International

November 1, 2015
By James C. Bussert
Satellite imagery of a land-based mock-up of China’s new 055 warship shows advanced radar on a bridge structure positioned for electromagnetic interference testing. The 055 is being designed to serve as a key escort for a People’s Liberation Army Navy aircraft carrier task force.

China is determined to project power globally by developing homegrown aircraft carriers. After purchasing a surplus Soviet-era aircraft carrier from Russia, China now is striving to establish an indigenous assembly line for carriers and the ships that would constitute a carrier task group.

July 1, 2015
By Mario de Lucia
The audience listens to a panel discussion at NITEC 2015.

Extensive cooperation among NATO member nations, their industries and their academics will be necessary to address the challenges facing the Atlantic alliance, according to speakers at NITEC 2015. Some examples of that cooperation emerged during the May 5-7 conference in Madrid, which had a theme of “Enabling C4ISR: Applications, Education and Training.”

August 1, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
Maj. Gen. Thomas Franz, GEAF, former commander of the NATO Communications and Information Systems Group (NCISG) (c), walks with other participants during Steadfast Cobalt 15. About 39 organizations from 25 nations contributed to the exercise.

A recent NATO exercise in Eastern Europe established criteria for NATO Response Force communications, including new technologies and cybersecurity, that will be essential if the rapid-reaction unit is called on in the event of a crisis imposed on an alliance member. The test of communications and information systems set the stage for an overall force exercise later this year, and it substantiated a broader concept of networking across NATO.

October 13, 2015
By George I. Seffers

This blog is a followup to an article in the October issue of SIGNAL Magazine, Operation Cooperation: U.S. Defense Officials Intend to Expand Asia-Pacific Partnerships.

Although tighter budgets motivate governments to cooperate on technology development, sequestration and the budget uncertainties in the United States have negatively impacted international partnerships, says Keith Webster, director of international cooperation, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

October 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The United States and Israel are partnering to develop technology to detect and destroy tunnels, which pose a serious threat to both countries, says Keith Webster, director of international cooperation, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

“I’m personally spearheading an effort with Israel on accelerated research and technology solutions specific to tunnel detection and destruction,” Webster reports.

October 1, 2015
By Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

Regardless of how the deal to restrict Iran’s nuclear capabilities unfolds, we need to be thinking aggressively about how to mitigate the effects of it.

Let’s review the bidding. The deal provides a weak verification regime; a limited 10- to 15-year shelf life; an immediate boatload of cash to the Iranians as sanctions are lifted without any real restrictions on their actions; and a deeply upsetting turn of events to our allies in the region. That’s the bad news.

September 28, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. State Department has unveiled a new initiative called “Global Connect,” which seeks to bring 1.5 billion people who lack Internet access online by 2020. Catherine Novelli, undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment, announced the initiative during a keynote address at the UN Headquarters on “Development in the Digital Age,” which was delivered on behalf of John Kerry, secretary of state.

July 1, 2015
By Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

China is flexing its muscles and expanding its reach, particularly in the maritime domain. As the United States tries to consolidate the so-called pivot to Asia by bringing 60 percent of the U.S. fleet to bear, leaders need to be thinking through all their other options to deal with the growing ambition of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

June 1, 2015
By Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.)

Every day in the South China Sea, the Chinese are slowly adding to what Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Harry Harris, USN, has called the Great Wall of sand. This is a series of artificial islands and floating platforms, some of them large enough to have big airfields and significant numbers of troops. The Chinese are doing this to stretch their operational reach and, above all, to buttress their claims of sovereignty out to the far reaches of the so-called “nine-dash line.”

The idea of using floating bases to create operational and legal advantages has been around for centuries, but it has strengthened as technology has provided the ability to build significant platforms at sea.

May 27, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Sentinel-1 satellite

The Copernicus Masters competition, launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO), seeks participants to submit ideas, applications and business concepts using Earth observation data that could lead to significant changes to the status quo in many fields. The international competition, with a deadline of July 13, offers cash prizes and support valued at more than 300,000 euros.

June 1, 2015
By James C. Bussert
A new Chinese littoral combat ship, or C-LCS, bears a striking resemblance to the U.S. Navy’s USS Independence, LCS-2, shown in the next photo. China has introduced new classes of catamarans and trimarans for coastal operations./ Photo courtesy www.sharkhunters.com

China is introducing designs for catamarans—and even trimarans—that seem destined to serve as the country’s littoral combat ships. Some of the trimarans closely resemble their U.S. counterparts, although differences—some quite interesting—do exist.

May 4, 2015
By George I. Seffers

NATO today initiated Dynamic Mongoose, this year’s biggest antisubmarine warfare exercises in the North Sea, with a focus on detecting and defending against submarines. Eleven nations, more than a dozen surface vessels and four submarines are participating in the annual Dynamic Mongoose exercise. 

The event, which is expected to last two weeks, will allow ships under NATO command to conduct a variety of antisubmarine warfare operations. The submarines will take turns trying to approach and target the ships undetected, simulating an attack.

May 1, 2015
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews announced today he will lead a delegation of 20 American companies on a Cybersecurity Trade Mission to Bucharest, Romania, and Warsaw, Poland, May 11-15. Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis Marcus Jadotte also will participate in the mission.

The trade mission is designed to help U.S. companies launch or increase their business operations in Central and Southeast Europe, specifically connecting them with businesses and government leaders in Romania and Poland. It also will introduce or expand the market presence of U.S. cybersecurity companies.

April 1, 2015
By Capt. James H. Mills, USN, and Capt. Danelle Barrett, USN

The time is now for the United States, NATO and their partner nations to invest resources collectively for truly revolutionary and shared global defense. Partnerships are vital to preempt adversaries and achieve global economic vitality and political stability. This courage to share will enable new levels of success in global security and attainment of national strategic objectives. However, if these nations fail to muster this courage, they will cede advantage and opportunity to adversaries and should not be surprised when those adversaries creatively exploit this to their own benefit.

November 1, 2012
By George I. Seffers

A U.S. Air Force research 
directorate connects scientists
 and engineers from many countries.

Cutting-edge warfighter technologies, ranging from nanoscience products to micro air vehicles, are advancing through the combined efforts of multinational top researchers within the Asia-Pacific region. This technical collaboration is driven in part by a U.S. Air Force research and development office in Tokyo, which is building international relationships while optimizing the intellectual talent within one of the world’s most active arenas for scientific breakthroughs.

February 26, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
NASA's Nanosatellite Launch Adapter System was developed to increase access to space while simplifying the integration process of miniature satellites, called nanosats or cubesats, onto launch vehicles.

Nations plan to launch more than 500 small satellites over the next five years, an increase of two-thirds in the number of space-bound platforms when compared with launches over the past decade, according to an international space firm report.

With a decrease in satellite needs by the commercial sector, Euroconsult reports it predicts 75 percent of the 510 small satellites scheduled for launch, which includes nanosats, cubesats, microsats and minisats, will serve government civil and defense agencies, meaning the demand for satellites by governments is expected to outpace the needs of private companies, according to a summary of the report.

February 12, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

The future of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region may be determined by the actions or inactions of China and North Korea. China is flexing its muscles and projecting power far beyond its traditional realm, but North Korea poses a bigger threat by nature of its irrational leadership.

February 12, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

Humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) has become so important a part of U.S. operations in the Asia-Pacific region that experts now are viewing it as a military doctrine and striving to improve it. In an area that constitutes half the world’s surface and contains most of its people, natural disasters that damage a nation severely occur yearly. The U.S. response to these annual crises of nature defines much of the military’s operations in that vast region.

February 12, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

India, a nonaligned nation long reluctant to involve itself in the geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific region, has begun to increase its involvement with the United States and other nations of the dynamic region. This development comes at a time when India’s decisions on critical foreign policy issues will have an increasing degree of importance, according to members of a panel on the Indo-Asia Pacific region at West 2015, being held in San Diego, February 10-12.

February 12, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

Viewed as an indispensable force for peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region, the United States risks losing the support it enjoys from nearly every nation in that hemisphere if it is ambiguous and not willing to take a stand during crises, said defense experts. A panel on the Indo-Asia Pacific region comprising former military flag officers and moderated by a China expert explored the developments taking place in the region and the importance of U.S. forces to peace and prosperity there.

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