IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

Mar 07, 2022

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said March 6 that “the question of airplanes that Poland may provide to Ukraine” is being assessed “very actively” as Russia continues its bombardment. Earlier discussions had included the prospect of aircraft from Slovakia and Bulgaria as well but it’s reported that Poland is the preferred source and that if its MiG-29s are used by Ukraine, they could be replaced by U.S. aircraft.

Mar 07, 2022

The Future Combat Air System program designed to enhance French, German and Spanish capabilities by 2040, has suffered a setback as two prime contractors fail to compromise on key workshare elements. Dassault CEO Eric Trappier said March 4 that his company and Airbus had not reached a deal on the next research and development phase.

Mar 07, 2022

Northrop Grumman says it has begun ground testing of its first B-21 Raider, paving the way for a rollout this year and first flight. The company now has six of the next-generation stealth bombers in various stages of production.

Mar 07, 2022

The U.S. Navy has recovered a Lockheed Martin F-35-C from a depth of some 12,400 feet in the south China Sea five weeks after it crashed on landing aboard the carrier Carl Vinson.

Mar 07, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that two former CIA contractors cannot be questioned in a Polish criminal investigation into the interrogation of a suspected high-ranking al-Qaeda figure. The court ruled 6-3 that the U.S. government could assert “state-secrets privilege” to prevent the contractors from being questioned. Poland is believed to be the location of a “black site” where the CIA interrogated Abu Zubaydah, who now has spent more than 15 years at Guantanamo Bay.

Mar 07, 2022

Ukraine received a fresh shipment of armed drones from Turkey last week, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has confirmed, adding that they were immediately deployed. Before the Russian invasion, Ukraine had approximately 20 Bayraktar TB2s and had ordered more with the eventual goal of producing a larger version domestically under licence.

Mar 07, 2022

A fire at Europe’s biggest nuclear plant during the Russian attack on Ukraine was extinguished by Ukrainian operators March 4 with no release of radiation. The UN International Atomic Energy Agency said a Russian “projectile” had hit a training center at the Zaporizhzhia plant.

Mar 07, 2022

Members of the Royal Canadian Dragoons spend last week west of Ottawa honing their winter operations skills. Aptly-named Exercise Frozen Spartan featured not only reconnaissance, snow shoeing and skiing but also immersion in ice-covered river water. “They're not only surviving but thriving,” a spokesperson said.

Mar 03, 2022

Throughout the Cold War and the decades since, Finland and Sweden remained resolute in their political independence but recent public opinion polls indicate significant support for NATO membership as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has change Europe’s security outlook. The polls indicate indicate unprecedented support of more than 50 per cent among Finns and a similar result in Sweden.

Mar 02, 2022

Russia’s war on Ukraine has sent shockwaves through the global community of wealthy Russians who are feeling the effect of international sanctions that threaten their foreign mansions, superyachts and their children’s places at elite European schools. Some of the oligarchs with close personal ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin are beginning to speak out against the war, albeit tentatively for the time being.

Mar 02, 2022

A senior Iranian security official said today that broken U.S. promises essentially compel his country to defend its interests by securing a reliable nuclear agreement abandoned by the U.S. in 2018. “Bitter experience with the U.S. breach of promises and European inaction have made it inevitable to meet the requirements for a reliable, balanced and sustainable agreement,” said Ali Shamkhani, a two-star General and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.

Mar 02, 2022

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is facing strong resistance as the country’s civilian population has taken up arms and historical precedent bodes poorly for Russia in the long term. “The Russian army is overextended and in a precarious position if Ukraine becomes a protracted war,” says Seth Jones, vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Mar 02, 2022

Most of the more than 170,000 Russian troops surrounding Ukraine for months before invading are now inside the country but a senior U.S. official said March 1 that the Ukrainian resistance and supply issues have slowed their advance. “Not only are they running out of gas, but they are running out of food,” the official said, adding that Moscow has show some “risk aversion” about its ground forces.

Mar 02, 2022

After days of mixed messages from various European Union states, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance’s members will not lend fighter jets to the war in Ukraine. “NATO allies provide different types of military support: material, anti-tank weapons, air defense systems and other types of military equipment for Ukraine, humanitarian aid and also financial support,” he said March 1. “But NATO is not to be part of the conflict.”

Mar 01, 2022

Forty-three years after Iranians celebrated the end of the Shah’s regime and welcomed the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Michael Rubin, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington and an authority on rogue regimes, says Iran has become an illegitimate “zombie state” set to fail. A key element is the way the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has gained significant control of the country’s economy without political oversight.

Feb 28, 2022

Even as Russian forces continue to invade their country, Ukrainian pilots have arrived in Poland in the hope of acquiring older-generation Russian fighter aircraft donated by EU states. The proposed transfer would be the latest in a series of arms donations as NATO members and other countries try to bolster Ukraine’s resistance.

Feb 28, 2022

Canada is sending Ukraine 100 shoulder-launch Carl Gustav anti-tank launchers and 2,000 missiles manufactured by Saab Bofors Dynamics in Sweden. In addition to lauding Ukraine’s “heroic defence” against Russia’s “brutal assault”, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that his government is prepared to welcome more Ukrainian refugees and is banning imports of Russian crude oil.

Feb 28, 2022

Lockheed Martin and Microsoft are collaborating on improving U.S. military communications with 5G technologies. Announced Feb. 27, the partnership focuses on the intersection of the LM’s hybrid base station and Microsoft’s Azure cloud services. A recent test showcased connectivity between three hybrid base stations and datalinks such as NATO’s Link-16.

Feb 28, 2022

An unprecedented U.S. plan to deliver Stinger anti-aircraft missiles directly to Ukraine has been approved by the White House. Germany had already confirmed that it would send 500 of the Raytheon heat-seeking weapons and other supplies and while Estonia has been providing Ukraine with Stingers since January, that required U.S. permission.

Feb 25, 2022

Two Russian guided-missile cruisers from Russia’s North and Pacific fleets have rendezvoused off Syria as part of a 16-ship formation. It’s described as “essentially the entire Russian Navy in the Mediterranean, in one place” and is likely to complicate NATO operations in the area.

Feb 24, 2022

The U.S. was urged today by Ukraine’s defence minister to expedite shipments via Poland of anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons for use against invading Russian forces. Alexey Rezkinov said in a YouTube video posted by California Democrat Brad Sherman that Ukraine needs “as much Stinger and anti-tank weapons as possible” as its geography had become “the borders between freedom and slavery, democracy and tyranny.”

Feb 24, 2022

Russia’s pre-dawn kinetic invasion of Ukraine today was accompanied by a massive cyberattack which rendered strategically-key Ukrainian ministry websites unavailable or extremely slow to access. In addition, unidentified hackers had spread malware not only in Ukraine but also neighboring Latvia and Lithuania

Feb 24, 2022

Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s has suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approach to Ukraine is a “genius” tactic and that Putin’s declaration of two breakaway regions as independent states was “wonderful.” His comments present a huge internal challenge to the Republican Party, which used to be staunchly anti-Soviet, as the U.S. faces mid-term elections tis year.

Feb 24, 2022

Just before his forces invaded Ukraine early today, Russian President called on “dear comrades” in the Ukrainian military not to follow the “criminal orders” of Kyiv and to “lay down your weapons and go home.” He also told his home audience that his actions “are self-defense.”

Feb 24, 2022

Explosions could be heard Wednesday in Kyiv, Odessa and several other Ukrainian cities as Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the start of a “special military operation” against Ukraine, the scope of which wasn’t immediately clear. Just before dawn, residents of Kyiv were ordered into bomb shelters amid reports of incoming air attacks.

Feb 23, 2022

Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin are being sanctioned by China because of their military sales to Taiwan, The announcement by the foreign ministry evidently was in response to the two companies’ involvement in a $100-million agreement to maintain the island republic’s missile defence systems.

Feb 23, 2022

A month after its northern neighbour tested a series of missiles, South Korea test-fired a long-range surface-to-air weapon Feb. 22. The missile is to be part of a “layered defence network” that already includes other domestic medium-range weapons and U.S. Patriot missiles.

Feb 23, 2022

Canada is sending several hundred more troops to Europe and joining several allies in what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a “first round” of economic sanctions on Russia for its decision to recognize two breakaway regions in Ukraine. “Russia’s brazen provocations are a threat to security and peace in the world,” the PM said Feb. 22. “The people of Ukraine, like all people, must be free to determine their own future.”

Feb 22, 2022

Two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine, home to many ethnic Russians and the focus of repeated military confrontations, prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize them as “independent” and to deploy “peacekeeping” troops. The U.S. has derided the deployment as “nonsense” while Ukraine’s president says his country is “not afraid of anything or anyone.”

Feb 21, 2022

Data analysis techniques are critical in maximizing opportunities and strengthening the business case for a data analysis strategy, yet Accenture reports that only 32% of companies can currently extract business value from their data. This report defines different categories of data analysis, then examines quantitative, qualitative and statistical data analysis techniques, and wraps up with advice on how to unlock the business value of such techniques.

Feb 19, 2022

Even as many provinces are easing pandemic restrictions, a highly contagious Omicron coronavirus sub-variant known as BA.2 is gaining a foothold in Canada. New data indicate that it could be 1.4 times as contagious as BA.1 and as it becomes dominant in the coming weeks, it could undo progress to date, as evidently has been the case in Denmark, which lifted all pandemic restrictions in January.

Feb 19, 2022

Defence Minister Anita Anand said Feb. 18 that Canada is considering deploying more troops to Eastern Europe as Russian-driven tensions continued to escalate. “The issue is . . . how Canada can reinforce its presence in the region from an operational standpoint,” she said in Belgium after a two-day NATO defence ministers meeting. “These are conversations I'm having with my chief of the defence staff, with my deputy minister and with the government writ large.”

Feb 19, 2022

A U.S. Navy engineer's wife pled guilty Feb. 18 to helping her husband to try to sell secrets about nuclear-powered submarines to a foreign entity. In a plea deal with the prosecution, Diana Toebbe, who acted as lookout while her nuclear engineer husband left information at a “dead drop” set up by the FBI, faces imprisonment for up to three years. Jonathan Toebbe, who pled guilty a few days earlier, faces at least 12 years in prison.

Feb 18, 2022

Canada is being urged by Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares to resume the search, weather permitting, for 12 crewmembers missing after a 50-metre trawler sank Feb. 15 off Newfoundland. The search, which involved two RCAF aircraft and a Coast Guard vessel, was called off late Feb. 16. Three crewmembers were rescued and the bodies of nine others were found at the site about 460 kilometres east of St. John's.

Feb 17, 2022

NATO has asked its military commanders to draw up plans for new combat units in central and southeastern Europe in response to the Russian buildup along Ukraine’s border. The “battlegroups” could be based in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia.

Feb 17, 2022

Nine members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been identified so far as having allegedly participating in protests against mandatory coronavirus vaccinations or supporting protests on social media. Military police are investigating two situations and the others are being handled at unit levels.

Feb 17, 2022

France announced today that together with its allies in Operation Barkhane in Mali, it is pulling troops out of the country’s long-running counter-insurdgency mission. We cannot remain militarily engaged alongside de-facto authorities whose strategy and hidden aims we do not share,” President Emmanuel Macron said. His troops are to be redeployed elsewhere in the Sahel region.

Feb 16, 2022

Canada’s planned shipment of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine is a package previous destined for Kurdish forces but put in storage in 2016 after Iraq protested. It includes enough sniper and assault rifles, mortars and grenade launchers, pistols, ammunition, imaging technology and medical supplies to equip a force of 500-600 but not anti-tank weapons specifically requested by Ukraine.

Feb 16, 2022

Russia said today it is pulling more troops and weapons away from its border with Ukraine, backing its statement with imagery of trainload of armoured vehicles, but NATO remains skeptical. “At the moment, we have not seen any withdrawal of Russian forces,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, before a meeting of alliance defence ministers in Brussels. “If they really start to withdraw forces, that's something we will welcome but that remains to be seen.”

Feb 16, 2022

British-based Babcock International and Germany’s Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems have been shortlisted by Poland to build three coastal defence frigates for Poland at an estimated cost of C$2.6 billion. “The vessels will begin to be built in 2023, and the first unit is to be ready by June 2028,” the defence ministry’s Armament Agency said Feb. 15. “Deliveries of further units are scheduled to take place until 2034.”

Feb 15, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that despite his country’s military buildup along its border with Ukraine, he does not want war in Europe but remains adamantly opposed to the idea of his neighbour joining NATO. “We need to resolve this question now,” he said after talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “We hope very much our concern will be heard by our partners and taken seriously.”

Feb 15, 2022

The federal government plans to do away with pre-arrival coronavirus PCR tests for fully vaccinated travellers at the end of the month. Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said Feb. 15 that travellers may opt for a rapid antigen test approved by their country of origin 24 hours before their scheduled flight or arrival in Canada. The government also is downgrading its advisory that Canadians avoid non-essential travel for the time being.

Feb 15, 2022

Four months after he and his wife were charged with trying to sell classified information about nuclear submarines, a U.S. Navy engineer pleaded guilty Feb. 14 to one felony count in a plea deal which leaves him facing up to 18 years in prison. His wife, who also remains in custody, has pleaded no guilty even though she accompanied him to dead drops.

Feb 15, 2022

A metallurgist in Washington state was sentenced Feb. 14 to 30 months in prison and fined $50,000 for faking the results of strength tests on steel used by two companies to build U.S. Navy submarines for more than three decades. Elaine Marie Thomas, 67, had pleaded pleaded guilty last November to what the judge said was a “crime of pride and ego, that in some way she knew better than those who set the standards.”

Feb 15, 2022

Britain and the U.S. have signed an agreement to assess potential cooperation on future vertical lift programs. The U.S. Army said Feb. 14 that continuing “a long history of partnership and cooperation” could “ensure interoperability between the two nations’ future rotorcraft aviation forces.”

Feb 15, 2022

Russia said today that some of the 130,000 troops massed along its border with Ukraine would be returning to their bases after participating in exercises. There were no details but Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said “we’ll believe . . . when we see troops pulling out.”

Feb 14, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that Canada is providing Ukraine with $7.8 million worth of weapons and ammunition as it faces the prospect of a Russian invasion. He also said the government is increasing its financial support with a new $500 million loan atop $120 million offered in January.

Feb 14, 2022

The P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, developed from Boeing’s 737-800ERX commercial platform, will be a contender for Canada’s Multi-Mission Aircraft project to replace the RCAF’s ageing but upgraded fleet of Lockheed CCP-140 Auroras. Boeing says “the range, speed and endurance of the P-8 makes it the perfect platform to monitor Canada’s northern and maritime approaches and . . . ensure allied interoperability.”

Feb 14, 2022

For the first time since it replaced the War Measures Act in 1988, the Emergencies Act was invoked today by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a move to clear out a massive coronavirus protest which has paralyzed Ottawa’s core for more than three weeks. The PM informed provincial and territorial leaders of what he described as a time-limited and geographically-targetted initiative which would not impinge on Charter rights or involve the military. The legislation authorizes the federal government to prohibit travel within a specified area, remove personal property, and fine or detain protestors.

Feb 14, 2022

The approximately 260 Canadian military trainers deployed to Operation Unifier in Ukraine have been “temporarily” moved to Poland amid growing concerns about a Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Canadian embassy in Kyiv has relocated to the western city of Lviv near the Polish border.

Feb 14, 2022

Lockheed Martin has officially ended its attempted $4.4-billion acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission had sued to block the takeover, saying it would enabled LM to cut off other contractors off from Aerojet’s missile components even though LM insisted it would not.

Feb 14, 2022

Armoured vehicles upgraded with lasers to detonate unexploded ordnance on airfields are to enter service with the U.S. Air Force last year after a $40 million development program. The Recovery of Airbase Denied By Ordnance vehicles will use a three-kilowatt Zeus III laser capable of detonating “heavily cased” UXO at up to 300 metres.

Feb 14, 2022

A police raid on an Italian aviation company’s headquarters last years has prompted the country’s intelligence watchdog to call for stricter monitoring of corporate acquisitions after it was found that China had purchased the drone manufacturer. Alpi Aviation’s 10-kilogram Strix can relay real-time imagery and was used by Italy’s special forces in Afghanistan.

Feb 14, 2022

Two Canadian Special Operations Forces Command members and an Army officer in New Brunswick are under investigation for their alleged involvement in protests avainst mandatory coronavirus vaccinations. The two CANSOFCOM members are in the process of being released from the military but MGen Steve Boivin, the CANSOFCOM commander, said if the allegations are true, “this is wrong and it goes against CAF values and ethics.”

Feb 11, 2022

Turkey has confirmed that its first indigenous anti-ship cruise missile will replace more than 350 U.S.-made Harpoon missiles on combat ships in what an official said will be “a smooth substitution over the next years.” The Atmaca missile evidently incorporates features of the Harpoon and French Exocet.

Feb 11, 2022

Four U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyers have joined the 6th Fleet in Europe as “independent deployers” tasked with “a range of maritime activities in support of the ,. . . fleet and our NATO allies,” a USN spokesman said Feb. 10. They join four U.S. destroyers and a carrier strike group, the largest such presence in Europe in more than a decade.

Feb 11, 2022

Satellite images released Feb. 10 by Colorado-based Maxar Technologies show new Russian military deployments in Crimea, Belarus and western Russia near Ukraine.

Feb 10, 2022

Dozens of SpaceX communications satellites were knocked out of orbit by a solar geomagnetic storm a day after being launched Feb. 3. The company said “each satellite achieved controlled flight” before the storm hit at least 40 of them.

Feb 10, 2022

Even as negotiations continue in Vienna in a bid to revive its “peaceful uses” nuclear agreement which the U.S. abandoned in 2015, Iran unveiled a new missile Feb. 9, claiming a range of nearly 1,500 kilometres. That would put U.S. bases in the region as well as Israel within range and while insisting its program is for deterrence only, Iran also claimed the weapon can defeat missile shield systems.

Feb 10, 2022

The procurement by Indonesia of 42 Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft are among a number of agreements signed with France during a visit by Defence Minister Florence Parly. “It’s official,” she said Feb.9. Other agreements include submarine development and ammunition manufacturing.

Feb 09, 2022

French President Emmanuel Macron says he reassured by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a recent visit to Moscow that there would be “no deterioration or escalation” in Russia’s troop buildup along its border with Ukraine. assured him that Russian forces would not ramp up the crisis near Ukraine's borders. However, the Kremlin has said that any suggestion of such a guarantee was not “right.”

Feb 08, 2022

Delegations from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, France, Germany and the U.S. were meeting with Iranian officials in Vienna today for a ninth round of talks about salvaging Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal which the U.S. walked away from in 2015. U.S. economic sanctions remain a key hurdle as Iran continues to ramp up developments it says are for peaceful purposes.

Feb 08, 2022

The U.S. Army wants to ensure that all operational and strategic exercises and simulations will consider their climate impact d part of an ambitious program which would include microgrids on all bases and fully-electric tactical vehicles. “The climate strategy is important to address the changing climate and the threats that are coming from climate change — both how our forces operate in a climate-altered world, but what the Army can do to influence this and to mitigate our greenhouse gases and to reduce the effects of climate change,” a senior official said Feb. 7.

Feb 07, 2022

The De Havilland Canada CC-115 twin turboprops were operational with the RCAF for 55 before the last handful, stationed on Vancouver Island for search and rescue work, were retired recently. However, although they were arguably iconic, the RCAF is having trouble giving one to the national aviation museum in Ottawa because of a moratorium on new acquisitions.

Feb 07, 2022

Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says the COVID-19 virus pandemic response is shifting to a stage where it could be handled like other seasonal illness such as influenza. “What we need to do . . . is recognize this virus is not going to disappear,” she said Feb. 5. “We do need to get back to some normalcy” which means “learning to live with the virus.”

Feb 07, 2022

Veterans Affairs Canada says the government has agreed to extend the contracts of only about a third of temporary staff dealing with nearly 34,000 backlogged disability claims by former military personnel. Although VAC pushed for contract extensions eight months ago, VA Minister Lawrence MacAulay told a parliamentary committee last week that more funding must await the next federal budget.

Feb 04, 2022

Sailors are being discharged by the U.S. Navy for refusing coronavirus vaccinations. As of Feb. 2, they include 96 active-duty sailors and 22 still in initial training. The USN says that more than 5,000 active personnel and nearly 3,000 reservists remained unvaccinated.

Feb 04, 2022

The U.S. Air Force is upgrading its Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning IIs, a contender for Canada’s next generation of fighters, to operate near thunderstorms where they could be struck by lightning. The goal is to have the first one resuming unrestricted operations for the first time in nearly two years after it was found that a critical system might not operate correctly if struck by a bolt.

Feb 04, 2022

An anonymized critique of the Canadian Armed Forces says they are unprepared for war and, for the most part, “cannot be brought to recognize or care that it is” despite have many dedicated people in uniform. “It can’t fight a modern war,” the author says. “Much of this sorry state comes from the legitimate political and funding choices of a legitimately elected democratic government.”

Feb 04, 2022

The U.S. donated two Sikorsky UH-60M multipurpose Black Hawk helicopters to Croatia, which is engaged in an arms race with neighboring Serbia, a Russian ally, amid simmering tensions in the Balkans. As the aircraft arrived on a USAF transport flight to Zagreb, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Mark Fleming said “Croatia has earned a reputation as a committed and capable NATO ally.”

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