The ongoing Combat Air Strategy under development within the Ministry of Defence faces a difficult choice, with significant capability, industrial and geopolitical cost trade-offs involved. The F-35 is at the centre of this dilemma.
Three different designs from the contenders for the US Navy’s MQ-25 unmanned tanker contract have now been proposed. Despite the modest ambition behind the MQ-25 requirement set, the eventual selection will have a significant shaping effect on the future of airpower well beyond the context of the US Navy.
The UK government's declared focus on cyber-security should focus on three priorities: building capability, nurturing national and international partnerships, and building an effective network defence.
The latest National Security Strategy has placed tackling the cyber threat at the top of the government's security agenda - alongside threats from terrorism, war and accidental or natural disaster. In light of the extent of the cyber threat, the Government may not have allocated adequate resources to deal with it.
Now in its third year, the National Security Strategy is even more important as it is a precursor to tomorrow's Strategic Defence and Security Review. The Strategy is an honest attempt to think afresh about British security, with a focus on terrorism and cyber-security. However, it ignores the difficult real-world decisions that must be made to create an effective strategic review.