Frequently Asked Questions

How did Military Periscope begin?

Initially developed by the United States Naval Institute in 1986, Military Periscope has become the world's easiest-to-use, most up-to-date, open-source military database. For nearly 30 years, Military Periscope has put facts and information for more than 165 nations and 7,500 weapons systems at the fingertips of our users. We provide information on the world's military systems, orders of battle, equipment inventories, plans, and programs. 

How often is the information updated?

The data is continuously updated to provide our users with the most current and relevant open-source global defense information available today. 


Who typically subscribes to Military Periscope?

Our range of users varies greatly. Among our existing customers, we serve:

  • National governments
  • Defense and intelligence agencies
  • Military commands and libraries
  • Industry and defense contractors
  • Educational institutions
  • News and media organizations
  • Embassies
  • Individual subscribers


What does a subscription to Military Periscope include?

A full subscription to Military Periscope includes access to:
Military Periscope also offers individual subscriptions to the Daily Defense News Capsules (email delivery and online access). The Special Reports are also available by individual purchase or through a subscription. 

  • Weapons/Systems/Platforms
  • Nations, armed forces and orders of battle
  • Terrorist Organizations
  • Special Reports
  • Daily Defense News Capsules (email delivery and online access)


What makes Military Periscope better than the competition?

Time and again, our users have told us why they appreciate the service we provide and keep returning to us:

  • Save time - Maximize valuable research time with coverage of thousands of weapons systems and detailed defense information on virtually all nations. And it is all in one place.
  • Up-to-date - Stay current on the activities of international terrorist organizations; quickly scan daily abstracts of military-related and foreign-policy news from around the globe; and dig deeper with exclusive special reports on a range of defense topics.
  • Powerful Search - The search engine covers all the content, including our Daily Defense News Capsules. Relevant hyperlinks, advanced search capability within the DDNCs and intuitive browsing options provide faster, easier navigation. Multiple access points permit users to drill down quickly to the desired level of detail.
  • Affordable - We offer a variety of subscription options to meet your specific needs, including custom pricing for unique circumstances.


If I use Military Periscope as a source, what is the proper citation format?

Following is a recommended sample citation format.  The source is "Military Periscope", and the publisher is "GovExec."

"ARLEIGH BURKE (DDG-51) class." Military Periscope, GovExec, [DATE ACCESSED],