Defence News Weekly Review for the week: 9-15 March 2020
DEFENCE & SECURITY NEWS AT A GLANCE
- Turkey: Erdogan challenged by former minister.
- Russia: Kremlin cancels over 300 billion rubles debt of Russian defence industry.
- Cyprus, Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus presidential candidate calls for permanent partition of island.
- Europol seizes 36 million units of counterfeit medicines.
- Turkey-EU: Erdogan meets EU delegation in Brussels.
- Fincantieri suspends operations amid coronavirus emergency.
- France: army adapts to the coronavirus crisis.
- Russian Security Council meeting, focus on Idlib, coronavirus and market volatility.
- Ukraine minister: ability to interact with NATO forces is crucial for Ukrainian Army.
- US airstrikes in Iraq: targeted Iranian-backed militia sites.
- Yemen, regular army controls 75 percent of al Jawf.
- Iran, Khamenei: “we need to prepare for biological warfare”.
- Clashes between al Qaeda and the Islamic State on the border between Mali and Mauritania.
- The 5 major arms exporters in the world.
- SM-6 missile dual-capability upgrade boosts US Navy’s air warfare capability.
- US Army new travel restrictions to counter coronavirus Covid-19.
- US Army unveils plans to develop mobile nuclear reactors.
- US Army to receive new advanced SATCOM systems for MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system.
- US to modify Exercise DefenderEurope20 amid coronavirus outbreak.
- US Missile Defense Agency receives first ten radar antenna panels for the Long Range Discrimination Radar programme.
- Lockheed Martin has test-fired its long-range Precision Strike Missile.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Could armed commercial drones replace Reaper UAVs?
The US Air Force is looking for a replacement to the MQ-9 Reaper UAV and wants to explore options ranging from commercial drones built by emerging tech firms to high-end UAVs.
MQ-9 Reaper and the MQ-1 Predator (its precursors), have been with USAF in the Middle East for over two decades now providing both real-time ISTAR and the ability to strike targets.
But when we look forward, Reaper UAVs are considered ill-suited to a war with Russia and China. At the same time, the USAF is requiring too much money and manpower to sustain the Reaper programme for continued operations in low-threat environments.
So the question today is, could armed commercial drones replace Reaper UAVs?
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