It’s been a relatively quiet start to 2020 in the European defense and security environment, but the past week has brought some pieces of news and political developments to keep an eye on. Hit the following links for more information.
- Italy is proposing a new law that would create a pseudo-DARPA, an agency that would foster and manage development of civil technologies that may be harnessed for military use.
- After downselecting the Pilatus PC-21 turboprop trainer to replace its legacy Aviojet C-101 trainers back in the fall, the Spanish Air Force has finally inked a contract with the Swiss firm for 24 of the aircraft.
- In Germany, Bundestag president Wolfgang Schäuble has stated that his country must do more militarily in support of its EU and NATO allies. This kind of message is always going to be a tough sell in the pacifist nation still scarred by memories of its role in the world wars of the last century.
- Over at the IISS Military Balance Blog, Douglas Barrie cautions the U.K. against formulating a new Integrated Security, Defense and Foreign Policy Review within the Conservative government’s self-mandated 12-month timeline. Haste and failure to adequately match requirements with resources are central to the argument.
- France is wary of an abrupt withdrawal of U.S. aid in its efforts to conduct counterterror operations in the Sahel region of Africa. French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly traveled to Washington, DC, on Monday to make her case to U.S. counterpart Mark Esper at the Pentagon.
- Finland’s HX fighter program is currently in the demonstration and evaluation phase. Right now it is Saab’s turn to impress Finnish Air Force and defense officials with its Gripen E.
This is how you land in zero visibility!👊 Gripen 39-7 just landed at Pirkkala Air Base for the #HXChallenge. This two-seater is our sensor development aircraft and is used to flight test Gripen E sensors and tactical systems. #hxhanke #airforce pic.twitter.com/IWQEWQcEb3
— Saab AB (@Saab) January 31, 2020