IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

Oct 26, 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested that a military alliance with China is “certainly imaginable, in theory." Some Chinese observers have called an alliance unlikely but say that even broaching the idea is a sign of good will.

Oct 26, 2020

Ottawa Police Service is seeking the public’s help in identifying a man who carved a swastika on the gravestone helmet at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 22 October. The damage, described by Veterans Affairs Minister Laurence MacAulay as “disgusting,” has been repaired.

Oct 26, 2020

The U.S Coast Guard is deploying enhanced response cutters in the Western Pacific. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien says China’s “illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and harassment of vessels operating in the exclusive economic zones of other countries in the Indo-Pacific threatens our sovereignty, as well as the sovereignty of our Pacific neighbors and endangers regional stability.”

Oct 26, 2020

Bombardier Recreational Products has suspended the delivery of its Rotax engines to “countries with unclear usage.” This is in response to reports that the engines, manufactured in Austria and certified for civilian use, are powering Turkish combat drones deployed by Azeri forces fighting Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Oct 26, 2020

Roman Waschuk, Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine from 2014 to 2019, says Canada’s presence in Eastern Europe shows that while we have military “bite” there, it could benefit from added “bark” in regional discussions.

Oct 26, 2020

Five days of talks in Geneva have yielded a UN-brokered ceasefire agreement between Libya's warring factions. UN envoy Stephanie Williams, former Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, says that “all military units and armed groups on the front lines shall return to their camps” and that this would be “accompanied by the departure of all mercenaries and foreign fighters . . . within a maximum period of three months.”

Oct 26, 2020

Armed drones pose an increasing threat to fighting forces. Gaming technologies have contributed to the creation of a new "drone killer" that has been developed in Israel. 

Oct 26, 2020

Pratt & Whitney Military Engines has received a contract to study modernization of the F135 engine which powers Lockheed-Martin F-35s for Block 4.2 and subsequent aircraft. PWME President Matthew Bromberg says “growth in aircraft capability must be met with matched propulsion modernization” and that the F135 “has ample design margin to support agile and affordable upgrades.”

Oct 26, 2020

While domestic shipyards will get “a significant percentage” of the work on three new Royal Navy logistics vessels, the British defence ministry expects some of the £1.5 billion program will go to foreign yards. The decision reflects ministry arranges for involvement when it purchased new armored vehicles from General Dynamics.

Oct 26, 2020

A report released by U.S. European Command recommends that other NATO countries which either don’t operate the Lockheed Martin F-35, or have no plans to do so, should configure their fighters to work with them. Prepared by the Rank think-tank, it's predicated on the concept that the F-35 is the only aircraft capable of initial contact with Russian forces.

Oct 23, 2020

Senior national security officials have indicated that the U.S.-driven goal of NATO countries spending two per cent of GDP on defence is now the “gold standard” for all allies. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has added that “we also expect them to be ready, capable and willing to deploy when trouble calls, and we expect them to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States in confronting Chinese bad behavior and Russian aggression.”

Oct 23, 2020

Canada and U.S. allies in Europe have increased defence spending for a sixth consecutive year but a new NATO report highlights a continued shortfall. France and Norway are forecast to join eight other countries spending at least two percent of GDP on defence this year.

Oct 23, 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin says nearly 5,000 people have been killed in the fighting between Azeri and Armenian forces in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. He also has called on the U.S. to help with arranging a peace agreement in the region which is part of Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic with a large ethnic Armenian population.

Oct 23, 2020

The U.S. has approved a $1.8-billion arms sale to Taiwan which includes cruise missiles, mobile rocket launchers and fighter-mountable reconnaissance pods. Taiwan says the procurement would help to “build credible combat capabilities and strengthen the development of asymmetric warfare.”

Oct 23, 2020

A Chinese foreign ministry official has threatened “legitimate and necessary responses” to Taiwan’s $1.8-billion procurement of U.S. weapons and surveillance gear. The official says the sale sends “a very wrong signal to separatist forces advocating for Taiwan independence, and seriously damages China-U.S. relations.”

Oct 23, 2020

A proposed sale of Lockheed Martin F-25s to the United Arab Emirates is being challenged by two Senate Democrats who have tabled a bill designed to block delivery unless the U.S. administration meets certain criteria. Among other things, they want a report detailing the technical risks of selling the F-35 to non-NATO countries except for a few allies.

Oct 22, 2020

Israel's new navy corvettes being built in Germany will carry a variety of sea-sea and sea-air missiles that have been developed in Israel. The successful trial of a new sea-to-sea missile system will help determine the configuration of the combined air defense system to be carried by the corvettes.

Oct 22, 2020

A Departmenrt of National Defence report indicates that five years into Operation Honour, the military is still having to deal with bullying and harassment. Many who report abuse complain of having been abandoned by the chain of command despite assurances by senior leaders and the government.

Oct 21, 2020

According to local media in that country, Turkey has been testing its Russian-made S-400 air defense system in recent days, and ties between Turkey and Iran seem to be warming up. What does this mean to other NATO members?

Oct 21, 2020

RCAF veteran Karen McCrimmon, the first female navigator and first woman to command a squadron before a tour in Afghanistan and then a posting to NATO Air headquarters in Germany, has been re-elected chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence. 

Oct 21, 2020

Shrinking sea ice in the Arctic, resulting in a longer navigable season, is accelerating a race among global powers for control over its waters and resources. China and Russia have been particularly assertive.

Oct 21, 2020

The National Security Agency has issued an advisory that Chinese-connected adversaries are targetting vulnerable U.S. systems. “It can be hard to prioritize patching and mitigation efforts,” says NSA Cybersecurity Director Anne Neuberger. “While these vulnerabilities are already public, they’re still being successfully leveraged by malicious cyber actors,” highlighting the need for action.

Oct 21, 2020

Adm Mike Gilday, the U.S. Navy chief of operations, says he and Adm Tony Radakin, Britain’s First Sea Lord, are to sign an “integrated warfighting statement of intent that sets a cooperative vision for interchangeability.” Specifics are unclear but the two navies have been increasingly collaborative in recent years.

Oct 21, 2020

Only days after each side had rejected the other’s latest nuclear Terrence offers, the concept of a mutual nuclear warhead freeze between the U.S. and Russia has been raised by the latter’s foreign ministry. The quid pro quo for Moscow would be an extension of their last treaty.

Oct 21, 2020

A request by the U.S. Navy to refuel its Boeing P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft in Indonesia reportedly has been rejected by Prime Minister Joko Widodo. U.S. officials “high-level” approaches this summer apparently surprised the country which has a long-standing policy of neutrality.

Oct 21, 2020

U.S. Marine MajGen. Stephen Neary, commander of USMC Forces Europe and Africa, has been dismissed due to “a loss of trust and confidence in his ability.” He is under investigation for allegedly asking junior personnel how they felt about the “N-word”.

Oct 20, 2020

Thales Canada has received a $4.6-million contract to provide in-service support for the company’s medium- to long-range air and surface 3D radars aboard the Royal Canadian Navy’s 12 Halifax-class frigates. Thales will provide critical engineering and repair and overhaul services.

Oct 20, 2020

The Azeri and Armenian foreign ministers are scheduled to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington this week in an attempt to quell the territorial dispute in Nagorno-Karabakh, part of Azerbaijan with a large Armenian population. It is not clear, however, whether the two ministers will themselves meet as well as independently with Pompeo.

Oct 20, 2020

The Greek defence minister is being given the opportunity to co-build three new frigates in an American-owned shipyard on Syros as an incentive to buy four new ships from the U.S. Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador in Athens, calls the proposal “unique” and “very competitive.”

Oct 20, 2020

Europe’s Border and Coast Guard Agency has awarded Airbus Defense & Space and Israel Aerospace Industries a contract to supply a long-range Remotely Piloted Aerial Surveillance system to be operated out of Greece or Malta. IAI’s maritime Heron RPAS can fly more than 24 hours at a time, providing real-time imagery.

Oct 19, 2020

Humanitarian relief workers with the UN and other organizations are increasingly at risk in many regions as state and non-state actors using violence to achieve their objectives. Their protection remains an ongoing and critical challenge.

Oct 19, 2020

Concerned about the environmental impact of growing use of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic, the Canadian government has challenged industry to come up with products that won't end up in landfills. A key challenge is transforming contaminated materials into “valuable materials that can further be used in manufactured products.”

Oct 19, 2020

The European Aviation Safety Agency has declared the Boeing 737 MAX “safe” and is predicting return to service in the European Union by year’s end. U.S. and Canadian regulators have yet to sign off on recertification after control issues resulted in two crashes in late 2018 and early 2019.

Oct 19, 2020

Minutes after a weekend ceasefire in the disputed region of Naforno-Karabakh ostensibly took effect, Armenia and Azerbaijan were accusing each of violations. A previous Russian-brokered ceasefire also saw each side violating it through the week.

Oct 19, 2020

Despite calls from French politicians for more government support their country’s defence industry, Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly is standing firm. She points out that the military had €18 billion more to spend in 2018 than in 2017 and that between 2019 and 2023, its investment budget will total €110 billion.

Oct 19, 2020

A new Dutch defence ministry “vision document” cautions that the country would need to nearly triple its annual military budget, currently some USD$13 billion, to achieve what is described as “a string of vague proposals” designed to yield a multi-use networked fighting force by 2035. Moreover, meeting a NATO target of two per cent of GDP would require an additional $8 billion hike from current spending.

Oct 19, 2020

The U.S. Army has stopped accepting Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters after the company found that an employee had kept “improper” records. Boeing says it notified the customer immediately when the problem came to light at its Arizona factory.

Oct 19, 2020

Lockheed Martin and California-based Aerojet Rocketdyne plan to compete jointly for the next-generation U.S. missile defence interceptor. It would replace an earlier Redesigned Kill Vehicle program which was terminated by the Department of Defense last year due to technical challenges, but the goal now is to have a new system ready in 2028.

Oct 19, 2020

The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of surface-skimming coastal defence missiles and related gear to Romania, a deal worth some $300 million. Developed by Raytheon and Norway’s Kongsberg, the weapon already has been chosen by the U.S. Navy.

Oct 19, 2020

A compact EASA radar for small and medium-sized platforms has been shown off by Thales. Although still subject to further testing, the French military have already confirmed plans to procure it for their future light joint army helicopter. Some 30 per cent smaller than others in its class, the new unit is said to be easier to integrate and operate.

Oct 16, 2020

David Markowitz, former assistant deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Army’s G-8 office, which matches available resources to the overall Army plan, is the service’s new chief data officer. His promotion comes as the Army looks to enable multi-domain operations through massive data transfers.

Oct 16, 2020

Contrary to President Donald Trump’s social media messaging, U.S. troops will not be withdrawn from Afghanistan by Christmas. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien says the drawdown will begin in early 2021.

Oct 16, 2020

Prototype light tanks developed by BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems for integrated U.S. Army brigade combat teams are scheduled for several months of trials at Fort Bragg, NC, beginning in January.

Oct 15, 2020

A €250-million procurement of 12,000 assault rifles has been suspended by the German defence ministry in response to “verifiable information” that the chosen supplier, Haenel, may have breached a patent held by Heckler & Koch. Haenel is owned by Abu Dhabi-based Caracal International, in turn part of the United Arab Emirates EDGE Group.

Oct 15, 2020

Swarms of loitering munitions, often called “suicide drones”, were recently deployed by the Chinese military from launchers on a light tactical vehicle and from helicopters.

Oct 15, 2020

Russia has dismissed U.S. claims that there has been an “agreement in principle” on extending the New START arms control agreement. The U.S. administration’s arms control envoy, Marshall Billingslea, had said there was a “gentleman’s agreement” at the “highest levels” but Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says Washington’s proposal was “unacceptable.”

Oct 15, 2020

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev’s declaration that a military solution is the only way to resolve his country’s escalating conflict with Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh has been criticized by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne. He and his British counterpart, Dominic Raab, insist that a negotiated settlement is the only appropriate solution.

Oct 15, 2020

A German year-long research mission in the Arctic has confirmed that permanent sea ice continues to disappear due to global warming. “The ice is disappearing and if in a few decades we have an ice-free Arctic, this this will have a major impact on the climate around the world,” the chief scientist says.

Oct 15, 2020

A recent U.S. Army exercise saw a Marine Corps F-35 relay satellite-based targeting data to troops on the ground. The use of a developmental network reduced the time lag to 20 second from 20 minutes.

Oct 09, 2020

The South Korean Army wants to replace its fleet of 103 Sikorsky UH-60P Black Hawk helicopters with domestically-developed KUH-1 Surion utility helicopters. The projected cost of 130 Surions is equivalent to US$ billion, more expensive that upgrading the legacy fleet but considered an important boost for domestic industry.

Oct 09, 2020

The U.S. Air Force has succeeded in updating legacy software in one of its oldest aircraft while it was in flight with no negative effects on flight or mission systems. The experiment with a U-2 surveillance platform involved Kubernetes software technology created by Google.

Oct 09, 2020

Two European telecom service providers have chosen 5G technology from Finland’s Nokia Corp. for their networks in Belgium, dropping China’s Huawei. The decision followed months of diplomatic pressure from the U.S., which considers the Chinese technology a national security risk.

Oct 09, 2020

The Department of Defense evidently was caught off guard by President Donald Trump’s announcement 8 October that all U.S. troops will be out of Afghanistan by year’s end as opposed to a more gradual withdrawal. There is concern about sensitive equipment being left behind and evident Taliban reluctance to agree to all peace terms..

Oct 09, 2020

In stark contrast to the customary Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial, which usually draws thousands of participants and spectators, this year’s 11 November will reflect the realities of another battle: the ongoing COVID-19 campaign. The Royal Canadian Legion, which hopes to line the site with wreaths, plans to have only 100 actual participants, all masked and within protected barriers, and wants spectators to watch the ceremony remotely.

Oct 09, 2020

Nearly seven in 10 officer cadets at Canadian military colleges say they have witnessed or experienced “unwanted sexualized behaviours” in the past year, according to Statistics Canada. It also says in a report released 8 October that nearly all witnesses opted not to intervene.

Oct 08, 2020

Integrated navigation and tactical systems developed by B.C.-based OSI Maritime Systems for three inshore patrol vessels built in Cape Town for the South African navy have completed initial acceptance testing. The choice of OSI technology minimized development and shortened the delivery time.

Oct 08, 2020

The loss of an $11.3-million General Atomics MQ-9 reaper drone in Middle East airspace last April is being blamed on a loose washer which caused an electrical short in a control console back in the U.S. The result was erroneous control signals which, among other things, shut off its fuel supply and feathered its propellor.

Oct 08, 2020

Collins Aerospace has received a contract to build the U.S. Army’s Mounted Assured Position Navigation and Timing System, designed to ensure that troops know their precise location even if GPS is jammed. MAPS will fuse data from multiple sources.

Oct 08, 2020

A new hypersonic cruise missile dubbed Zircon is reported to have been tested successfully. General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov says the missile, launched from a frigate in the northern White Sea, struck a target in the Barents Sea.

Oct 08, 2020

U.S. government departments and agencies have been tasked with developing a plan to address mental health issues exacerbated by COVID-19. The White House has proposed a an “all-of-government” approach to the pandemic’s impact on all vulnerable populations.

Oct 08, 2020

David Helvey, U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary of defence for Indo-Pacific security affairs, says Taiwan’s increased defence spending still isn’t enough to cope with evolving Chinese threats. He says Taiwan needs to buy more weapons, such as coastal defence cruise missiles, and spend “intelligently” on developing indigenous weapons.

Oct 08, 2020

The escalating Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict over Nagorno-Karabachk evidently is being “shadowed” by a social-media battle over how it is being portrayed to the outside world. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute says researchers at its Cyber Policy Centre have found large numbers of accounts weighing on both sides, indicating large-scale coordination.

Oct 07, 2020

Two British men who joined an Islamic State cell dubbed “The Beatles”, and who are alleged to participated in kidnappings in Iraq and Syria, have been charged with terrorism offences arising from the killing of four U.S. hostages. Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, who have pleaded not guilty and are facing up to life imprisonment, are in FBI custody pending a federal court appearance in Virginia.

Oct 07, 2020

The controversial advent of 5G technologies will dramatically increase the number of internet-connected devices but it also increases opportunities for hackers. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has found the government’s national 5G strategy lacking in that it only partly addresses five of six key concerns and ignores the sixth.

Oct 07, 2020

Supported by the New Democratic Party, the minority Liberal government has survived a confidence vote in the House of Commons. The vote on the Speech from the Throne was 177-152 with the Conservatives, the Bloc Québécois and the Green Party voting against it.

Oct 07, 2020

The cost to taxpayers of defending then Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan in a small claims court defamation case has topped $213,500, according to information prepared by the Justice Department but released in the Senate. Former RCAF intelligence officer Sean Bruyea sued the minister (now at Natural Resources) for $25,000, saying that he had been defamed in a newspaper article written by O’Regan. The suit has since been settled without disclosure.

Oct 07, 2020

The Canadian government’s decision to suspend military exports to Turkey, pending results of an investigation into allegations that L3Harris targeting technology has been used on drones in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, has drawn a rebuke from Ankara. Stating that Canada has taken sides in the Yemen civil war (General Dynamics armoured vehicles used by Saudi Arabia), the Turkish foreign ministry said it expects “a policy that stays away from double standards.”

Oct 07, 2020

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has unveiled a plan to reshape the U.S. Navy by moving away from large aircraft carriers and using more submarines and smaller, faster unmanned vessels. He has called for an overall fleet of more than 500 by 2045 —355 by 2035 — which would require Congress to increase the navy’s shipbuilding budget.

Oct 07, 2020

The U.S. State Department has told Congress that Syria continues to obtain components for its chemical weapons and missile programs as President Bashar al-Assad tries to restore capabilities eroded by civil war and U.S. airstrikes. “The Assad regime continues to pursue chemical weapons,” the State Department said in a report just made public. Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to the UN told a Security Council session this week that Syria is breaching its international obligations governing chemical weapons.

Oct 07, 2020

California-based AeroVironment has developed a new medium-sized, man-portable loitering missile. Building on the company’s combat-proven Switchblade 300 system, the new 600 series is said to offer greater stand-off range and endurance.

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