Lines Blur Between Terrorist Organizations and Militias
- The Iron Dome defense system is again proving quite effective, leading Hamas to try other tactics, including launching strikes deeper into Israel, trying commando infiltration by sea, and launching bomb-loaded drones. Hamas reportedly fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israel without inflicting any casualty while close to 200 Palestinians died and more than 1,200 were wounded in the past week. This leaves them with little leverage and fewer options. yet as of Tuesday morning Hamas rejected an Egypt cease-fire proposal that Israel had approved.
- However using a million-dollar PATRIOT missile to shoot down a relatively small drone looks like an expensive solution.
- The Islamic State in Iraq may have successfully expanded its mode of operations from usual terror tactics to something that looks closer to a regular military, but despite its efforts Hamas is finding it harder to do so effectively against a well-trained and disciplined adversary.
- Militias have fired rockets on Libya’s main airport in Tripoli, damaging the control tower and several aircraft. The central government is considering asking for international help as it has clearly been unable to fulfill its core security responsibilities.
- A new report from the CSIS think tank on the state of Afghanistan points out that:
“US and ISAF reporting that minimize the Taliban and other insurgent threat and levels of activity is directly contradicted by a sharp increase in civil casualties on a national and regional level. Violence is sharply intensifying and Afghan forces have so far proved unable to cope.”
Future USAF Trainer
- The US Air Force will hold an industry day on August 4-6 in San Antonio, TX to discuss its future T-X pilot trainer, with a focus on training offload/download and sustainment analysis. The agenda [PPT] shows one-one sessions with Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Textron.
- The Russian air force is reportedly in talks for 40 MiG-35s, following a stopgap order for 16 MiG-29SMTs, and could end up buying up to 100. RAC MiG definitely needs the commitment, as well as the order – especially if they want to work on a 5th generation aircraft.
UK Cabinet, Tradeshow
- The UK’s defense minister Philip Hammond was just appointed Foreign Secretary in a cabinet reshuffle. He is replaced at the MoD by Michael Fallon who was previously Minister of State for Energy.
- Philip Hammond signed another cooperation deal with France, furthering joint work on UAVs and missiles.
- Several members of the Russian delegation to the Farnborough airshow were denied visas, but there are still more than two dozen Russian firms among exhibitors, including helicopter manufacturers. These sanctions must really bite.
- Boeing CEO James McNerney told the Financial Times he expects “flattish” revenue from the defense and space division for pretty much the rest of the decade.
- This video shows the nontrivial amount of work involved in the assembly of Finmeccanica’s stand at the Farnborough airshow.
- And the video below is a futuristic, unified command and control concept called Stratus by missile manufacturer MBDA: