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Le Terrible is transferred for major refit
PHOTO FEATURE

Jan 8 – French ballistic nuclear submarine Le Terrible is transferred to Brest for a major refit. It will take 14 months to modernize and restore operational potential for the next 10 years.

(Photo: Marine-Nationale Défense)
Happy 2021 Vaccination Year
PHOTO FEATURE

May you and yours be vaccinated expeditiously, and are able to conscientiously restrict your activities until we attain a safer environment. FrontLine wishes our readers a Safe and Happy New Year!

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IN THE NEWS

Jan 15

A diminished expectation of large-scale warfare, combined with modern communications technology, has reduced the emphasis on corps-level structures in western militaries, according to a paper published by the Royal United Services Institute in Australia. Among other things, it argues that overcoming interoperability challenges requires a shift from “rapid reaction” to being “long prepared.”

Jan 15

The Australian Army’s troublesome fleet of Eurocopter Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters is to be replaced with Boeing AH-64E Guardian Apache platforms. Twenty-nine have been ordered at a cost of $4.5 billion to replace 22 Tigers.

Jan 15

A $6.5 billion cabinet-approved order for 83 LCA Tejas light combat aircraft will be India’s largest indigenous defence deal. State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics will manufacture 73 fighter versions and 10 trainers.

Jan 15

The incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will ask Congress to approve a $1.9 trillion economic recovery package which would include more than $10 billion for a spate of IT and cybersecurity initiatives. “This an urgent national security issue that cannot wait,” Biden’s transition team says.

Jan 15

The International Atomic Energy Agency has been advised that Iran has begun installing equipment for producing metallic uranium, another violation of its multinational agreement to constrain its nuclear capabilities. Iran has told the IAEA that the new development is part of its “declared aim to design an improved type of fuel.” Germany, a party to the 2015 agreement which the U.S. eventually abandoned, says the development is “not likely to build trust.”

Jan 15

The U.S. Department of Defense has been directed by outgoing President Donald Trump to accelerate development of small nuclear reactors for military use on the ground and possibly in space. An executive order posted Jan. 12 gives the Secretary of Defense 180 days to “establish and implement a plan.”

Jan 15

Haiying General Aviation Equipment, a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp., is reported to have successfully completed its first flight of a new armed reconnaissance drone. Similar in profile to some western drones, the jet-powered WJ-700 first appeared at a prototype at Airshow China 2018.

Jan 14

The Washington-based Center for American Progress is suggesting that the next U.S. administration should consider pooling financial resources to set up a bank to facilitate investments in defence. It says NATO members would initially capitalize the bank with a view to eventually creating a self-sustaining institution.

Jan 14

The world’s two largest defence suppliers, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, have joined the roster of U.S. companies suspending political donations after last week’s riot in Washington which resulted in several deaths and a breach of the capitol.

Jan 14

The French navy’s Andromède mine-hunting ship has been fitted with a one-tonne 3D-printed five-blade propeller designed and manufactured by Naval Group. “It is the largest metal 3D-printed thruster ever to have been manufactured and the first propeller resulting from this technology, embarked on board a military ship and manufactured for use beyond just sea trials,” a company spokesman says.

Jan 14

Admiral Art McDonald was appointed Canada’s new Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) during a change of command ceremony held virtually in Ottawa today.

Jan 14

As a long-time supplier of military technologies to Canada’s defense market, IAI has been investing in Canadian companies for over a decade. The largest defence and aerospace company in Israel, IAI’s inclusive philosophy of technology transfer has enhanced Canadian expertise and expanded potential export markets.

Jan 13

A Change of Command ceremony, beginning at 2:15 pm on 14 January 2021, will see command transfer from General Jonathan Vance to Vice-Admiral Art McDonald as the incoming Chief of the Defence Staff.

Jan 13

Donald Trump has become the first U.S. President be to be impeached a second time when the House of Representatives voted 232-197 in favour of a Democratic Party resolution accusing him of “incitement of insurrection.” Prompted by his incitement of a mob which stormed Congress last week, the resolution was supported by a small number of Republicans. Trump now faces a trial once the Senate returns from a seasonal recess.

Jan 13

François-Philippe Champagne has been promising a tougher line on China for over a year. It is curious that, at the precise moment he finally announced tough new measures aimed at addressing human rights violations in Xinjiang province, he was being shuffled out of the foreign affairs portfolio. John Ivison examines the cabinet shuffle puzzle pieces.

Jan 13

BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are on a growing list of defence suppliers which have suspended political donations in the aftermath of last week’s riot in Washington. Northrop Grumman, which contributed a total of $4.8 million to Democrats and Republicans last year, was first up as it considers “the way forward.”

Jan 13

The Swedish air force will continue to fly 100 Saab JAS Gripen fighters despite an earlier plan which would have reduced the fleet to 60. “Long-range combat capability against ground targets that will be added gives us the opportunity to reach enemy territory with considerable range,” Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist explained. “It is a real strengthening of Swedish operational capability, which is also an important security policy signal.” Also in the works are a new unmanned combat aerial vehicle and a recapitalized airborne early warning and control fleet.

Jan 13

The U.S. has declassified, with minor redactions, a blueprint for its role in the Indo-Pacific region. Drafted in 2018, it originally was not expected to be made public until 2043.

Jan 13

The U.S. military high command is planning a conference at the end of January in an attempt to develop effective common data standards for Joint All Domain Command and Control operations. “We are going to attempt to settle this, or at least bring in some courses of action that we can use . . . to have our senior leaders make decisions,” says the project lead, Marine Corps LGen Dennis Crall. “We just have a sordid history of not really delivering.”

Jan 13

Boeing has secured a $1.7 billion contract this week to build 12 more KC-46A tankers for the U.S. Air Force. The multirole platform, also capable of carrying passengers and cargo, can refuel allied and coalition aircraft compatible with international aerial refueling procedures. Boeing has delivered 42 since August 2016 in a program beset by cost overruns and delays.

Jan 13

The U.S. State Department is being sued by a small think-tank seeking to block a $23-billion sale of Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters and other weapons to the United Arab Emirates. The New York Center For Foreign Policy Affairs contends that the Trump administration breached the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to provide a reasonable explanation for the sale.

Jan 13

In a bid to head off potential disruption at next week’s presidential inaugurations, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff have warned that any protests by service members would be a bad idea. Citing last week’s ransacking of Congress, in which several veterans were involved, they have told personnel that “the rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition, and insurrection.”

Jan 12

Vice-Admiral Craig Baines assumed the duties of Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy from Vice-Admiral Art McDonald this afternoon in a virtual change of command ceremony presided over by General Jonathan Vance, outgoing Chief of the Defence Staff, at the National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.

Jan 12

Former trade minister Jim Carr has returned to the cabinet fold in a mini-shuffle announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Carr stepped down last year for health reasons. His return as a special representative for the Prairies was precipitated by Innovation, Science and Industry Minister to step down to spend more time with his family. Bains is replaced by former Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne who in turn is replaced by former Transport Minister Marc Garneau. Toronto MP Omar Alghabra, first elected in 2006 and who has been serving as a parliamentary secretary to Trudeau for public service renewal as well as to Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland, succeeds Garneau at Transport.

Jan 12

Founded in late 2019, the NATO Space Centre at Ramstein Airbase in Germany is expected to expand this year. The centre currently houses British, German and U.S. personnel but a spokesman says “we will receive additional personnel from several other allies” not necessarily limited to those with space capabilities.

ISSUES & IDEAS

Chris MacLean's picture

As we anxiously await deliverance from COVID-19, remember the lessons learned in 1955. We must not rush production beyond its capacity to produce and administer a safe vaccine.

ROSS FETTERLY's picture

A pandemic reinforces the importance of Provincial government roles in the daily lives of the Canadian population, and communication is key to confidence in the process.

ROSS FETTERLY's picture

As Canada receives 249,000 vaccines for first-phase distribution, the coordination – on a massive scale – will benefit from military operational planning and execution.

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