Seapower in the Eastern Mediterranean: Geoeconomic Perspectives
The Eastern Mediterranean links Europe, North Africa, and Asia and therefore plays a key role in international politics. The region is in flux, but most discussions focus on developments ashore. In order to broaden and expand public discussion, the 2017 Kiel International Seapower Symposium focused on maritime security challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean. Together with RADM (ret) Chris Parry, University of Reading, Georgios Protopapas, Center for International Strategic Analyses, and Dr Eric Thompson, Center for Strategic Studies at the Center for Naval Analyses, Heiko Borchert outlined the region's economic and strategic relevance. Heiko Borchert's presentation set the scene by looking at important economic aspects such as trade relations, patterns of foreign direct investment, port infrastructure, defense trade, and energy security.
UDT 2017: The Future Naval Environment
How is the naval environment going to look like in 2050? This question was at the heart of the panel discussion at the 3rd day of the 2017 UDT, which took place on 30 May to 1 June 2017 in Bremen, Germany. RADM (ret) Simon Williams, Chairman Defence & Security, Clarion Events, moderated the discussion with Lee Willett, naval analyst and former editor of Jane's Navy International, and Heiko Borchert. Lee Willett provided a comprehensive view on upcoming naval procurement programs and gave a detailed overview of current and likely future fleet sizes in Europe, the US and beyond. Against this background, Heiko Borchert shed light on some of the trends likely to shape the undersea world out to 2050. In particular he talked about economic developments and demographic trends - the latter are not only important for future recuritment and crew concepts, but will also likely influence government's future spending priorities and societal risk preferences.
Dutch Navy AUV Symposium in Den Helder
How are Navies currently using unmanned maritime systems? This was one of the questions addressed at the 2017 AUV Symposium organized by the Command of the Dutch Mine Divers on 17 May 2017 in Den Helder. In his presentation, Heiko Borchert argued that the advent of unmanned systems is an important development, but the benefits of undersea autonomy are not yet self-evident. Why and how unmanned systems can be used to achieve operational benefits needs to be explained. He provided an overview of different operational use cases across the globe, thereby focusing in particular on the United States, Russia, and China. Heiko Borchert underlined that for undersea autonomy to succeed, navies, industry, and academia need to pay more attention to the interplay between technology, operational needs, concepts, and the organiaztional environment in which navies operate.
NDU Presentation: Undersea Autonomy in a Changing Maritime Conflict Picture
Changes in the maritime conflict picture are very likely to drive the use of unmanned systems, in particular in the undersea domain, Heiko Borchert argued in a presentation at the Eisenhower School, National Defense University, in Washington, DC. The future maritime domain will be more congested and contested thus turning today's high value assets into tomorrow's high value targes. This could open the door for distributed capabilities and autonomous sysetms, he argued. In his presentation for the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Industry Studies group, Heiko Borchert gave an overview of the current state of play of undersea autonomy with reference to the United States, Russia, and China as well as trends in the Asia-Pacific and the Arabian Gulf region. Among other things, the discussion with the students focused on the 2016 Glider incident as a challenge for strategic communications, the Third Offset and the challenges in reaching out to the commercial sector, and cyber security in the maritime domain.
Sharpening the Falcon's Claws: How the UAE is Strengthening its Defense Capabilites and Reshaping the National Defense Industrial Base
The UAE is emerging as a serious geoostrategic player that is gradually projecting power beyond the Arabian Gulf into the Eastern Mediterranean as well as Northern and Eastern Africa. The country's growing economic ties with trade partners in the Asia-Pacific region drive its strategic interests eastwards thus outlining the future geostrategic trajectory of the UAE. Right on time for IDEX2017 Heiko Borchert and Shehab al Makahleh analyze how this shift unfolds in an new paper published by European Defence & Security. The paper shows how this shiftdrives the UAE's procurement and defense industrial priorities, and sheds light on upcoming collaborative defense industrial opportunities.Sharpening the Falcon's Claws
Waiting for Disruption?! Undersea Autonomy and the Challenging Nature of Naval Innovation
This paper co-authored by Heiko Borchert, Tim Kraemer and Daniel mahon looks at the mechanics of military innovation to sound a cautionary note on the current and future use of undersea autonomy. It starts from the premise that undersea autonomy is not yet as inevitable and disruptive as many believe. In particular, this is because of the current threat environment, the limited scope of current missions for unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs), and the prevailing technology push. For undersea autonomy to lead to disruptive and discontinuous changes in undersea warfare, navies will need to understand how to translate technological advancements into operational advantages. This will require navies, industry and science partners to develop a better understanding of the interplay between operational needs, cultural predispositions, organisational and resource needs, and technological options. The paper has been published in the RSIS Working Paper series of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore.Waiting for Disruption?!
Catch of the Day: Reflections on the Chinese Seizure of a U.S. Ocean Glider
The seizure of an unmanned underwater vehicle of the U.S. Navy by China on 15 December 2016 prompts several questions related to the use of unmanned systems in a non-benign naval environmant. This article focuses on three aspects: (1) The vulnerability of unmanned assets makes them attractive targets and challenges strategic communication, (2) the readiness to lose unmanned assets is a key policy challenge, and (3) the need to think about more nuanced counter-responses is growing. This article was published online by the Center for International Maritime Security.Catch of the Day
Arab Defense Industry Papers: New Series Launched
Conventional wisdom considers Arab nations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to be leading importers of modern defense systems. Although this is true, it is only half the story. Since the late 1990s and early 2000s it has become increasingly clear that ambitious Arab nations that strive for more political and economic clout are using defense industries as an instrument to shape regional developments. In particular, Arab nations have grown increasingly ready to knit an ever-closer network of defense industrial relations among them. The dawn of a new Arab defense industrial network is of utmost strategic importance but has not received enough attention by defense analysts. Against this background Borchert Consulting & Research AG and Verocy have launched the new Arab Defense Industry Paper (ADIP) series. The inaugural paper co-authored by Heiko Borchert and Cyril Widdershoven provides an overview of the developments that are nurturing this increasingly important network.The Dawn of a New Arab Defense Industrial Network
White Paper to Support Austria's Forthcoming Cyber Security Law
Until 2018 the Austrian government wants to adopt the first national cyber security law. But what should be the focus of the new law? In response to this question, the Kuratorium Sicheres Österreich led a one-year public-private stakeholder process to produce a White Paper, which was presented on 13 June 2016 in Vienna. The White Paper, written by Wolfgang Rosenkranz and Heiko Borchert, presents the main findings thereby focusing on eight key topics: legal definitions, protection targets, information collection and data protection, incident-related information exchange, preventive information exchange, incident response, procurement, and liabilities.KSÖ White Paper: National Cyber Security Law
UDT2016: Autonomy and Robotic Systems in the Undersea Environment
Undersea autonomy is about more than technology. In particular it requires new and innovative concepts of operations that translete technological innovation into operational advantage. This was one of the key message of the opening panel on day two of the UDT2016 in Oslo. The panel featured Captain Björn-Erik Marthinsen, Chief of Mine Warfare Flotilla, Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN), RADM Simon Williams, Chairman Clarion Defence & Security, and Heiko Borchert. For more, see Heiko Borchert's blog post on LinkedIn.