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Operation Unifier (Roto 10)
PHOTO FEATURE

14 Jan 21 – Members of Operation Unifier (Roto 10) take part in a C8 Carbine live fire range at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre, in Starychi, Ukraine.

Photo: Avr Melissa Gloude
foc'sle transfer with Cyclone helicopter
PHOTO FEATURE

18 Jan – During Mission Readiness Training for Op Caribbe, HMCS Moncton conducts foc'sle transfer with a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter in the Bedford Basin.

Photo: Cpl Braden Trudeau
Arriving in Latvia
PHOTO FEATURE

19 Jan – Incoming enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Commander (MCpl Stuart MacNeil) and Regimental Sargent Major (CWO Stephane Larouche) arrive in at Camp Adazi, Latvia.

Photo: MCpl Stuart MacNeil
Hornet pilot in Romania
PHOTO FEATURE

3 Dec 20 – Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 Hornet pilot before a flight during Operation Reassurance - Air Task Force Romania at Mihail Kogӑlniceanu Air Base, Romania.

Photo: S1 Zach Barr
New CDS
PHOTO FEATURE

14 Jan 21 - Admiral Art McDonald was appointed Canada’s new Chief of the Defence Staff during a change of command ceremony held virtually in Ottawa. He takes over from General Jonathan Vance (left).

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)
PHOTO FEATURE

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

CAF receives vaccine shipment
PHOTO FEATURE

30 Dec 2020 – The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) receives its first shipment of Health Canada approved Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, at Garrison Petawawa.

Photo: MCpl Geneviève Lapointe
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IN THE NEWS

Feb 25

Concerns about the readiness of the USAF’s ageing fleet of E-3 Sentry airborne early warning and control platforms, based on the Boeing 707, has the commander of the U.S. Air Force in the Pacific calling for a replacement. Gen Kenneth S. Wilsbach would like to see the E-3 replaced by the E-7 Wedgetail version of the Boeing 737 already operated by Australia and South Korea.

Feb 25

A report on extremism in the U.S. military not only offers insights into white supremacists’ activities but also recommends ways to better identify them and preferably stop them from enlisting. Commissioned by Congress and dated last October 2020, the recently-disclosed report concludes that although extremism was not widespread, there are concerns about how “individuals with extremist affiliations and military experience are a concern to U.S. national security because of their proven ability to execute high-impact events.”

Feb 25

Amid ongoing complaints about Russian meddling in other countries’ affairs, President Vladimir Putin has directed his Federal Security Service to step up its response to what he says are western attempts to destabilize his country. He says the “so-called policy of containment of Russia” includes efforts to “derail our development, slow it down, create problems alongside our borders, provoke internal instability and undermine the values that unite the Russian society.”

Feb 25

The U.S. Department of Defense Department could be issuing a sole-source request for proposal “within the next month or two” for a performance-based F-35 logistics contract which the company says will improve spares availability and maintenance timelines. The Lockheed Martin proposal is a scaled down version of a more costly one it proposed in 2019.

Feb 25

Massachusetts-based Boston Dynamics, an acknowledged global leader in robotics, is criticizing an “art installation” project which would permit online control of one of its $80,000 Spot quadrupeds in a paintball exercise. The company says the “provocative use” of its robodog could void its warranty.

Feb 25

The U.S. Army plans to field test a new microwave weapon designed to protect installations against attacks by unmanned aerial systems. Demonstrated recently in New Mexico, the Tactical High Power Operational Responder evidently can target multiple drones simultaneously compared with lasers which are single-target technology.

Feb 25

More than 2,000 staff at the Communications Security Establishment, without a contract for two years, have voted to strike after what the Public Service Alliance of Canada says is management’s insistence on “a deal-breaking concession” and refusal to send the dispute for binding arbitration. The union says the proposed concession would mean lower pay than elsewhere in the government.

Feb 25

DND has confirmed an investigation into Canada's new Chief of the Defence Staff for unspecified allegations of misconduct. Admiral Art McDonald, who assumed office in January, has voluntarily stepped aside as he is investigated by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.

Feb 24

This statement from DND explains key differences between their cost estimates and those of the PBO, confirms the extensive research that went into selecting the design, and notes the high cost of starting the process all over.

Feb 24

The cost of building 15 Canadian Surface Combatant ships for the Royal Canadian Navy was pegged by the Parliamentary Budget Officer today at more than $77 billion and he warned that it could top $82 billion if there are any more delays. The CSCs are based on the British Type 26 frigate and there are suggestions costs could be contained by procuring two classes of ships.

Feb 24

Early planning indicates that the new U.S. administration’s 2022 defence budget will essentially match the previous administration’s 2021 plan. That would leave base funding for 2022 at around $696 billion or only $2.t6 billion more than in 2020.

Feb 24

Russian firearms manufacturer Kalashnikov has unveiled a new AK-19 assault rifle at a United Arab Emirates Air Show. Based on the AK-12 introduced into domestic service in 2018, it is chambered for NATO-standard ammunition and features a Pickatinny rail, collapsible folding stock, improved aperture sight and rapidly detachable suppressor.

Feb 24

Two Boeing KC-46 air-to-air refuelling platforms have been ordered for the Israeli Air Force along with additional Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters, more helicopters, advanced munitions and other weapon systems. The tankers are being procured through the U.S. Foreign Military Financing program.

Feb 24

Faced with the planned withdrawal of its Westland-Aerospatiale SA 330E Puma HC2 helicopters from service in 2025, the Royal Air Force is focusing on a new type of medium-lift platform. No specific successor has been identified but the RAF’s 23 Pumas, although upgraded, have airframes dating to the early 1970s.

Feb 24

BAE Systems Hägglunds has chosen Elbit Systems to provide the Royal Netherlands Army with the Israeli firm’s Iron Fist active protection system for its fleet of Swedish CV90 tracked combat vehicles. The $82-million contract also includes electro-optical sights for new turrets ordered in a $500-million procurement announced last month.

Feb 24

The German and Israeli defence ministries have signed an agreement for the purchase of the Rafael-made Trophy active protection system for the Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2 tanks. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann will install it during a previously-announced upgrade.

Feb 24

A senior UN official says Iran committed multiple violations of human rights and international law in connection with the shooting down of Ukranian International Airlines Flight PS752 in January 2020. Among other things in a report, Special Rapporteur Agnès Callamard cites military operations near Tehran’s international airport

Feb 24

Microsoft President Brad Smith says the U.S. must prepare a “robust menu” of responses to cyber attacks. He was commenting on the massive Solarwinds hack, which exposed the vulnerability of civilian government networks and the limitations of efforts to detect threats. “We need to strengthen the nation’s digital infrastructure and digital defenses, and that touches every part of the public sector, and every part of the private sector as well.”

Feb 23

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden used their first bilateral meeting to promise an “ambitious new partnership roadmap, based on shared values and priorities” as their governments address climate change, the post-pandemic world and China’s detention of two Canadians in December 2019. “Job One remains keeping people safe,” the PM said today after the virtual meeting.

Feb 23

The French navy’s third-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine program is scheduled to deliver four boats, the first in 2035. The project will be managed by Naval Group and TechnicAtome, the latter as prime on the reactor element. Thales will develop a sonar suite.

Feb 23

Gary Walbourne, the former military ombudsman, has been called to testify before the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence about what the government knew about allegations of misconduct by Gen Jonathan Vance, the former Chief of the Defence Staff. Walbourne, who retired early in 2019, had declined an earlier invitation.

Feb 23

A Nova Scotia inquiry into the death of a former Army trooper who committed suicide after killing three family members in 2017 is shifting to the government’s handling of the case. Lionel Desmond of Halifax had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and a possible brain injury after a combat deployment in Afghanistan.

Feb 23

A report by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies warns that even if the U.S. manages to keep its allies from using Chinese telecommunications technology, Beijing’s “digital silk road” strategy enables China to burrow into those countries' economies and infrastructure, creating dependencies that may ultimately weaken alliance ties.

Feb 23

Saab has been chosen to develop technology which could enable drones to fly safely in European airplace near civil aircraft. Ann-Kristin Adolfsson, who leads business development and strategy at the Swedish firm’s aeronautics arm, says that “while the project focus is on military unmanned aircraft, the technology is fully applicable to also civil systems.”

Feb 23

The president of the Alabama-based shipbuilder, Austal USA, has resigned amid investigations by U.S. and Australian authorities into losses incurred from its involvement in the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship program. Craig Perciavalle been replaced for now by the company’s chief financial officer.

ISSUES & IDEAS

This statement from DND explains key differences between their cost estimates and those of the PBO, confirms the extensive research that went into selecting the design, and notes the high cost of starting the process all over.

Ken Pole's picture

With only two weeks to respond, Airbus and Boeing are expected to compete to replace Canada's ageing fleet of CC-150 Polaris aircraft. An ITQ (Invitation to Qualify) was posted on 12 Feb by Procurement Canada.

Robbin Laird's picture

The question of the direct defense in Europe today is broader than just the Russian challenge. More than ever before, global alliances allow nations to work together, and that achievement is key to creating multi-national coalitions of the willing and fortify real deterrents.

FEATURED ARTICLES

2020
Issue 2