Army Technology lists the top tweeted terms on military and security trends in the third quarter of 2019, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform.

The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter. GlobalData uses proprietary algorithms to analyse key words and key individuals and perform a deeper analysis of what the key individuals in the industry are discussing on Twitter.

Q3 2019 Twitter trends: Military and security

1. Drones – 1,088 mentions

Two of the popular military and security tweets relating to drones during the Q3 were on drone attacks in Saudi Arabia and Boeing’s aerial refuelling drone test flight.

The drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities near Abqaiq and Khurais in Saudi Arabia caused severe damage, forcing the facilities to shut down oil production. Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for attacks on oil facilities.

Boeing successfully flight-tested its MQ-25 Stingray, an aircraft carrier-based aerial refuelling drone for the first time. The test was conducted at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah on 19 September 2019.

2. Nuclear – 796 mentions

Two of the popular developments that mentioned the term nuclear during the third quarter were Russia’s new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier concept and an estimate on nuclear weapons with countries worldwide.

Russia unveiled its new Lamantin (Manatee) next-gen nuclear-powered aircraft carrier concept at the International Maritime Defence Show (IMDS-2019) held in July 2019. The 80,000 ton aircraft carrier will be equipped with four nuclear reactors.

SIPRI’s Yearbook 2019 estimates that nine nuclear-armed nations held approximately 13,865 nuclear weapons at the beginning of 2019. Despite a decline in the stockpiles of nuclear warheads, the countries continue efforts to upgrade their nuclear weapon capabilities.

3. Missile – 543 mentions

The BrahMos-A supersonic cruise missile is expected to enter service with the Indian Air Force (IAF) in late-2019. The IAF recently test-fired the BrahMos-A missile from a Su-30MKI multi-role fighter.

Two short-range ballistic missiles were test launched by North Korea from the Sondok area in South Hamgyong. The test-firings followed the bilateral military exercises conducted by the US and South Korea.

4. Royal Navy – 541 mentions

The UK Royal Navy test-fired the Martlet lightweight multi-role missile (LMM) from the DS30M Mark II cannon mount aboard a Type 23 frigate. The LMM has a maximum range of 8km and can engage multiple small and hard-manoeuvring targets such as speed boats, kamikaze craft, jet skis, unmanned surface vessels, and unmanned aircraft.

Another popular news story concerning the Royal Navy on Twitter was that the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates will be fitted with new MTU 12V 4000 M53B diesel engines as part of the life extension refit program. The refits are scheduled to be completed by 2024.

5. Pentagon – 477 mentions

The Pentagon intends to evaluate virtual reality (VR) training systems that could well prepare its forces to defend future nuclear threats. The VR training platforms are expected to enable troops to practice various scenarios simulating weapons of mass destruction.

The Pentagon is also considering the expansion of its stealthy long-range cruise missile reserves to be used in the possible event of a war with Russia or China. In response to the demand for such weapons, Lockheed Martin started construction on a new missile production factory in Alabama.

6. Military Aircraft – 346 mentions

Marshall Aerospace received a contract from the US Navy to conduct maintenance and modifications to a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft. The used aircraft was recently acquired by the US Navy from the UK Ministry of Defence.

Belgian Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets identified two Russian Tu-160 bombers with fighter escorts flying over the Baltic Sea. The fighter aircraft that form part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing, took off from Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania in response to the commands from NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre in Uedem, Germany.

7. Combat Platforms – 281 mentions

The Yusang-ni missile operating base in North Korea is located 150km to the north of the demilitarised zone. It is one of the newly built strategic force missile operating bases to house inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Yusang-ni is anticipated to accommodate either the Hwasong-13 ICBM or the Hwasong-14/Hwasong-15 ICBMs.

Rheinmetall and BAE Systems unveiled a new joint venture (JV) named Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL). Based in the UK, the JV will design, develop, produce, and support armoured combat vehicles.

8. NATO – 256 mentions

Led by the US, NATO announced the end of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, accusing Russia of violating the treaty. The decision followed the deployment of nuclear-capable SSC-8 missile system by Russia.

NATO spent $918.5bn on defence last year, which is more than 14 times to the Russian defence expenditure in 2018, according to the Secretary General’s Annual Report for 2018.

9. F-35 fighter – 202 mentions

SABCA and Ilias Solutions entered an agreement with Lockheed Martin to support the production and supply of F-35 fighter aircraft to be delivered to Belgium and partner nations. SABCA will deliver actuation systems for the aircraft, while Ilias is responsible to provide software solutions in support of the F-35 program.

Lockheed Martin interconnected an F-35 fighter, U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, and a ground station during Project Riot, a multi-domain capability demonstration test. The three platforms successfully interchanged the data of a missile-launch, allowing the commander to quickly respond against the threat.

10. Submarine – 181 mentions

The launch of a new attack submarine and a fatal accident in a Russian submarine were among popular discussions on Twitter during Q3 2019.

Naval Group launched Suffren, which is the first of six Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarines being built to replace the French Navy’s ageing Rubis-class submarines. Suffren is expected to enter service in 2020.

A fire that broke out in the battery compartment of a Russian submarine caused the death of 14 crew members, it was confirmed by the Russian Defence Ministry. The boat met with the accident when it was taking bathymetric measurements in Russian territorial waters.