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GlobalSecurity.org vs Jane's

Fred T. Jane published his first yearbook, Jane's Fighting Ships, in January 1898. The annual series of handbooks on the technical aspects of naval ships included critical commentary on technological developments and naval tactics. In 1909 the second, Jane's All The World's Aircraft, quickly built on the reputation of the former as a reference work par excellence for any and all information on aeronautical developments. It was a huge commercial intelligence-gathering operation; and provided they had the money, anyone could buy into its vast knowledge base. Jane's, the publishing empire founded on one man's obsession with the detailed specifications of ships and aircraft.

Jane's Information Group Limited is the leading provider of intelligence and analysis on national and international defense, security and risk developments. A relatively impartial source of military technical information, Jane's, as it is commonly referred to, publishes a series of books and magazines which track the development of military weapons systems. Current products of the Jane's Information Group Limited include Jane's Defence Weekly, Jane's International Defense Review, and a series of books, updated each year, such as Jane's Naval Weapon Systems. All titles are available in an online format, with frequent updates on an as-needed basis.

Jane's Sentinel Country Risk Assessments provides a comprehensive one-stop source for understanding security matters in 190 states and 30 territories. The online format provides many benefits not available with the softbound version, including: Daily content updates; Additional analysis available only to online subscribers; The facility to print complete country reports; Quick and easy navigation to your specific areas of interest; Simple and advanced search tools; and Active interlinking and navigating. Leveraging a network of over 120 expert contributors, its online and softbound guides remain the world's authority on global security. And Jane’s Military Capabilities Intelligence Centre Module delivers comprehensive analysis of global military capabilities to provide a detailed intelligence resource that adds depth to your organization’s all-source analysis, Intelligence Estimates and reporting. It includes over a thousand articles on national army, navy, air force, special forces and tri-service capabilities, as well as strategic weapons systems, defense budgets, procurement and R&D.

Titles include: Jane’s Armour & Artillery, Jane’s Military Vehicles and Logistics, Jane’s Infantry Weapons, Jane’s World Armies, Jane’s World Insurgency and Terrorism, Jane’s Defense Weekly, Jane’s Intelligence Review, and Jane’s Terrorism Watch Report. These are commonly Used by: Program Managers, Operations/Logistics Officers, Weapons Recognition Officers, Engineers, Business/Market Analysts, Competitive / Business Intelligence, and Security/Policy Analysts. They are used to track emerging technologies and their procurement/proliferation, assess the capabilities of an individual country and its armed forces, understand stated government policy, understand overall specifications of a platform, understand individual systems that make up a platform, understand the capabilities of an individual platform or system, evaluate mission critical equipment, visual Identification and recognition, understand current and future market climate and trends, and identify business opportunities.

IHS Jane’s Country Reference Data and Jane’s World Insurgency and Terrorism are used to assess current stabilities, threats, and security environments within an individual country, evaluate global political and diplomatic policies, understand current capabilities of global armed forces, including ORBAT, procurement and inventory details, and assess terrorist and insurgent groups active within a particular country.

How much does all this cost? If you have to ask, you can't afford it. Jane’s Military Capabilities Intelligence Centre Module is a bundle of four products. The online versions of Jane's World Navies, World Armies, World Air Forces are priced at US$4,170.00, while Jane's Amphibious and Special Forces is a mere US $4,060.00. So the total bundled package is probably in the neighborhood of US$15,000.00. Pricing for Sentinel Country Risk Assessments is not immediately apparent online, but is probably in the same ballpark. So the pricing of the Jane's products that are the rough equivalent of GlobalSecurity.org is probably in the ballpark of $30,000 or more.

GlobalSecurity.org does not have access to these products, so comparing and contrasting is a bit difficult, but the GlobalSecurity.org offerings appear generally comparable to these Jane's products for most users. Those users needing Jane's products should have no difficulty whatsoever paying for them. Jane's has been in business for over a century, while GlobalSecurity.org has only been around a dozen years, so GlobalSecurity.org still has a bit of catching up to do. Jane's is a marketing tool, so it has names and contact information for numerous officials with purchasing authority, and GlobalSecurity.org does not have such a rolodex. The Jane's products tend to go a bit overboard in the direction of completeness - All the World's Aircraft includes everything with wings, important or not, and Jane's Fighting Ships includes every speedboat of every Coast Guard on the planet. The 100th-year edition of Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft contains details of 614 companies and 1,025 aircraft from 48 countries. Although 52 companies and 97 aircraft appear in the 2009-2010 edition for the first time, 99.5 percent of those carried forward from the previous year’s book have been updated with new information. This work is undertaken by a team of four compilers.

This emphasis on completeness tends to crowd out depth of coverage of more important airplanes and warships, where the GlobalSecurity.org coverage vastly surpasses Jane's. Otherwise, the coverage at GlobalSecurity.org is not inferior to that of Jane's, and in some areas offers considerably greater depth and understanding [from the limited snippets that are publicly accessible, from time to time the fine folks at Jane's clearly miss the boat].

On June 12, 2007, IHS Inc., a global provider of critical technical information, decision-support tools and related services, announced it had acquired Jane’s Information Group (Jane’s) from The Woodbridge Company Limited. IHS purchased Jane’s substantially through the issuance of 4.399 million shares of new IHS common stock, which translates to approximately $183.5 million. IHS is a leading global source of critical information and insight, dedicated to providing the most complete and trusted information and expertise. IHS product and service solutions span four areas of information that encompass the most important concerns facing global business today: Energy, Product Lifecycle, Security, and Environment supported by Macroeconomics. IHS enables decision-making for customers ranging from governments and multinational companies to smaller companies and technical professionals in more than 180 countries. IHS celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009 and employed approximately 3,800 people in 20 countries.