Military and Security trends: Military leads Twitter mentions in Q1 2020

29 April 2020 (Last Updated June 17th, 2020 12:13)

Military and Security trends: Military leads Twitter mentions in Q1 2020

Army Technology lists the top five terms tweeted on military and security in Q1 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. Military – 1,626 mentions

Induction of new military kits and artillery, pulling out of troops, cutting military ties, revelation of secret military bases and the installation of military medics to tackle the global Covid-19 crisis, were some of the popular topics discussed in Q1 2020. According to James Stavridis, a retired US Navy Admiral, the Philippine President announced cutting military-to-military ties with the US, and is expected to move closer to China and Russia. The influencer added that the US couldn’t afford to lose the Philippines, with the US Special Forces having trained alongside their Filipino counterparts for years, working against al-Qaeda and other terrorist outfits.

In other hostile engagements, the UK Defense Secretary confirmed that helicopters and ships were on standby as contingencies and a team was already in Iraq to respond to the Iranian missile strikes on the US military and coalition bases in Iraq, tweeted by Jonathan Beale. The BBC correspondent further added that some of the UK embassy staff were moved to the Taji military base in Baghdad.

In other news, Deborah Haynes, a foreign affairs editor at Sky News, tweeted on the UK tackling the Covid-19 crisis by converting the Excel exhibition centre in London into the NHS Nightingale Hospital in a week’s time. The new facility would have two wards, each able to house at least 2,000 patients, and staffed by military medics as well the NHS staff.

2. Navy – 1,571 mentions

Navy hospital ships to comfort coronavirus response, submarines still a priority for the nayv, and advanced tech, were popularly discussed in this quarter. For example, US Naval Institute, a private, non-profit, professional military association that deals in national defense and security related issues, shared an article on the Pentagon having activated the USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort hospital navy ships, as part of the DoD response to the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Livefist, an online platform that provides Indian defense related news, shared an article on the Indian Navy’s plans to put its indigenous ‘flat-top’ aircraft carrier on hold. The article further noted that the Chief of Defence Staff confirmed that submarines were still a priority than third aircraft carriers.

In other news, Defense News, which provides defense procurement and policy news, tweeted on China continuing its rapid naval expansion, while the US Navy was busy stockpiling on ship-killing missiles and will continue to do in the next five years.

3. Drones – 1,031 mentions

Drone attacks, procurement of ground surveillance drones, drone deals, and the plentiful supply and reasonable affordability of drones, were popularly discussed in Q1 2020. For example, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s Secretary General, shared an article on NATO’s first ground surveillance drones having arrived in Sicily. The unarmed drones are expected to provide essential intelligence, surveillance, as well as reconnaissance to NATO and all of its 29 allies.

Nicholas Drummond, a defense industry consultant and commentator, further shared an article on the two certainties of warfare being drones and artillery. He also added that they were widely available and affordable, but lethal and therefore needed to be neutralised.

In other news, Ulrike E Franke, a policy fellow and writer, tweeted on the topic of Germany having called off the acquisition of US Navy’s Triton spy drones not getting enough coverage. The $2.5bn purchase of Northrop Grumman-made Triton drones was cancelled, with the German government opting instead for manned planes carrying eavesdropping sensors.

4. Missile – 896 military mentions

Missile attacks, and gun and missile tests, Iran having the largest ballistic and cruise missile force in the Middle East, capable of striking targets far from its borders, were widely discussed topics during the quarter. According to Defense One, which provides news, analysis, events, and ideas on security threats, politics, business and technology, shared an article on 11 American troops wounded in Iran’s missile attack on Iraq’s al-Asad air base.

The Aviationist, which provides coverage on military, defense, aviation, and technology, shared an article on a Russian Su-34 Fullback fire a rocket as part of gun and missile tests taken at the Russian GkNIPAS range. The AAM (Air-to-Air Missile) was tested on the ground from a plane with the extended landing gear. The Su-34 entered in active service with the Russian Aerospace Forces in 2014.

In other news, CSIS, ranked the number one think tank in the US, shared an article on Iran maintaining the largest ballistic and cruise missile force in the Middle East, capable of striking targets as far as 2,500 km from its borders.

5. Nuclear – 731 mentions

Nuclear submarine programs, nuclear contracts, and new nuclear warhead design, were popularly discussed in the first quarter of the year. For example, Deborah Haynes, a foreign affairs editor, tweeted on Britain, France and Germany reiterate commitment to Iran nuclear deal after Donald Trump urged them to reject it. The countries stated that they would be committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and preserve it. They also urged Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the agreement and return to full compliance.

The UK Defense Journal, a website that provides British and international defense news and analysis, shared an article on the HMS Queen Elizabeth to be deployed with two frigates, two destroyers, a nuclear submarine and support vessels in addition to 24 F-35B jets, including US Marine Corps aircraft, and a number of Merlin helicopters..

In other news, Aaron Mehta, the deputy editor and Pentagon correspondent, tweeted on the Pentagon going to award a bunch of contracts to start prototyping a mobile, forward deployed nuclear reactor.