The Road to Atlantic: China’s naval projection

In the past decades, China has profoundly invested in the modernization of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) moving China to the first position as the world’s largest maritime force with its size expected to grow in the future (U.S. Department of Defense 2021). Whereas China’s initial goal is to strengthen its Navy to match or surpass the United States global influence or power in the Indo-Pacific region, it is also to project its forces to protect China’s national interests abroad and gain a more important place in the international system. In doing so, China is using a combination of economic, political, and military tools, under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), to evade the United States’ containment strategy and secure its strategic position.

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Lockheed Martin’s New Agreement with the United States Navy

American security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin Corporation provided the United States Naval Forces with an innovative High Energy Laser, which includes Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance, cue the name HELIOS. The company was appointed the system in 2018, with the system being a novelty since it will be the first ever laser weapon system accommodated into existing warships whilst it entails tactical warfighting competence aiming for an advanced defence and security architecture (Saballa, 2022). In the same context, due to its deep magazine, low-cost per kill, instant delivery, and precisive response, the system works as a shield for the fleet (Lockheed Martin Delivers Integrated Multi-Mission Laser Weapon System To The Navy, 2022). Previously, the Department of Defense (DoD) said it had allocated $1.77 million for the Open6G industrial-university cooperative. This initiative is part of the ambitious Innovate Beyond 5G program, overseen by the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.

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Poland to Bolster Western Presence in the Baltic Sea with Three Additional Mine Countermeasures Vessels

During the last week of March 2022, various sources reported the capture of a Russian advanced electronic warfare system (EWS) by Ukrainian forces. According to Insider and The Time of London, the Ukrainian armed forces identified an abandoned, damaged container covered by tree branches between the town of Makariv and Kyiv. The container was eventually identified as the command post of one of the most advanced Russian EWS, the 1RL257 Krasukha-4.

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Greek Government Asks Parliament to Approve Major Arms Deal

The Associated Press (AP) reports that the government of Greece is asking its parliament to approve a 3 billion-euro ($3.4 billion) defence agreement. The agreement in question is a purchasing deal for “three new French-made frigates,” negotiated between French President Emmanuel Macron and his Greek counterpart Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in September of 2021. According to the frigate manufacturer, the French state-owned company Naval Group, the first two frigates will be delivered in 2025 and the third in 2026.

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Indian Private Naval Sector Struggles as Government Turns to State-owned Shipyards

The Indian plan of reaching a fleet of 175 ships in the following five years is destined to fail due to insufficient funds and because of the preference of the government to support state-owned shipyards over private business. With the government favouring state-owned shipyards for building critical naval platforms, projects undergo delays and additional costs, Navy officials state (Vivek, Defense News, 2022). The Indian Navy is currently equipped with 130 ships, and 39 vessels are under construction. However, a $1.5 billion annual budget allocated to shipbuilding programs is not enough to meet the capability deficit. Additionally, only three naval contracts of $71.42 million were assigned to private shipbuilders, with the remaining 47 projects given to state-owned shipyards. In this respect, 40 ships are envisaged to the Navy, whereas 10 for the Indian Coast Guard.

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