As NATO scrambles to quell unrest between member states in the Mediterranean and Africa, Serbia has advanced their weapons arsenal by purchasing six Chinese-built CH-92A combat drones. The acquisition of the CASC CH-92 drones demonstrates a deepening relationship between Belgrade and Beijing as the state becomes the first European nation to deploy Chinese combat drones. Chinese drones have proliferated international markets with many African and Asian states already boasting an arsenal of the Chengdu Wing Loong II drone and CASC CH-4. The purchase by Serbia was accompanied by eighteen FT-8C laser-guided missiles. In a similar tone of events from a neighbouring state, Russia has advanced their combat armory. Russian President Vladmir Putin has ordered the construction of two new Yasen-M class, nuclear- powered submarines. Both vessels will be equipped with the Kalibr-M cruise missiles, as well as the Tsirkon hypersonic missile. The construction of the two submarines comes amidst other directives by the President, with the Russian Federation currently in the process of building two frigates along with two universal landing crafts. In a startling show of force, the Russian President has flexed that Russia has over the last eight years constructed more than 200 new naval vessels, claiming that by the end of 2027 at least 70 percent of the country’s Navy will be modern ships, he poised.
As European countries tussle to bolster their collection of arms amid a geopolitical buildup, a staggering statement has surfaced from The United States’ former National Security Advisor. Fanning the flame of turmoil within the Trump Administration, John Bolton has claimed that the White House held talks over resuming US nuclear tests. This would be a bitter pill to swallow for the Russians as the two global leaders in Nuclear arms face the impending expiry of New Start non-proliferation treaty. Opponents of the Trump administration’s proposal note that the current technology surrounding the United States nuclear weapons is sufficient and that further tests would only result in a cascading of other nuclear states testing their arsenals. In his memoir, Bolton echoed US allegations, highlighting that the Russians, Chinese “and maybe others” were already secretly conducting very low-yield tests.
Beating the drum for nuclear discussions, The United States has accused China of being a roadblock in the face of the New Start treaty. China has faced severe international backlash from the Western community due to Communist states’ advancement in military hardware. The Swedish-based think tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has claimed that China has been extending its nuclear arsenal. The think-tank concludes that China added 30 new nuclear weapons to its arsenal in 2019. Some analysts speculate that China is attempting to create a “Nuclear-triad”, which would made up of new land- and sea-based missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft. In a bid to quash the hearsay that China is becoming a nuclear aggressor, the state has claimed their arsenal is dwarfed by their nuclear counterparts, attesting that their artillery is not even one fifth of that of Russia or the US’. In a defense, the PRC also notes that their range of nuclear warheads does not exceed that of France or the UK’s.
India: In the growing geopolitical row with China and Pakistan, India has recalibrated its in-air-combat. The South-Asian state, which is now the torchbearer of developing economies, has purchased 33 Russian fighter jets. The purchase falls in line with the countries ambitions both paying respect to holding the title as the world’s largest importer of arms and a time where the state is already awaiting the arrival of 36 Rafale-style fighter jets from France.
Japan: After the impending binning of the American made Aegis Ashore missile defense system deployment in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's party is looking at possible alternatives. As North Korea and China present an on-going threat for the island nation, the country is considering offensive capability as part of future missile defense options. The ruling party, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has established a task force to combat attacks from potential adversaries. Reports have circulated that the US may plant their F-15EXs in Okinawa which could fire hypersonic missiles at targets 2,000 miles away – a startling revelation for any antagonists.
North Korea: In an attempted show of force, but an inherent decry for sanctions relief, North Korean media has hailed their successful 2017 ICBM launch. The rogue-state’s broadcasting of the occasion has been touted as a ramping-up of patriotic values which the regime has attempted to engulf on its citizens both in the arena the country’s ICBM and nuclear weapons programs.
Iran: Reports have emerged that Iran has built a new missile capable of striking central Europe. Analysts contend that should the Islamic Republic compromise the payload of the Qased missile, the state will have a direct opportunity to target their enemies. Such reports published come at a time when Israel and Iran are engaged in tit-for-tat antics. Forbes has announced that Iran aims to build up Syria and Iraq’s air defenses to thwart Israeli airstrikes. In a statement released by the Tehran Times “the two countries have decided to change the rules of engagement in Syrian airspace and to respond to the repeated Israeli raids on Syrian soil.”
Rebuffing these claims, Israel has announced that they will never let Iran improve Syria’s already impoverished air defenses and all attempts will be curtailed by Israel. Lebanon: With all the geopolitical turmoil the Middle-East is currently embroiled in. On 4 August, a large amount of ammonium nitrate which was stored at the port of the city in Beirut, exploded. Currently there have been 181 deaths already recorded and insurmountable amount of injuries and homeleness has ensued. The explosion has ignited political protests in the city with the goverment succumbing to the backlash by resinging, in a bid to quell the unrest.
Morocco has expedited the process to acquire new combat aircraft and attack helicopters. The acceleration of the program would mean Morocco would have one of the largest arsenal of weapons in Africa. The Recent purchases sprawls across a plethora of offensive mechanisms. It covers everything from advanced air defence systems based on 3D radars, to different range missiles - ground-to-air, counter-tank and anti-ship - battle tanks, heavy rolling stock recovery vehicles, amongst a long list of other things. Morocco has also signed an agreement with the US to purchase 24 of the worlds most advanced helicopters, the Boeing made AH-64E Apache attack helicopter.
As Russia and other superpowers modernize their naval fleets, Australia has cited the on growing geopolitical row with China as an excuse to do so too. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged Aud $270bn (£150bn; $186bn) to Australia's arms budget over 10 years, which is a staggering 40% boost. In a shift of gears from the Sino-Australia days of Free Trade Agreements and overwhelming support for Chinese students, the Australian government has propagated the compulsion of doing so by noting that the country would also acquire long range missiles in a show of force to “deter” future conflicts. The PM concluded it was necessary because the region was the "focus of the dominant global contest of our age”.