IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

Dec 02, 2021

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Dec. 1 that Russia faces “severe costs” if it invades neighbouring Ukraine and that NATO is ready to increase its presence. “We must prepare for all contingencies,” Blinken said after an alliance ministerial meeting in Riga ahead of a planned meeting in Sweden today with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Dec 02, 2021

Public Services and Procurement Canada has confirmed that Lockheed Martin and Saab are the only contenders that “remain eligible” in the long-delayed plan to supply the RCAF with 88 new fighters as replacement for its legacy fleet of CF-188 Hornets.

Dec 02, 2021

A United States Space Priorities Framework issued Dec. 1 by the White House is designed to “transition to a more resilient national security space posture and strengthen its ability to detect and attribute hostile acts in space.” It also, among other things, commits to space-based observation to “support action on climate change” and to protect “space-related critical infrastructure.”

Dec 02, 2021

The UN says the global need for humanitarian aid is rocketing toward an all-time high in 2022 as COVID-19, climate change and regional conflicts exacerbate the prospect of widespread famine. Accordingly, its humanitarian relief arm appealed today for a record US$41 billion in funding to help people it says are most in need, up from $35 billion in 2021 and double what it sought four years ago.

Dec 02, 2021

President Vladimir Putin said Dec. 1 that he wants “legal guarantees” that NATO would stop deployments near Ukraine’s borders with Russia. “Any agreements must take interests of Russia and all Euro-Atlantic countries into account,” he told newly-accredited foreign diplomats. “A calm and stable situation must be ensured for all.”

Dec 01, 2021

Lockheed Martin has developed a pared-down F-35 trainer with 90 per cent less hardware which could see air forces expand their training capacity at reduced cost. F-35 Mission Rehearsal Trainer Lightning Integrated Training Environment was unveiled after some 18 months of development and demonstrations to customers.

Dec 01, 2021

Even as Boeing is set to begin delivering 351 new T-7A Red Hawk advanced jet trainers, developed with Saab, to the USAF in 2023 under a $9.2-billion contract awarded in 2018, the service is already considering a new aircraft which would emulate the latest-generation frontline fighters. Its release of a Request for Information is prompting questions about strategies and priorities.

Dec 01, 2021

European Union defence ministers have approved 14 collaborative projects designed to boost the bloc’s military capabilities in in many domains. They include a new large strategic long-haul air transport, a semi-autonomous naval vessel, a “next-generation” small drone and a “three-step approach combining training for space military operations, space resilience and access to space and in-space maneuverability.

Dec 01, 2021

NORAD’s commanding officer, USAF Gen Glen VanHerck, said a visit to Ottawa that included a briefing for political and military leaders, has acknowledged that the evolving threat of hypersonic weapons is “very challenging” for him “going forward.” While it was not an immediate priority, he told reporters that since “the most important mission I do is provide threat warning and attack assessment . . . hypersonics will challenge my ability to do that.”

Dec 01, 2021

Discrete mission-specific weapons appear to be on the way out for the U.S. Air Force as it transitions to generic munitions with “low-cost, swappable” payloads that can be used in a variety of ways. MGen Jason R. Armagost, a global strike command planner, disclosed the plan Nov. 30, saying that the “multi-domain” munitions would comprise the main body of USAF conventional weaponry. Its only specialty weapons likely would be long-range missiles and heavy munitions.

Nov 30, 2021

Israeli companies like GADFIN develop very advanced drones that can play a very important role in homeland security and disaster operations. The most recent system  unveiled by GADFIN is called Spirit One. Epitomizing the next generation of drone technology, it enables a fully autonomous drone delivery network based on its record-breaking long range eVTOLs.

Nov 30, 2021

The Ehud air combat maneuvering instrumentation and analysis system from IAI played a major role in the recent international Blue Flag exercise held recently in Israel. 

Nov 30, 2021

The chief Airbus Defence and Space engineer on the Eurodrone project said Nov. 30 that she expects the industry to move ahead on Europe’s premier unmanned aerial system program in a couple of months. “We have the green light from Germany, from Italy and from France, and we are in the waiting . . . on Spain,” Daniela Lohwasser said. An engine supplier has yedt to be chosen but she expects a successful bid would be confirmed “right right after contract signature.”

Nov 30, 2021

William LaPlante, a former U.S. assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition until he left for the private sector in 2015, has been tapped to become Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment for the Department of Defense.

Nov 30, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned NATO against deploying troops and weapons to Ukraine, saying it would be crossing a “red line” for him because it could threaten his country. “I hope that it will not get to that and common sense and responsibility for their own countries and the global community will eventually prevail,” he said Nov. 30.

Nov 30, 2021

The U.S. Defense Department says its latest annual global posture review is “complete” but it has been derided by Benjamin H. Friedman, policy director at the Defense Priorities think-tank. “It arrives at last today, sort of, with a whimper,” he said Nov. 29. “The Pentagon . . . issued a short press release heralding its achievements, which appear to be none. . . . The Pentagon effectively patted itself on the shoulder in secret and told taxpayers ‘trust us; all is well.’ It isn’t.”

Nov 30, 2021

Fifteen scaled-down versions of a 2,000-lb air-launched autonomous cargo delivery drone developed by Los Angeles-based Silent Arrow have been ordered by the U.S. Air Force for deployment at high altitude and air speed. The company said the 500lb drone, deployable from platforms as small as a Cessna Caravan, is designed to carry up to 350lbs of cargo for “humanitarian and tactical markets.”

Nov 30, 2021

Military electronics specialist Aselsan, Turkey’s largest defense company, has signed a deal with two Ukrainian businesses to upgrade Ukrainian-made versions of the Russian-designed Mi-8 medium-lift helicopter. More than 17,000 have been produced and, still manufactured today, are flown in 80 countries and an Aselsan official says “the deal will involve all Mi-8s in the inventory of several militaries.”

Nov 30, 2021

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is suing his erstwhile department, saying it is improperly withholding information he wants to include in a “unvarnished and candid memoir” memoir of his turbulent time in the Trump administration. Filed Nov. 28, the claim says his memoir covers “an unprecedented time of civil unrest, public health crises, growing threats abroad, Pentagon transformation, and a White House seemingly bent on circumventing the Constitution.”

Nov 30, 2021

Four weeks after the U.S. Department of Defense said it had found no evidence of misconduct in a drone strike that killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan in March 2019, the department opened up new investigation Nov. 29. Gen Michael X. Garrett, head of Army Forces Command, has been 90 days by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to review the strike and how its results were briefed up the chain of command. The New York Times, which broke the story, said the original investigation by the Inspector General reportedly was “stalled and stripped of any mention of the strike.”

Nov 30, 2021

Yet another partial shutdown of the U.S. government is looming as Congress struggles to strike a deal on a stopgap budget measure. Congress avoided a shutdown in October by passing a short-term budget extension which is in effect until Dec. 3 in the hope that it would give political negotiators time to work out a full-year spending plan for the current fiscal year

Nov 30, 2021

The U.S. wants Canada to commit medical units and drones to UN peacekeeping missions and to fulfill a commitment at a November 2017 UN ministerial meeting in Vancouver to provide a 200-member military rapid-reaction force. Part of preparations for a summit next week in South Korea, the request came in a diplomatic note to Global Affairs Canada dated Nov. 8 which thanks Canada for previous deployments but stresses the need to do more.

Nov 30, 2021

Metin Gurcan, a defence analyst and co-founder of the Turkish opposition Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), has been jailed pending trial for what President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government says was “political and military espionage.” The retired member of the Turkish Armed Forces helped establish DEVA with Ali Babacan, a former deputy prime minister and minister under Erdogan.

Nov 30, 2021

Human Rights Watch said today that the Taliban have summarily killed or “disappeared” more than 100 former Afghan police and intelligence officers since taking power in mid-August. The New York-based group says the Taliban have been using employment records to targeted those who surrendered and were promised amnesty. “The pattern of killings has sown terror throughout Afghanistan, as no one associated with the former government can feel,” the group says.

Nov 30, 2021

The Russian navy has tested a missile President Vladimir Putin says is capable of flying at Mach 9 with a range of 1,000km. The Zircon cruise missile is reportedly one of several hypersonic weapons under development in Russia.

Nov 30, 2021

Just before U.S. Secretary of Defense Antony Blinken arrived in Latvia Nov. 29 for a meeting of NATO defence ministers, Artis Pabriks, the Baltic state’s defence minister said his country needs a permanent U.S. military presence to deter Russia’s regional aggression.

Nov 29, 2021

On 30 November 2021, NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, and its Innovation Hub in Norfolk, Virginia, are co-hosting an important biannual competition in Ottawa, Canada. The Allies are looking for ways to defend the cognitive dimension against adversaries who are rapidly weaponizing information, using especially social media and turning potentially every connected device into a vector of attack.

Nov 29, 2021

A series of initiatives designed to improve the military’s culture is expected to be rolled out “in the next few weeks” as Gen Wayne Eyre, the new Chief of the Defence Staff, continues to grapple with the fallout from a series of sexual misconduct investigations involving senior officers. “One of the things that I have learned is transparency and talking about measures that we're going to take and consultation ¬— and using that as a vehicle to dispel the perception of an old boys club,” he says.

Nov 29, 2021

The Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen Wayne Eyre, says he has advised commanders to keep in mind “who we work for” after his predecessor, Adm Art McDonald, wrote a letter to senior officers in which he argued for reinstatement. “I had to jump in and remind them that we work for our duly elected civilian officials, who represent the will of the Canadian population,” Eyre says. “That civil-military relationship needs to be reinforced because that’s the strength of a democracy. We just have to be absolutely clear that we know who we work for.”

Nov 29, 2021

The U.S. Navy is looking at technology which could enhance navigation in places where the Global Positioning System doesn’t work well, notably at high latitudes. The research focuses on cosmic ray muons, a natural radiation source which passes through the planet and measuring distance between multiple detectors could facilitate triangulation.

Nov 29, 2021

In the latest in a long series of incursions, China flew 18 fighters, five bombers and a tanker into Taiwan’s air defense buffer zone Nov. 28. Taiwan scrambled aircraft to “warn” the Chinese planes to leave and activated missile systems to monitor them.

Nov 29, 2021

The U.S. National Guard, critical to dealing with domestic emergencies as well as the country’s defence status, is reportedly fraught with corruption and misconduct. Decades of complaints by members of the system of 54 state- and territory-controlled militias have complained for decades about abuses that suggest a failure of culture and oversight.

Nov 29, 2021

The current Foreign Military Financing (FMF) agreement between the U.S. and Israel is the largest ever granted to date, but changes to the agreement now includes consequences to the Israeli defence industry.

Nov 26, 2021

US officials have warned Israel that targeting Iran's nuclear scientist and enrichment facilities may encourage Tehran to speed up its nuclear program. On Tuesday, a defiant Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a speech about the Israeli strategy aimed at foiling the Iranian plan, that Israel will maintain its freedom to act alone if necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Nov 25, 2021

Boeing reportedly has been advised that it has been dropped from the competition to supply 88 new fighters for the RCAF because its offer did not meet the government’s requirements. Subject to confirmation, that would leave Lockheed Martin and Saab competing for the $19-billion contract the governments expects to award next year.

Nov 25, 2021

After acting in the position since February 2021, General Wayne Eyre has now been appointed to the position of Chief of the Defence Staff. Congratulating him, Defence Minister Anita Anand confirmed that "General Eyre and I will continue to work together to build a military where all members feel safe, protected, and respected, wherever they are, whatever they are doing."

Nov 25, 2021

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned Russian President Vladimir Putin today that any attack on Ukraine would result in costly “political, economic and human losses.” He also said that he was “not trying to guess what is in Putin’s head” but rather “to give him a clear understanding” of the potential consequences.

Nov 25, 2021

France formally signed off today on the sale of 12 Dassault Aviation Rafale fighters to Croatia. The €999-million procurement will replace the NATO member’s mostly non-operational squadron of 1960s-vintage Russian MiG-21s from the former Yugloslavian air force.

Nov 25, 2021

Citing national security and foreign policy concerns, the U.S. has added a dozen more Chinese companies to its restricted trade list as well as Japanese, Pakistani and Singaporean companies and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Eight of the Chinese companies allegedly assisted the military's quantum computing efforts and acquired or tried “to acquire U.S. origin-items in support of military applications.”

Nov 25, 2021

China Mobile International, a state entity which provides services in Canada in partnership with Telus, is seeking a Federal Court order to stay a federal order to divest its stake in a Canadian subsidiary. The government informed the company last January of a review on security grounds, saying the business could be leveraged by China for foreign interference. After hearing arguments from both sides, FC Chief Justice Paul Crampton said Nov. 24 that he hoped to rule “sooner rather than later.”

Nov 24, 2021

A new report on Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, shot down by Iranian missiles in January 2020, accuses Tehran of using civilian air passengers to shield itself from possible U.S. attacks. The result of 17 months of investigation by families of the 176 passengers who died, it is based on audio recordings of Iranian officials, tests of victims' phones from the crash site and consultations with military and air defence experts.

Nov 24, 2021

The coalition government in Germany today confirmed its commitment to NATO’s nuclear deterrent. It is essentially a key to its defence and foreign policy which stresses fostering cooperation through the EU and NATO while preparing for a “systemic contest” with authoritarian states.

Nov 24, 2021

A Canadian Army bombardier who served cannabis-laced cupcakes to other troops during a 2018 live-fire exercise in New Brunswick has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and is to be dismissed from the military after being reduced in rank. Prosecutors had asked for one year in jail for Chelsea Cogswell, whose lawyer plans to appeal.

Nov 24, 2021

Evocative of a number of Hollywood asteroid strike movies over the years, including 1998’s Deep Impact, the U.S. National Aeronautics & Space Administration has launched a mission to test technology designed to deflect an asteroid which is not on a collision course with Earth. Launched from California today on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the $325-million Dart mission is expected to intercept an asteroid next September.

Nov 24, 2021

Delivery of the U.S. President’s fleet of new VH-92 helicopters has been delayed by Lockheed Martin after the Defense Department warned that they are not “operationally suitable”, particularly in emergencies. A summary says the $217-million aircraft based on the Sikorsky S-92 civil helicopter is “failing to meet the reliability, availability or maintainability threshold requirements” or “the contingency operation mission.”

Nov 24, 2021

The Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Winnipeg has joined Australian, German, Japanese and U.S. ships in an exercise in the Philippine Sea off southern Japan this week. On completion of the exercise, the frigate will end a four-month regional deployment and return to its homeport in Esquimalt, B.C.

Nov 24, 2021

Morocco and Israel already benefit from increased economic cooperation, bilateral tourism, and warm people-to-people relations. Now, with the signing of a groundbreaking defence MOU, the two countries are in the process of developing a project to produce attack drones in the kingdom

Nov 23, 2021

Australia signed an agreement with the U.S. and Britain Nov. 22 as a key element of its plan to build a nuclear-powered submarine fleet with the allies’ assistance. President Joe Biden had signed a memorandum approving the arrangement two days earlier but a formal British endorsement was still pending.

Nov 23, 2021

In what was described as one of “many” protests across the country, a small group gathered in front of Parliament Hill Nov. 22 to call for cancellation of the government’s long-delayed procurement of 88 replacements for the RCAF’s legacy fleet of Boeing CF-188 Hornets. The government has said it would “down select” the final competitors from Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Saab this month as it works toward a contract award next year.

Nov 22, 2021

While the number of rank-and-file personnel in the Canadian Armed Forces has shrunk in recent years, new documents confirm that the top brass has been fairly static. As for last March, the regular force totalled 65,644 with 129 generals and admirals compared with 85,977 and 137, respectively, a decade earlier.

Nov 22, 2021

Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Missiles and Defense have been selected by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency to come up with an “accelerated concept design” for a hypersonic missile defence capability. The goal is a weapon which would fit the U.S. Navy’s current vertical-launch Aegis ballistic missile destroyers.

Nov 22, 2021

vFormer Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is urging Canada to become more actively involved in his country's bid for NATO membership, particularly in light of ongoing Russian activities on its border. Asked whether she is prepared to support Ukraine’s bid, Defence Minister Anita Anand said she is concerned for the Ukrainian people and that she is discussing the NATO membership idea with the government and its international partners.

Nov 22, 2021

Former Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, whose government banned Huawei Technologies from providing equipment for his country’s 5G wireless networks, is urging Canada to follow suit on grounds of national security. “You’re not dealing with a government . . . that pays too much attention to the rule of law,” he said Nov. 21 during a visit to Halifax. The question his government faced was whether it wanted to put its interests “in the hands of a company that absolutely would have to act at the direction of the Chinese government?”

Nov 22, 2021

Russia has accused the West of whipping up tensions around Ukraine with repeated suggestions that it is poised to attack. A Kremlin spokesman was responding Nov. 21 to a statement by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that there are growing international concerns. “We are being accused of some kind of unusual military activity on our territory by those who have brought in their armed forces from across the ocean,” said Dmitry Peskov. “It's not really logical or polite.”

Nov 22, 2021

BGen Kyrylo Budano, head of Ukraine’s intelligence agency, said on the weekend that Russia is preparing for an attack by the end of January or beginning of February, likely involving air, artillery and armour followed by airborne and amphibious assaults. He said Russia’s Zapad 21 exercise earlier this year proved the strategic capability and that the larger deployment he fears would follow would be devastating.

Nov 22, 2021

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said today that he doesn’t want a confrontation with Poland over Middle Eastern migrants in his country who are seeking access to the EU but he also also said that if the situation deteriorated further, war could be “unavoidable.” The EU has accused Belarus of deliberately massing migrants at its in response to sanctions imposed after Lukashenko’s disputed reelection last year.

Nov 21, 2021

Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence, and acting CDS General Wayne Eyre, held several bilateral meetings at the 13th annual edition of the Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) on November 19 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Nov 19, 2021

Germany has a special responsibility to maintain its role in NATO as a linchpin of nuclear deterrence, says Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “This means providing more and new capabilities: soldiers that are well-trained and well-equipped, planes that can fly and ships that can sail,” he said today ahead of talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel. He said the nuclear strategy is the alliance’s “ultimate security guarantee.”

Nov 19, 2021

Julianne Smith, a former deputy national security advisor and President Joe Biden’s choice for U.S. Ambassador to NATO, was confirmed today by the Senate after a lone Republican removed his objection to her nomination. Smith also is a former director of European and NATO policy at the Pentagon.

Nov 19, 2021

Britain has confirmed new military collaborations with Poland and the Ukraine after a visit earlier this week by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. Poland announced Nov. 18 that it had selected MBDA’s Common Anti-air Modular Missile as the centerpiece of its new air defense system as part of a sweeping military modernization agenda. While in Ukraine, Wallace said the two countries had progressed in talks about updating Ukraine’s navy.

Nov 19, 2021

The head of NATO’s military committee, Adm Rob Bauer of the Royal Netherlands Navy, said Nov. 19 that the alliance as a whole is “unlikely” to label China as an adversary in its next strategy document beause of its geographic distance as well as NATO members need to catch up with China’s technological progress. “The perspective from the U.S. is different because they are part of the Pacific,” he said. “For them, the relationship is different . . . than for NATO.”

Nov 19, 2021

Evolving cyberthreats “with a full range of capabilities” are the target of a new U.S.-U.K. initiative they say will “impose consequences” on common adversaries. The plan was discussed last week at an annual meeting of intelligence chiefs who “reaffirmed” their commitment Nov. 18.

Nov 19, 2021

Canadian diplomat Deborah Lyons, a former ambassador to Afghanistan and Israel and now the UN envoy to Afghanistan, has told the Security Council that an Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan has spread to nearly all 34 provinces and that the Taliban “appears to rely heavily on extrajudicial detentions and killings” of its members. “Once limited to a few provinces and the capital, ISKP now seems to be present in nearly all provinces, and increasingly active,” she said Nov. 17, adding that its attacks have quintupled this year.

Nov 19, 2021

Anchorage has been confirmed by the U.S. as the site of a Center for Arctic Security Studies, pat of a network of international academic institutions for bilateral and multilateral research and training. Anchorage was the sole candidate amidst growing concerns that as northern ice melts and shipping lanes open, there is potential increased risk of conflict.

Nov 19, 2021

There are reports of new and evolving confrontation between Azeri and Armenian forces in the long-disputed border region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Each side has reported casualties in the latest outbreak of hostilities that began Nov. 16.

Nov 19, 2021

Canadian Army engineers began working with civilian contractors today on building a 2km levee in the hope of preventing more flooding in the southern B.C. mainland city of Abbotsford after a dike failed during a major storm. The affected area is part of a lake drained for farming a century ago.

Nov 18, 2021

Ten persons were injured, one seriously, in a “significant” explosion today at CFB Comox on Vancouver Island. Six were treated at the base medical unit, three others in stable condition were taken to hospital in stable condition and the most seriously injured was airlifted to hospital. A base official said the blast occurred in an unoccupied barracks building which was being renovated.

Nov 18, 2021

Fourteen collaborative projects designed to enhance EU capabilities in air, space and drone operations have been approved by the member states’ defence ministers. Together with 46 others approved since 2017, they are a key component of EU defense aspirations but are not expected to yield any useable gear in the immediate future.

Nov 18, 2021

Jerry McLean will take over as Babcock Canada's new Chief Executive Officer effective 22 November 2021. McLean succeeds Mike Whalley, who will be retiring in December 2021.

Nov 18, 2021

Three Chinese coast guard vessels used water cannons as part of a Nov. 16 blockade of two Philippines supply ships within the country’s exclusive economic zone. Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin said the ships were taking food supplies to military personnel in a region also claimed by China in a long-standing dispute which also involves several other countries.

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