Articles by: "Malcolm Davis"
Getting starry-eyed about space

Adelaide has been lucky enough to host the 68th annual International Astronautical Congress, the world’s premier space policy and technology event. It was an ideal setting for the Turnbull government to announce an early finding …

Back to the future with mini-nukes?

In 2003, the Bush administration caused a furore by proposing a new type of nuclear weapon, formally called the ‘Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator’ (RNEP), to defeat hard and deeply buried targets. The term ‘mini-nuke’ quickly …

North Korean nukes and space war

North Korea’s launch of a Hwasong-12 IRBM over Japan on 28 August, a second launch on 15 September (once again overflying Japan), and its test of what is either a boosted fission weapon or an …

Closing the ADF’s deterrence gap

The force structure proposed in the 2016 Defence White Paper lacks a long-range deterrence capability—at least until we get a credible fleet of submarines sometime in the distant 2040s. Short of nuclear threats, which are …

The coming of China’s Space Silk Road

China looks set to add a ‘Space Silk Road’ to its proposed land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, expanding the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI; formerly known as One Belt, …

North Korea: deterrence after denuclearisation fails

North Korea’s nuclear weapon and long-range missile programs are gathering momentum, according to a US Defense Intelligence Agency report, commented on by the Washington Post. The Post story suggests that North Korea has successfully produced …

The RS-28 Sarmat and the future US nuclear triad

Russian media recently claimed that the Federation’s new intercontinental ballistic missile will be able to penetrate even America’s most effective defence systems—but are they right? Russia claims the new RS-28 Sarmat heavy ICBM, being introduced …

Space security after Obama

In an earlier article on the USAF X-37B space plane I noted that the Obama administration’s 2010 space policy sought to avoid space weaponisation and ASATs. Washington’s current policy reinforces international norms against space warfare …

Duterte: a bull in a China shop  

In announcing a separation from the US, the Philippine’s President Duterte recently flagged a closer relationship with China, stating, ‘America has lost…I’ve realigned myself in your [China’s] ideological flow’. Although Duterte subsequently walked back from …

Spaceplanes on the high frontier

A transformation in military space capabilities is occurring hundreds of kilometres above the Earth’s surface as the US Air Force X-37B Space Plane logs over 500 days in orbit in its latest mission. The unmanned …