Navy leads as Army Technology lists the top five terms tweeted on military & security in May 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. Navy – 370 mentions

The US Navy returning to the militarised Arctic after 30 years, global focus of navies, naval exercises and operations, and the navy witnessing improvements in surface ship maintenance costs, were some of the popularly discussed topics in May. According to an article shared by Sir Humphrey, author of the Pinstripedline blog, the Royal Navy, as part of its global focus strategy was seen operating with aircraft, ships, and the Royal Marines across the Arctic, Atlantic, West Indies, South Atlantic, Arabian Gulf, Med, and Pacific Ocean.

The US Naval Institute, an independent forum providing naval news and scientific understanding of sea power, meanwhile, shared an article on the ship maintenance contracting strategy the US Navy adopted in 2015 having addressing many cost and quality issues; however, the Navy continued to see schedule overruns. However, it is expected that 71% of surface ships will come out of private yard availabilities on time this year, up from about 30% two years ago, the article noted.

In other news, Navy Lookout, an independent online campaign promoting the Royal Navy, discussed what could be learnt from the Iranian Navy’s friendly fire incident. While it does remind of the dangerous nature of maritime operations, it also highlights the command and control challenges being faced within the Iranian Armed Forces, the article noted.

2. Military – 357 mentions

Rising global military expenditures, illegal military manoeuvres, and discussions around whether pilots without military experience could fill flying and other ground jobs, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak which has made pilots and other aviators redundant, were some popularly discussed topics in the month of May. According to an article shared by Deborah Haynes, a foreign affairs editor, British Airways pilots and other civilian aviators might be able to join the Royal Air Force on secondment. The RAF seemed to be quite receptive to the idea of inducting pilots with or without military experience into flying and other ground roles, the article noted.

SIPRI, an independent international research institute, shared an article on the top military spenders in 2019. Together, the countries – USA, China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, the UK, Japan, and South Korea, spent approximately $1430bn, accounting for 75% of the global military spending, the article highlighted. Global military expenditure rose to $1917bn in 2019, with two Asian nations having featured among the top three military spenders, the article noted.

In other news, James Stavridis, a retired United States Navy admiral, shared an article about the military threat from China outlined in a book written by Christian Brose. The chance of a war between the US and Beijing was real, the influencer added.

3. Defense – 335 mentions

Covid-19 relief measures being provided by NATO, the need for altered maritime strategies to meet the needs of the century, and generous defence investments being made to fight the pandemic, were popularly discussed topics during the month. According to an article shared by NATO, the official Twitter account of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) was the first line of defence during the Covid-19 crisis, providing relief measures and resources to its Allies and partners comprising 70 countries. NATO’s main nerve center of assistance during the pandemic, the body matched the needs of all nations for testing kits, protective equipment, and field hospitals, the article noted.

The US Naval Institute meanwhile highlighted that the UK needed a maritime strategy to meet the needs of the century. The Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR), conducted every five years, is due to get underway later this year, the article noted. Two main goals of the review is to provide an affordable equipment plan and services to provide opportunities to new and existing personnel.

In other news, Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, commended Estonia for its strong and consistent investments in defence, and for its leadership in cyber defence as well. Estonia is a strong NATO ally and continues to support its mission in Afghanistan, Jens added.

4. Helicopter – 216 mentions

How helicopters have adapted to the virus crisis, and carried infected people, helicopters waiting for the world to open, and helicopter landings, were popularly discussed during the month. According to an article shared by Navy Lookout, the first ever Merlin helicopter, Mk4 of the 845 Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy landed on the deck of a Batch II OPV – HMS Medway in the Caribbean.

In other news, Isaac Alaexander, an aviation enthusiast, tweeted on how northwest helicopters are getting ready for the world to open. He shared an image of AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles built and installed on a Hawk.

5. Missile – 194 mentions

The pulling out of missiles by the US from Saudi Arabia amidst dispute, the missile and cyber capabilities of Iran, and reviewing of missile warning systems, were some popularly discussed during the month. According to an article shared by US Naval Institute, at least 19 Iranian sailors were killed after a frigate fired missiles at a support ship in the Gulf of Oman. The Iranian frigate, Jamaran, was conducting a naval exercise when it accidentally fired a new anti-ship missile at the Konarak, the article noted.

Navy Lookout, further tweeted on the Wildcat trials aircraft taking off at Yeovil, England after being loaded with full 20 Martlet missiles on its stub wings.

In other news, CSIS, a nonpartisan institution, discussed how Iran had the missile and cyber capabilities to significantly destroy Saudi Arabia’s critical infrastructure.