IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

Aug 29, 2022

General Dynamics Land Systems has been tapped build 250 of the latest Abrams main battle tanks for Poland. Initially requested by Poland a year ago, the first M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams are expected to reach the country’s military in early 2025.

Aug 29, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a major buildup of his country’s military in an apparent effort to rebuild an army severely depleted by his six-month war on Ukraine. If realized, it would add 137,000 troops, bringing the total force to 1.15 million by year’s end.

Aug 29, 2022

Northrop Grumman has disclosed that a USAF B-2 Spirit stealth bomber bomber successfully released a long-range cruise missile during a test in December 2021. The missile, which has a range of more than 500 miles, had already been integrated into other USAF bombers as well as fighters.

Aug 29, 2022

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has ended a visit to the Canadian Arctic by, among other things, underlining the threats to the region posed by Russia and China. He and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about increased cooperation but stopped short of committing to major NATO-led exercises in the region and Defence Minister Anita Anand later said the government “has no plans” to do so.

Aug 29, 2022

Annoyed by the inclusion of an expression of “grave concern” about Europe’s largest nuclear power station, in Ukraine, Russia has blocked adoption of a declaration by a delayed United Nations conference about renewal of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The accord is reviewed by its 191 signatories every five years, and participants in the previous review, in 2015, also failed to reach an agreement.

Aug 29, 2022

Canada has agreed extend its lease of a converted civilian vessel as a temporary Royal Canadian Navy supply ship for two years. The government’s announcement of the $187-million deal with Quebec-based Chantier Davie shipbuilding comes months after it was disclosed that delivery of two new “oilers” would be delayed by two years.

Aug 25, 2022

Described by some as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “brain” and by others as a “harmless cult figure,” hard-core nationalist Alexander Dugin became the focus of renewed interest when his daughter died in a car-bombing outside Moscow last weekend. There is growing speculation that Dugin may have been the target, given his prominent advocacy of the invasion of Ukraine and Russian expansionism in general.

Aug 25, 2022

More than 1,000 troops from Georgia, many of them combat-hardened veterans from when Russia invaded their homeland in 2008, have been incorporated into the Ukraine military’s campaign against Russia’s latest expansionism. The Georgian Legion has grown from a small fringe militia into one of the country’s most stalwart special forces groups.

Aug 25, 2022

Facing increased Chinese aggression, Taiwan has unveiled plans for a 13.9 per cent increase in defence spending next year, to a record US$19.41 billion. The plan includes new fighters and other equipment as well as “special funds” for the defence department.

Aug 25, 2022

J.R. McDonald, vice-president of F-35 business development at Lockheed Martin, says “there’s huge interest from around the world” in the fighter as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “makes everybody re-think their protection and their security of their own country.” The growing foreign interest comes at a time when the U.S. moves to reduce orders within its own budget.

Aug 25, 2022

Three employees of Finland's largest daily newspaper went on trial today, charged with publishing classified defence intelligence in 2017. They had disclosed details of a military intelligence unit when parliament was debating whether to expand its powers to monitor private data in digital networks. In a country reknowned for its press freedoms, the prosecutor has demanded at least suspended sentences.

Aug 25, 2022

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is in the Canadian North this week for an unprecedented tour of defence installations. Officials say the visit is meant to highlight that the region is a security priority, in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and issues related to climate change.

Aug 25, 2022

Two Lockheed Martin CC-130J Hercules transports have been redployed by the RCAF from Kuwait to a base in Scotland to reinforce Canadian supply arms and other shipments to Ukraine. Part of Operation Impact, the aircraft and their crews had been supporting anti-terrorism operations and UN peacekeeping missions in Africa.

Aug 24, 2022

A Canadian veteran seeking help with PTSD reportedly was advised last month by a Veterans Affairs Canada to consider medically-assisted death. The government has ordered a “thorough investigation” of the case and VAC says its case managers and other staff “have no mandate or role to recommend medical assistance in dying.”

Aug 24, 2022

With each side blaming the other for starting it, fighting erupted today between Ethiopian forces and insurgents in the country’s northern region of Tigray after a months-long ceasefire.

Aug 24, 2022

The U.S. Army has ordereed 163 unarmoured Beowulf all-terrain vehicles from BAE Systems for cold weather operations. The $278-million contract also includes spares and logistics support. The Beowulf is based on the BvS10 armored variant in service with Austria, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Aug 24, 2022

Fifteen Leopard 2 tanks, along with ammunition, spares and training, are being sent by Germany to Slovakia to replace 30 Soviet-era tracked BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles sent to Ukraine. The defence ministry said August 23 that the deal is one of several “ring swaps” with eastern European countries since Russia invaded Ukraine six months ago.

Aug 24, 2022

Three officers in India’s air force have been dismissed for having accidentally fired a nuclear-capable missile into Pakistan last March. The BrahMos land-attack cruise missile was jointly developed by Russia and India.

Aug 24, 2022

The Turkish government has shipped 50 locally-manufactured but used Kipri mine-resistant and ambush-protected troop carriers to Ukraine. More than 1,500 of the vehicles designed by BMC Otomotiv Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş., have been sold domestically and to export customers since it was prototyped in 2009.

Aug 23, 2022

Drawing a predictably angry response from its northern neighbour, South Korea and the U.S. have begun their biggest combined military exercise in years. Ulchi Freedom Shield, involving aircraft, ships, tanks and potentially tens of thousands of troops, is scheduled to run through September 1. It began in conjunction with a four day civil defence training program.

Aug 23, 2022

An Airbus drone being tested by the U.S. Army Futures Command has smashed endurance records by staying along for 64 days in the stratosphere over several U.S. states and internationally before crashing in the Arizona desert. The previous drone record was just under 26 days.

Aug 23, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled plans today for a team which he said will focus on countering Russian disinformation and propaganda. The initiative is part of a package of new measures, including extended sanctions, designed to support Ukraine and punish Russia for invading Ukraine six months ago with global repercussions.

Aug 23, 2022

In an effort to bolster its defensive posture, the Israeli navy is enhancing its operational cooperation with the U.S. fifth fleet, which is based in Bahrain.

Aug 23, 2022

Ottawa Police Service is investigating the discovery of handguns, rifles, knives and ammunition in two units at the Perley Health long-term care campus for some 600 seniors and military veterans. Meanwhile, the facility says it is reviewing “all policies related to possession and storage of weapons.”

Aug 22, 2022

Indonesian President Joko Widodo says his Russian and Chinese counterparts both plan to attend November’s G20 meeting in Bali. He says he has been assured that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping would attend the first summit since Russia invaded Ukraine six months ago and since China ratcheted up tensions over Taiwan, potentially setting the stage for a confrontation with the U.S. and its G20 allies.

Aug 22, 2022

The global proliferation of access to, or freedom of, information legislation, which began in the 1950s when a California Democrat in the House of Representatives was refused access to details about fired postal workers, has been a boon for journalists and other researchers. However, increased access to military documents has not been without its consequences, especially when companies monetize their findings.

Aug 22, 2022

Users of iPhones, iPads, iMacs and some older iPods are being advised to update their operating systems after Apple disclosed two vulnerabilities which could give hackers “full admin access” to the devices. Issued last week, the disclosure evidently received little attention outside of technical publications and Apple explained only that the problem has been discovered by an anonymous researcher.

Aug 22, 2022

Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics Mission Systems have been awarded a $15-million U.S. Army contract to develop concepts for an electromagnetic attack and collection system that integrates cyber, signal intelligence and electronic warfare capabilities. The eventual goal of the project is giving deployed troops long-distance real-time data about their immediate surroundings.

Aug 19, 2022

Unlike USAF Special Operations, which grounded its fleet of 52 Bell Boeing CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotors earlier this week due to concerns about gearbox clutches, the Marine Corps is continuing to fly its nearly 300 Ospreys. A spokesman said August 18 that the Corps has known about the problem since 2010 and has trained pilots how to deal with it.

Aug 18, 2022

CFB Petawawa, a couple of hours northwest of Ottawa, was the site of a public display by the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiments, of its paratroopers’ skills August 17. Jumping from a Lockheed Martin CC-130 Hercules transport at low altitude, dozens of troops landed on an Ottaw River beach as well as into the water itself. “Paratroopers may at some point accidentally land in the water, so conducting an exercise such as this today allows us to practice their drills and how to react accordingly,” said the exercise’s organizer, Major Paul Mayne.

Aug 18, 2022

NATO is prepared to increase its nearly 4,000-strong peacekeeping force in Kosovo if there is an escalation of tensions with neighbouring Serbia. “If needed, we will move forces, deploy them where needed and increase our presence,” Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, flanked by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, told reporters in Brussels August 17. “We have already increased the presence in the north; we are ready to do more.”

Aug 17, 2022

Clutch problems on four of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command’ fleet of 52 Bell-Boeing CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotors have resulted in the entire fleet being grounded August 16. A spokesperson said the decision by the commander of AFSOC, Lieutenant General Jim Slife, was simple concern for the safety of the crews who fly the Rolls Royce-powered aircraft.

Aug 17, 2022

The Department of Defense has released an unprecedented policy designed to govern the use of social media by its uniformed and civlian personnel. Among other things, it discourages public affairs staff from editorializing official posts, warning that ‘if social media is mismanaged or mishandled, the U.S. Government’s reputation with the American public; relationships with interagency, international, state, local, and tribal entities; military operations; and reputation for a high ethical and professional standard may be compromised.”

Aug 17, 2022

With a new school year looming and summer holidays winding down, Quebec Premier François Legault has announced that residents aged 75 or older could book another coronavirus vaccination immediately. Those aged at least 60 as well as anyone 12 or older who are considered vulnerable could begin booking August 22 and that all others over the age of 18 will be eligible a week later. “More people will be inside, there will be more contagion,” he said August 16, calling the immunization effort so far a success. “It's a really good time to be launching a massive vaccination campaign.”

Aug 17, 2022

In a perceived bid to consolidate his power, the head of Myanmar’s military government, which seized power in February 2031, has dismissed cabinet members and senior military officers in the face of continued civil resistance. The heads of the navy and air force are among those fired by Army General Min Aung Hlaing.

Aug 17, 2022

China’s defence ministry announced today that it will send troops to Russia later this month to participate in Vostok East military exercises which also will include troops from Belarus, India, Mongolia, Tajikistan and elsewhere. The ministry said its decision is “unrelated to the current international and regional situation.”

Aug 17, 2022

The U.S. Air Force tested an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile Aug. 16, nearly two weeks after it was delayed to avoid inflaming tensions with China. Launched from California, it splashed down some 6,800 kilometres away in the South Pacific near Kwajalein island, where the U.S. Navy has maintained a base since World War II.

Aug 17, 2022

An RCAF Boeing C-177 Globemaster III heavy transport deployed from CFB Trenton, Ont., was a key factor in the rescue of two miners trapped underground in the Dominican Republic. The aircraft was used to airlift excavation equipment owned by a Quebec drilling company.

Aug 17, 2022

Russia's vaunted Black Sea fleet, based in Crimea, has a new commander today after several bases on the peninsula annexed from Ukraine in 2014 were rocked by explosions in the past nine days. State-owned media say Viktor Sokolov, who replaced Igor Osipov, was introduced to the fleet's military council in the port of Sevastopol.

Aug 16, 2022

Microsoft has published new details about suspected Russian hackers who have carried out cyberespionage attacks against NATO government organizations, think tanks, and defence contractors since at least 2017. The company’s Threat Intelligence Center said August 15 that it has “taken actions to disrupt campaigns” launched by the group.

Aug 16, 2022

The U.S. Air Force fleet of Lockheed Martin\s F-35A fighters has resumed operations after their Martin Baker ejection seat initiator cartridges had been inspected. A USAF spokeswoman said August 15 that four cartridges were replaced but inspection showed they were not defective.

Aug 16, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that the U.S. is prolonging the war in Ukraine because “they need conflicts to retain their hegemony.” Opening a conference in Moscow, he also said the U.S. is “using the people of Ukraine as cannon fodder.”

Aug 15, 2022

Deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, already sentenced to 11 years in prison on alleged corruption charges, faces the prospect of six additional years today after a closed-door trial by the country’s military rulers. Her lawyers have been ordered not to disclose details of the latest trial of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate whose government was overthrown in a February 2021 coup.

Aug 15, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is looking to expand his “comprehensive and constructive bilateral relations” with his North Korean counterpart. Kim Jong-Un has responded in a letter of his own that renewed “strategic and tactical cooperation, support and solidarity . . . had been put on a new high stage, in the common front for frustrating the hostile forces' military threat and provocation.”

Aug 15, 2022

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali was expected to resume today, a month after local authorities suspended rotations after accusing 49 troops from Ivory Coast of entering their country without permission. Ivory Coast says those troops were deployed as part of a MINUSMA support contract but they remain in detention.

Aug 15, 2022

Canada is giving fully-vaccinated travellers entering through the land border a one-time exemption from fines or quarantine requirements if they unknowingly fail to submit the required health documents through the ArriveCAN app. Canadians citizens, permanent residents, persons registered under the Indian Act, and foreign nationals are eligible.

Aug 15, 2022

Even as Europe’s security architecture has evolved since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine six months ago, and Sweden and Finland seek NATO membership, Austria continues to sit on the fence. A member of European Union and partner with NATO in various ways, including sending aid and non-lethal weapons to Ukraine, the government’s stance reflects the fact that 80 per cent of Austrians don’t want to join the military alliance.

Aug 15, 2022

Although pandemic-related supply chain issues and worker shortages plagued the U.S. aerospace and defence sector in 2021, sales growth was mostly flat but revenues of the top 100 companies climbed for a sixth consecutive year. They rose nearly eight per cent from 2020 to $595 billion with the top 10 companies accounting for some 52 per cent of the total

Aug 15, 2022

The U.S. is contributing $89 million to help rid Ukraine of unexploded ordinance and landmines left by Russian in some areas from where they have retreated. The funds will go to non-governmental organizations to pay for de-mining teams comprised of Ukrainians and for contractors to train them.

Aug 12, 2022

Having lost access to Russia’s space launch facilities in neighbouring Kazakhstan, the European Space Agency has begun discussions with SpaceX and potentially other service providers. about using their facilities. “There are two and a half options that we're discussing,” ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher has confirmed. The other prospects include Japan and India but he considers the U.S. company “more operational.”

Aug 12, 2022

This morning, Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny assumed command of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) from Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger. The ceremony was presided over by General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.

Aug 12, 2022

The parliament in Latvia is calling on its NATO allies to impose more comprehensive sanctions on Russia, which it has formally designated a “state sponsor of terrorism” over its invasion of Ukraine. “Latvia recognises Russia's actions in Ukraine as targeted,” it said August 11, also calling for increased western military, financial, humanitarian and diplomatic support.

Aug 12, 2022

The government of Mali, which has experienced three military coups since 2012 and is considered extremely unstable, has refused permission for routine flyovers by a UN peacekeeping mission. As a result, Germany announced today that it has suspended most operations there until further notice.

Aug 12, 2022

Cory Moore, a former Canadian military officer who helped to develop the Afghan National Army’s legal branch, says a group of lawyers and others who supported his work have been “left in the dark” by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. He is pressing the department to to accelerate its processing of the claims by 12 individuals and their families who fear Taliban reprisals.

Aug 12, 2022

It has cost the U.S. Navy $400,000 each to unclog stoppages in heads aboard a couple of aircraft carriers. First documented on one carrier in 2020 and more recently in another newer ship by the Government Accountability Office, the problem is that the sheer volume of waste generated by a crew of 4,000 required an “acid flush” but the USN says it has remedied the issue.

Aug 11, 2022

A Canadian Armed Forces veteran has been charged with murder after a July 31 nightclub shooting in Belize left two people dead and eight others injured. J.R. Smith, who served with the Royal Canadian Regiment in Afghanistan as part of Operation Medusa in 2006, is accused of driving the getaway vehicle. Originally from Newfoundland, he was profiled by CTV five years ago as part of a Remembrance Day feature on veteran entrepreneurship.

Aug 11, 2022

Russia has denied extensive damage at an airbase in Crimea August 9 but comparative satellite imagery provided by California-based Planet Labs shows infrastructure damage and destroyed aircraft. It is believed to have been caused by Ukrainian forces but so far Kyiv has not claimed responsibility.

Copenhagen Conference looks to support Ukraine
Aug 11, 2022

Today, Defence Minister Anita Anand participated virtually in the Copenhagen Conference for Northern European Defence Allies of Ukraine. The conference aims to determine how Northern European Allies and other partners can strengthen collaboration and enhance support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s unprovoked, unjustifiable, and illegal attack.

Aug 11, 2022

Airbus could be getting a contract next year to supply the RCAF with four A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports after being designated as the only qualified supplier. As of August 10, the company had not responded to a Request for Proposal but DND said once that is in Ottawa’s hands, “an assessment and negotiation will occur.” The RCAF wants the first aircraft operational by 2028.

Aug 10, 2022

A hard landing by one of the RCAF’s 1960s-era Canadair CT-114 Tutor jets in B.C. last week has resulted in the Snowbirds demonstration team being grounded for the foreseeable future. The pilot was uninjured but the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division ordered the fleet grounded August 10 pending the results of a “broad risk analysis.”

Aug 10, 2022

The Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre, says the Canadian Armed Forces’ coronavirus vaccination program, mandated last October, remains an operational necessity, but he plans to “tweak” it to find a “sweet spot" between the military's medical, legal, operational and ethical requirements. “This is an institution that's unlike any other because . . . we are the nation's insurance policy,” he says. “We have to go into dangerous locations and close confined quarters, we have to deploy overseas, where there's potentially an increased threat with the pandemic.”

Aug 09, 2022

A Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet blown off the flight deck of an aircraft carrier during a July 8 storm in the Mediterranean has been recovered by U.S. Navy salvors using a used a remotely-operated vehicle at a depth of 9,500 feet. The aircraft was transported to a “nearby military installation” for eventual shipment to the U.S

Aug 09, 2022

General Wayne Eyre, the Chief of the Defence Staff, refused comment August 8 on reports that CAF personnel are training Ukrainians in their own country as Russia presses on with its invasion. Calling the reports “disappointing” speculation, he said DND is “never going to talk about discreet or sensitive special operations or confirm or deny them.” If the reports were accurate, he pointed out that confirmation “would put our troops at risk” and he sought to “balance transparency with operational security and try to find that sweet spot in the middle.”

Aug 09, 2022

High mobility artillery rocket systems, mortar and artillery ammunition, anti-tank missile systems, explosives and demolition equipment are in the 18th U.S. shipment of arms to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began in February. The Defense Department announced the $1-billion package August 8 as the World Bank confirmed $4.5 billion in U.S.-financed budgetary assistance.

Aug 09, 2022

Insisting that it remains committed to its strategic arms control treaty with the U.S., Russia is suspending inspections of its facilities. Citing the coronavirus and western sanctions, the foreign ministry said August 8 that “Russia is now forced to resort to this measure as a result of Washington’s persistent desire to implicitly achieve a restart of inspections on conditions that do not take into account existing realities.” It also accused the U.S. of trying to create “unilateral advantages and prevent Russian inspections of U.S. facilities

Aug 09, 2022

NATO membership for Finland and Sweden is seven countries short of ratification as of today, five weeks after Canada was the first of the 30 alliance members to ratify the request in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and generally growing regional belligerence. The Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and Portugal have yet to decide, with Hungary and Turkey expected to be the last to complete the process.

Aug 08, 2022

Alexander Shiplyuk, head of the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of the Russian Academy of Sciences' branch in Siberia, has been arrested on suspicion of treason. Transferred to the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center in Moscow, he is the third prominent Russian scientist arrested recently in relation to their work on hypersonic technologies.

Aug 08, 2022

An economic package approved by the U.S. Senate, with Vice-President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote August 7, includes a proposed 15 per cent tax on most corporations making more than $1 billion in annual profits. The $750-billion package now headed for the House of Representatives also includes funding for climate emissions measures and a proposal which would enable the government to negotiate lower pharmaceutical prices

Aug 08, 2022

Despite the grounding of several aircraft fleets due to concerns about ejection seats, the Department of Defence is said by seat manufacturer Martin-Baker to have found only one defective explosive cartridge on its frontline F-35 fighters. Seats on some training aircraft are still being examined.

Aug 08, 2022

A ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip appeared to be holding after three days of intense violence, including rockets fired by both sides. At least 44 Palestinians are reported to have been killed as Israel, reporting no casualties except minor injuries, began lifting a blockade today.

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