IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

Sep 20, 2019

Registration is now open for the Navy League of Canada's one-day conference entitled "Momentum" to discuss the importance of gender balance in all facets of the maritime defence sector. The event will feature thought-provoking panel discussions with prominent veterans and members from academia, industry, the Canadian Armed Forces, and government.

Sep 20, 2019

The U.S. National Security Agency is running an experiment designed to test whether the growing number of military and civilian satellites in lower earth orbit have been compromised. The focus, using artificial intelligence technology, is on trying to find out whether orbits have changed and what countermeasures are possible.

Sep 20, 2019

Legislation which frees Ukraine to spend $250 million in U.S. military aid has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and is expected to be endorsed by the Senate. The White House initially had delayed approval but bowed to congressional pressure.

Sep 20, 2019

The MQ-25 Stingray air-to-air refuelling drone developed by Boeing for the U.S. Navy has completed its maiden flight. Expected to be the first carrier-launched platform of its kind, the drone was remotely controlled by Boeing test pilots after an autonomous taxi and takeoff.

Sep 20, 2019

The prospect of remote military bases being able to manufacture spares on-site with 3D printer technology is being researched by the U.S. Air Force. An initial trial enabled one base on U.S. soil to print polymer toilet seats but planners are aiming higher.

Sep 20, 2019

The U.S. Senate’s latest military appropriations bill calls on the Department of Defense to study strategic port locations in the Arctic even as witnesses at House of Representatives’ hearings highlighted significant challenges.

Sep 20, 2019

Remotely-piloted and autonomous vehicles have just been put through their paces by the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation. Dozens of submarine, surface and aerial platforms were tested off Portugal in the Sept. 11-19 exercise which involved the host country as well as Belgium, Britain, Italy, Poland and the U.S.

Sep 20, 2019

Saudi Arabia says it can prove Iran’s complicity in the recent drone attack on two major Saudi petroleum facilities. Even so, the kingdom is expected to wait until a UN inspection team completes its investigation.

Sep 20, 2019

The U.S. administration evidently is divided over whom to blame for the recent drone attck on Saudi Arabian petroleum installations. The Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Johnathan Hoffman, says that while there are indications that Iran was in “some way” responsible, he declined to definitively blame Iran. This was after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was “abundantly clear” that Iran was responsible.

Sep 20, 2019

The Stockholm International Peace and Security Institute says that although the security implications of climate change have increasingly been debated by the UN Security Council, there are growing concerns about the UN’s overall response. In a new policy brief, SIPRI looks at how the climate security debate has evolved and highlights three priorities for action.

Sep 19, 2019

Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency ithin he U.S. Department of Homeland Security, says government and industry should not be “selling fear” if they want broader community engagement in fighting digital threats.

Sep 19, 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival, Benny Gantz, are jostling over the prospect of a unity government after the second general election in five months failed to give either leader’s party enough seats to set up a coalition government.

Sep 19, 2019

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper expects that “the first shots of the future” will be either in the cyber domain or space, with the latter the more probable scenario. He is urging the Pentagon to act quickly in standing up the U.S. Space Command announced three weeks ago.

Sep 19, 2019

The head of the U.S. Air Force mobility command, Gen. Maryanne Miller, says that an array of design and development problems means the USAF’s fleet of Boeing KC-46 tankers will not be combat-ready until at least 2022. That would be some 11 years after Boeing was chosen over Airbus to replace 1960s-era tankers.

Sep 18, 2019

The first of four KC-46A tankers ordered by Japan in a $1.9-billion deal which was initialized nearly three years ago has finally begun with the movement of a main wing spar into Boeing’s 767 production facility in Seattle

Sep 18, 2019

The U.S. Air Force has “indefinitely barred” passengers on its fleet of Boeing KC-46 Pegasus transports. The decision followed a recent incident in which cargo locks released in-inflight during a multi-stop deployment, albeit with no injuries or damages reported.

Sep 18, 2019

Saudi Arabia, which has small fleets of frigates, corvettes and patrol boats, is joining the western task force protecting commercial shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and other potential chokepoints in the region. Several merchant vessels have been attacked this year and the U.S. has been blaming Iran.

Sep 18, 2019

The Department of Defense has until next January to submit final findings and recommendations on the proposed cleanup of carcinogenic fluoroalkyls which have been confirmed in the water supplies of at least 297 U.S. military bases. A task force set up by Defense Secretary Mark Esper in July has completed initial research.

Sep 18, 2019

Unofficial results of Israel’s second general election in five months are too close to call. The parties led by incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main challenger, Benny Gantz, each apparently have captured 32 seats in a Parliament where 61 are required for a majority.

Sep 18, 2019

National polling from the first week of Canada’s 43rdgeneral election indicate that the Liberals and Conservatives are in a virtue tie in terms of stated public support. The New Democratic Party and Greens evidently are running a distant third.

Sep 18, 2019

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Canada, Raza Bashir Tarar, wants Canada to be “more forceful” with India to address what he says is a deteriorating humanitarian situation in the disputed Kashmir region on the two countries’ northern borders.

Sep 17, 2019

Kelvin Droegemeier, the new science advisor to President Donald Trump is moving to bolster U.S. policies on research security. Recent U.S.-China political has spilled into the research community which has been pushing back against federal agencies investigating foreign-born scientists.

Sep 17, 2019

China and the U.S. are deadlocked over a United Nations resolution which would extend the UN mission in Afghanistan. Diplomats say Beijing is expected to veto the German-Indonesian initiative because it doesn’t refer to China’s overland and marine infrastructure projects.

Sep 17, 2019

It has been disclosed that a retired member of the U.S. Marine Corps and now a security industry executive, has been detained in Russia on espionage charges since last December. The Kremlin has rebuffed diplomatic efforts to have a doctor see Paul Whelan and now members of Congress are demanding his release, saying there are no grounds for the charges.

Sep 17, 2019

Edward Snowden, the Central Intelligence Agency contractor who sought refuge in Moscow, says that while France and Germany are considering granting him asylum, he still hopes to return to the U.S. However, having leaked details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies, he says he wouldn’t get a fair trial back home.

Sep 17, 2019

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says “the time is right” for reconciliation between the European Union and Russia. His suggestion comes just as the U.S. Congress prepares to resume consideration of sanctions against Russia, which could heighten tensions between the EU and the U.S.

Sep 17, 2019

Hamza Bin Laden, son of al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden and an increasingly active player in global terrorism, has been killed in a U.S. operation. President Donald Trump confirmed his death but no details on where or when the operation occurred have been released.

Sep 17, 2019

Jens Stoltenberg, the Dane who has been Secretary General of NATO since 2014, worries about Middle East tensions rising after the weekend drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s main oil-processing facility. While there’s an ongoing argument about who was responsible, Stoltenberg said Iran is “destabilizing” the region.

Peacekeepers immune from prosecution?
Sep 17, 2019

A United Nations investigator looking into allegations of UN peacekeepers committing sex crimes in Haiti says it has been difficult to hold personnel to account once they are home. Global Affairs Canada documents are said to confirm that six Canadians deployed to Haiti had engaged in sexual misconduct.

Sep 17, 2019

The U.S. Air Force hopes that a new approach could yield to initial production of its next generation of fighters within five years of a contract being awarded. The stated goal is to develop small batches of aircraft with multiple companies.

Sep 17, 2019

An increase in the frequency of practice flights by Boeing EA-18 Growler electronic warfare versions of the Super Hornet at the U.S. Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island near Seattle is annoying local residents. They have filed suit, seeking compensation for what they say is their inability to enjoy their property under the Growlers’ takeoff and landing paths.

Sep 17, 2019

Sylvie Goulard, who served for five weeks in 2017 as France’s Minister of the Armed Forces, has been nominated to run a new European Commission directorate tasked with coordinating European Union defence research and development. Her nomination is expected to be endorsed by European Parliament, setting her up to take office Nov. 1.

Sep 17, 2019

Australia has chosen South Korea’s Hanwha Group and Germany’s Rheinmetall Group to participate in the next phase of a $15 billion tracked fighting vehicle program. This is expected to lead to a contract for 450 replacements for the Australian Army’s current fleet of armoured personnel carriers.

Sep 17, 2019

The U.S. Army is turning to LLAMAs in an attempt to lighten the loads its troops often have to carry in-theatre. Not the four-footed Andean camelid, the acronym means Legged Locomotion and Movement Adaptation, a battery-powered quadruped which the Army says combines advanced vision, intelligence and autonomy.

Sep 17, 2019

The U.S. intelligence community is said to be developing biometric identification systems which could single out individuals at a distance. Facial recognition and other biometrics technologies have improved in recent years but evidently are still prone to errors.

Sep 17, 2019

Lockheed Martin, prime contractor for all F-35 fighter components except the Pratt & Whitney engine, has told the U.S. it is prepared to guarantee a fixed price and assume most of the risk for maintaining a fleet-wide state of readiness higher than 80 per cent by 2025. It has proposed that the Department of Defense transition to a performance-based logistics approach in which contractors are incented to reduce costs.

Sep 17, 2019

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki says the force is still trying to understand the fallout of allegations levelled against a senior civilian staffer. Cameron Ortis, director general of the RCMP's national intelligence coordination centre, has been charged with, among other things, preparing to share operational information with a foreign entity or terrorist group in the past year.

Sep 17, 2019

Australia, Britain, France and the U.S., Canada’s partners in the Five Eyes intelligence community, are raising questions about the type of information accessible to Cameron Ortis as the director of an intelligence unit within the RCMP. Diplomatic sources say the alliance is concerned that Ortis, who has been arrested and charged, had access to their intelligence information.

Sep 16, 2019

All U.S. civil and military organizations will be prohibited, effective Sept. 17, from using cybersecurity products or other software produced by Russia-based Kaspersky Lab. In finalizing the decision, the administration is acting on legislation approved by Congress in response to intelligence community concerns that Kaspersky executives could be forced by Moscow to share information.

Sep 16, 2019

Gen. David Goldfein, the U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, says the military has much to learn from Apple’s “unleashing” of open-source technologies, which became a core in which other companies were founded and have flourished. He writes that the engineering and business lessons are important for the defence sector which he says has too often procured systems which cannot communicate with each other and are difficult to update.

Sep 16, 2019

Northrop Grumman has rebuffed a Boeing bid to become involved in an $85-billion project to develop a new intercontinental ballistic missile. Boeing had abandoned an earlier plan to compete with Northrop Grumman. The two companies beat Lockheed Martin two years ago to emerge as the finalists.

Sep 16, 2019

The U.S. Army is reaching out to post-secondary institutions new concepts and designs for a new generation of drones. Up to $35,000 could be available and colleges and universities have until mid-October to express an interest. 

Sep 16, 2019

Two huge industrial agglomerations are competing to develop “sixth generation” fighters. A British-Swedish-Italian partnership involves MDBA, Rolls Royce and BAE Systems as well as three Italian companies: Leonardo, Elettronica Group and Avio Aero (a GE Aviation subsidiary). A German-French-Spanish effort involves Airbus and Dassault.

Sep 16, 2019

Patria, a Finnish armoured vehicle company, is teaming up with Aselsan, a Turkish manufacturer of remote-controlled weapons systems, to market the vehicles in South America, the Middle East and Asia. 

Sep 16, 2019

NATO countries evidently are warming to the concept of having remotely-controlled armed ground robots involved in combat missions. Truly autonomous systems remain “a bridge too far at the moment,” as an Avascent consultant puts it.

Sep 16, 2019

The U.S. and Iran are locked in a war of words after a devastating weekend attack on Saudi Arabia’s largest petroleum processing facility. Yemeni rebels claimed responsibility for the use of drones, but the U.S. says it has evidence that Iran was responsible. Iran is decrying that as “maximum lies.”

Sep 14, 2019

An Iranian-aligned rebel group in Yemen is claiming responsibility for attacks on two major Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Drones evidently were used against the state-owned company’s largest refinery and one of its oilfields.

Sep 13, 2019

Cameron Ortis, a civilian RCMP director general, is facing charges arising from alleged intelligence breaches which have prompted concerns about whether there are implications not only domestically but also with Canada’s allies. He has been charged under the Security of Information Act which deals with communicating or confirming special operational information.

Sep 13, 2019

A massive weeks-long U.S. Army simulation has tested current and future equipment as well as warfighting methods. Unified Challenge 19.2 in August was designed to help leaders to understand the increasingly complex systems the U.S. and its allies use – as well as what they might use.

Sep 13, 2019

The U.S. State Department has cleared Morocco to procure nearly $1 billion worth of various munitions and other hardware. They included missiles, bombs and other materiel for its F-16 fighters as well as TOW missiles.

Sep 13, 2019

A former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security says the U.S. should not use telecom giant Huawei as leverage in broader trade negotiations with China. Tom Ridge says Huawei has repeatedly shown that it is “an instrumentality” of Beijing.

Sep 13, 2019

A U.S. Army proposal to not purchase more Boeing CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters is being stymied in Congress. Members of a committee which drafts spending legislation want to fund an advanced Chinook model despite the Army’s resistance.

Sep 13, 2019

Some $250 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine has been freed up by the White House after weeks of congressional pressure. The development was confirmed during a meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

Sep 13, 2019

A U.S. Navy explosive ordnance disposal group has deployed unmanned underwater vehicles as part of the the USN’s first Arctic Expedition Capabilities Exercise, held off western Alaska. The group’s commodore says the exercise underscored the need to do more testing if the USN is to sustain combat operations in extreme environments.

Sep 13, 2019

A U.S. Army proposal to not purchase more Boeing CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters has been stymied by Congress. Committee which draft defence spending bills say they want to fund an advanced Chinook model despite the Army’s resistance.

Sep 13, 2019

Decades-old U.S. policies requiring all federal agencies’ Internet traffic flow through a central facility are about to updated to enable them migrate to the cloud while maintaining cybersecurity. The update is being pushed by the Office of Budget Management as part of a broader modernization initiative.

Sep 13, 2019

Military capabilities and cooperation between countries in European Union evidently fall short of EU policy goals. The European Court of Auditors also questions whether the EU can avoid overlapping NATO aims.

Sep 13, 2019

A U.S. Senate committee has scuttled Democrats’ attempts to block the diversion of more Department of Defense funds for construction of a wall along the border with Mexico. Senate Republican plan to pass as many bills as they can by the end of the fiscal year in an attempt to prevent another government shutdown.

Sep 13, 2019

The Royal Thai Navy has signed an agreement with China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. for an amphibious transport vessel. No financial information was released at the contract ceremony in Beijing, but a Thai newspaper puts the cost at the equivalent of $266 million, nearly twice an earlier estimate.

Sep 13, 2019

The cost of dealing with “forever chemical” contamination leaching into watersheds from U.S. military facilities is expected to surpass a initial estimate of $2 billion. The admission comes as Congress prepares to discussion draft budget legislation.

Sep 13, 2019

The British government has chosen a proven Danish design for a new fleet of Royal Navy frigates in a deal with Babcock International. It would be the first non-British-designed frigate or destroyer to be used by the RN in decades.

Sep 13, 2019

Even as it continues efforts to more capable autonomous robots, the U.S. Navy is shying away from anything suggestive of the “Terminator” killer-robots central to several blockbuster movies. A USN official concedes that “trust is something that is difficult to come by with a computer.”

Sep 13, 2019

The U.S. Department of Defence is being pressed by the Government Accountability Office to get on with a review of helicopter “mishaps” in recent years, However, a GAO report published Sept. 11 is restricted so details of latest initiative are withheld for the time being. However, a GAO letter 13 months ago to then Defense Secretary James Mattis provides background.

Sep 13, 2019

MBDA Missile Systems, a joint venture of Airbus Defence and Space, Leonardo s.P.a, and BAE Systems, has been contracted by the British Ministry of Defence to demonstrate an electronic warfare version of the company’s Spear missile. The warhead would be replaced with a miniaturized Leonardo payload which MBDA says could be used to “swarm” enemy defenses ahead of traditional strike weapons.

Sep 13, 2019

A bipartisan group of Members of Congress wants to identify Chinese companies which might “steal” western technologies for military use. A Chinese embassy spokesperson in Washington dismissed their concerns as groundless, calling the move evidence of a “cold war mentality.”

Sep 13, 2019

In an bid to end a western blockade against its 5G technology, Huawei is offering to sell its software to a western company which then could rewrite problematic code. The U.S. has been urging its allies not to permit 5G over concerns that alleged “backdoors” would enable the Chinese government to spy on telecom systems.

Sep 12, 2019

Leonardo s.P.a. is expected to confirm full involvement in a British-Swedish plan to develop a so-called “sixth-generation” fighter dubbed Tempest. The Italian conglomerate’s British subsidiary had already been involved for more than a year, working on sensor and avionics concepts.

Sep 12, 2019

Congress is prepared to give the Department of Defense more money that it had requested for development of hypersonic weapons and countermeasures. The DoD had asked for $1.4 billion but a summary of a spending bill making its way through the Senate bumps up the potential appropriation to nearly $2 billion.

Sep 12, 2019

The U.S. Air Force dropped 39 tonnes of laser-guided munitions on to an island in the Tigris River north of Baghdad it said was “infested” with Da’esh fighters. A USAF spokesman posted a video of huge explosions and mushroom clouds.

Sep 12, 2019

Raytheon Co. expects a surge in international sales of its Howler aerial countermeasures technology, which has been field-tested by the U.S. Army. James McGovern, vice-president of mission systems and sensors, says there have been many expressions of industry at various trade shows.

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