.com/join.cfm
December 11, 2012Posted by on
By Alex Stephenson, Defence IQ’s man in Brazil
What breaks a company is lack of money, not lack of management or leadership. The same applies to criminal gangs. Imprisoning individuals is almost completely ineffective compared to denying a criminal organisation the proceeds of their activity. Concerning narcotics, one method is to interdict air, sea and land cargoes of substances – an alternative is to prevent the flow of the financial incentive in the other direction. No one sells a product if they cannot receive payment. A complete approach to narcotics includes both these elements.
But, there is a crime more profitable than narcotics. The sale of unknown vulnerabilities in computer software to criminal organisations who can exploit these weaknesses either to cause damage or steal intellectual property. So significant is this threat that it was contextualised as the threat of the modern era, paralleled by the nuclear threat of the cold war. A cyber threat to remain potent needs to remain unknown and then deliver chaos. An explicit parallel to the Hiroshima bomb; a capability unknown until it was deployed was drawn.
Linking both cyber security threats and counter narcotic threats I understood there to be three key takeaways:
- These are evolving risks, much like a game of chess they require continual attention, calculation and execution.
- Simplistically there are two approaches that can be used in tandem; tackling the problem and tackling the incentive – money makes the world go round
- Finally, the importance of sharing information, helping partners and collaborating.
This last point is perhaps the most important. Too often perhaps there is a concern about sharing information about a problem. Perhaps this is because there is a national sensitivity around admitting there is a problem. However, if it is happening on your patch it is probably happening on your neighbour’s and by working together the intelligence picture becomes more complete and hopefully solutions begin to appear.
It is a great privilege for me to be able to attend this conference by kind invitation of USSOUTHCOM and the Brazilian Ministry of Defence. Later during this weeklong conference I will be delivering two presentations, one to the Caribbean Regional Intelligence Conference and one to the Central American Regional Intelligence Conference. The subject of this presentation will be the Caribbean Basin Coastal Surveillance and Maritime Security Summit 2013.
December 6, 2012Posted by on
By Yousuf Malik, Defence IQ
This summer we saw a succession of maritime disputes involving China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines over a few scattered uninhabited rocks in the South and East China Sea. On the surface these little rocks have little to offer, but whoever controls sovereignty over these rocks also controls a 200 mile radius exclusive economic zone. The reason for all this hostility, experts say, is vast reserves of oil in those waters.
More than 10,000 miles east of the South China Sea or 18 hours non-stop by plane lies the Caribbean Basin. Think Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and what comes to mind is idyllic white sandy beaches, cocktails and time spent doing as little as possible. What almost no one knows is that this sleepy part of the world is about to receive a lot of attention from the United States, Canada, the European Union and an increasingly powerful Brazil, not to mention, China which has been quietly buying influence in the region. Analysts say it’s because of oil. This doesn’t sound as far-fetched as we know there is oil in the Gulf of Mexico (remember the BP oil spill?) and vast reserves just off the coast of Venezuela. Oil has replaced tourism as the largest contributor of GDP in nearby Trinidad & Tobago. Brazil, further down south, has huge oil reserves rivalling the Middle East about which Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, remarked that this just proves that “God is Brazilian”.
If you’re in the business of surveillance, whether it’s fixed wing, rotary or coastal sensors, AIS based maritime information systems, secure data and communication networks that can pull and push information from US, NATO and Latin American sources. Or interdiction through fast patrol craft, small OPVs, etc. – or maritime security in general – there is there is a bonanza coming up in the 24 nations that comprise the Caribbean Basin. As there is no regional consensus on how to approach common surveillance and security problems, there are also opportunities for companies that can provide related advice, counsel and training. The ‘pivot’ to paradise has just begun.
There are other reasons for this. The Panama Canal is about to undergo an unprecedented expansion that will double its capacity allowing for a huge increase in sea trade that passes through the Americas spelling a massive increase in trans-shipments. In the backdrop of increased sea trade, and heightened pressure on the powerful criminal networks of the drug trade, they could lash out in revenge and could be disruptive and so must be controlled. This is why senior military experts, heads of navies and coast guards, ambassadors from the United States and the European Union are meeting in Curaçao from the 12th to 14th of March 2013 at Defence IQ’s CABSEC 2013 summit.
The event is focused on the coastal surveillance and Counter-Narcotics and Illicit Trafficking (CNIT) requirements of the Caribbean Basin and features a Focus Day on counter-narcotics. There is also a visit to the nerve centre at Parera Naval Base where information from the a vast surveillance network is monitored and disseminated, and a world-class 2-day conference that will enable you to get to know the decision-makers and influencers in the region while getting current with the geography and relationships in preparation for upcoming requirements.
If you’re interested in attending, you can download the agenda here.
If being a sponsor or exhibitor is more up your street, you can send us an email at email@example.com.
November 29, 2012Posted by on
By Mark Eastwood, Defence IQ
Earlier this week, during the monotonous morning tube journey into work which every Londoner dreads, I noticed that the man stood in front of me was reading a Military-based novel on his e-book reader. Glancing at the screen, I saw that the plot of the novel seemed to revolve around the debate over whether the United States should turn to non-lethal Directed Energy weapons in the face of some shadowy unknown enemy of the State for whom traditional ballistic weaponry had, seemingly, no effect. The protagonist made explicit reference to the Active Denial System (ADS) and seemed to be the only one arguing that this non-lethal directed energy weapon should be used. Just as the man reading the book departed the train, I noticed that the main character was musing about the difference which would come with the inauguration of the first Female President; surely she, with all her clichéd maternal inclination, would see the benefits of using the non-lethal weapon. This led me to think about that very question – is a change of leadership mentality all that is needed to move Directed Energy Weapons into operation?
The answer is, of course, not simply that black-and-white. But, having looked at the history of Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) over the past decade, I would argue that until a significant change in the mind-set of policymakers occurs, Directed Energy Weapons will never see the light of day, regardless of how many technical problems are overcome.
Directed Energy Weapons have been in development, in one form or another, since Regan’s ill-fated Strategic Defence Initiative, or as it more infamously became known, Star Wars. Whilst the modern DEW has developed a long way since that system, the principles remain the same – harnessing energy, either a laser-beam or High Powered Microwave, and projecting it onto an object to render some kind of effect.
Early Directed Energy Systems were so fraught with technical issues that they remained firmly in the realms of scientists, and some of the more imaginative Sci-Fi writers, but over the past decade, technological advancements have made Directed Energy Systems much more feasible. Whilst military-grade Directed Energy weapons are still faced with problems over power, heat capacity and size, many would argue that once these issues are overcome, the world’s military will open their arms to these systems; marking a significant shift in the weaponry we see on the modern battlefield. And, whilst this may indeed be the case, I would argue that it is in fact highly unlikely.
The reason for this takes me back to the original point I made: Directed Energy Systems will not see the light of day until an organisational and governmental mind-set change is achieved. As discussed above, some would have us believe that this is not the case and that technical restrictions are the real inhibiting factor for Directed Energy. For such arguments, there is one significant piece of evidence which undermines their argument – The Active Denial System.
Mentioned in the Tube passenger’s book, the ADS is a system designed for area denial and crowd control. By emitting high powered microwaves, it is designed to heat a person’s skin to an unbearable level so that they have to flee from its range, but without being injured. The safety of the device when used against humans has been tested thousands of times, all yielding no unpleasant results. Indeed, so successful did the device prove in testing, that it was sent to Afghanistan for use by the US Military. Yet, for all the positives associated with the system, it was not used in Afghanistan and was quickly withdrawn. The reason for this? The policy makers and high-ranking military officials were worried about the bad-press using this system would generate. Stories of the US using “Death-Rays” against the Taliban and civilians in Afghanistan posed too much of a PR headache for the US and so the system, which had proved time and time again to cause no harm, was withdrawn.
Now, one might argue that this was a sensible decision given the bad press the US already received in Afghanistan. However, this doesn’t alter the fact that the current mind-set surrounding Directed Energy led to its withdrawal. Efforts to re-invent the ADS after this set-back led to it being introduced into an LA jail, as a method of riot control. However, one of the lead scientists involved in the project, told me that the project was pulled, “at the eleventh hour due to concerns from federal government over how the system might be interpreted”. Yet again, the mind-set of the political leadership, fuelled by death-ray science-fiction of the past, led to the withdrawal of the system before it was even used.
I find it hard to believe that this mind-set has changed so much in the past 12 months that any Directed Energy System which became viable now would be accepted immediately. In fact I believe that until Directed Energy can get away from its current associations, it is destined to remain stuck in the laboratory and the pages of fictional novels.
The future of Directed Energy Systems, both at a technical and a policy level will be discussed in-depth at Defence IQ’s Directed Energy Systems 2013 Conference. For more information, and to learn what the experts believe the future holds for Directed Energy, view the full agenda here.