IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

Mar 18, 2022

Canada is deploying a second RCN frigate to support NATO’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. HMCS Halifax, previously due to sail to the Middle East on a counter-terrorism mission in a few weeks, now is scheduled to leave March 19 to join allied warships in the Baltic region. HMCS Montreal arrived in the eastern Mediterranean last month.

Mar 18, 2022

The Royal Canadian Navy has cancelled at its west coast base in Esquimalt. The decision follows the removal of three trainees from the course and the pending release of a fourth from the military over alleged “harassment and inappropriate behaviour.”

Mar 17, 2022

Anming Hu, a Canadian scientist who worked at the University of Tennessee until his career was derailed by unjustified accusations of having ties with China, has been legally vindicated. However, having returned to his laboratory, he has found himself having to rebuild his work due to missing and damaged equipment.

Mar 17, 2022

Diplomats trying to salvage Iran’s moribund 2015 nuclear agreemen t with the West are reported to be near the cusp of a deal that would bring the U.S. back into the accord and Iran back into compliance with limits on its nuclear program. Officials say that after 11 months of intermittent meetings, only a small number of issues remain to be addressed.

Mar 17, 2022

Echoing similar video appearances before the British and Canadian parliaments, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to the U.S. Congress March 16 to do more to help his besieged country. However, he acknowledged that his call for a NATO-enforced no-fly zone is unlikely to happen because of U.S. fears of starting a European war with Russia.

Mar 16, 2022

Some of the hundreds of Russians captured during their country’s ongoing blitzkreig of Ukraine have been shown on television urging President Vladimir Putin to “stop terror acts” in Ukraine and threatening to “rise up” against him when they are sent home. Their public appearances may be questionable under the Geneva Conventions, which forbid states from causing unnecessary humiliation to prisoners of war, but there were no evident signs they were under duress.

Mar 16, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly and Defence Minister Anita Anand are among hundreds of Canadians sanctioned by Russia in retaliation for supporting Ukraine. The foreign ministry in Moscow said March 15 that the sanctions mean denial of entry to “top officials, parliamentarians and anti-Russian figures.”

Mar 16, 2022

A U.S. naval engineer and his wife pleaded guilty to espionage charges last month after an undercover operation confirmed that they had tried to sell secret information on nuclear submarine reactor technology to a foreign power. Text messages released in court show that Jonathan and Diana Tebbe, who face prison terms, offered the classified material to Brazil’s military intelligence agency in 2020 rather than to China or Russia. The agency handed over their letter to the FBI.

Mar 15, 2022

In a direct appeal to Canada, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky used a video link to a packed Parliament today to press for assistance in helping to right Russia’s invasion. He reiterated an impassioned call for a no-fly zone to be imposed over Ukraine despite repeated NATO refusals over concern that it could spark a wider European war.

Mar 15, 2022

Seaspan Shipyards has launched its new HoloShip facility, an immersive visualization system that enables the Canadian marine industry community to access a virtual reality environment to develop, integrate, test and demonstrate new digital twin capabilities and transform how ships are built, constructed, and maintained.

Mar 14, 2022

Three leaders of three NATO countries travelled by train to Kyiv day to express the EU’s “unequivocal support” for Ukraine even as Russian forces bombarded the capital. In addition to their moral support, the leaders from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia offered financial assistance.

Mar 14, 2022

Reversing an earlier decision to refuse the Lockheed Martin F-3 as a replacement for its legacy Tornado fighters, Germany confirmed today that it plans to buy up to 35 F-35s by 2030 instead of Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said the aircraft would assume the Luftwaffe’s nuclear-weapons mission, carrying U.S. weapons stored in-country.

Mar 14, 2022

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine evidently is prompting discussion about the status of the International Space Station, currently manned by U.S. and Russian crews and a lone European. Part of the ISS is built and operated Russia, including the thruster system needed to stabilize its orbit, while the rest is built and operated mainly by the U.S. with visiting crewmembers from Canada and other countries

Mar 14, 2022

Baykar Makina, the major drone manufacturer in Turkey, is accelerating two advanced programs, including what it describes as its first unmanned fighter, a stealth turbofan jet with a 1.5-tonne payload the company hopes to fly next year. Meanwhile it continues to develop another drone with a 280kg payload it says would appeal to buyers in the Far East and would be suitable for smaller aircraft carriers.

Mar 14, 2022

Britain’s high court has refused to allow Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s latest appeal against extradition to the U.S. but the legal challenge isn’t over. A court official said today that the latest appeal did not raise “an arguable point of law,” which means his case reverts to the district court judge who had assessed the extradition request. Home Secretary is then expected to make a final decision.

Mar 13, 2022

In an effort to transform the Army of the future, the UK MoD has embarked on a six-month experiment to examine the feasibility of automating supplies to soldiers. Due to wrap up in April, the six-month project has been focussed on centralized autonomous operation of unmanned systems for combat missions.

Mar 11, 2022

Army Gen Wayne Eyre, the Chief of Defence Staff, said March 10 that while Russia's invasion of Ukraine has re-energized NATO new energy, he worries about the Canadian military’s readiness if Canada is ever drawn into a wider conflict. “That is one of the things that keeps me awake at night,” he said. “The world is getting more dangerous every day and . . . our people need to be ready for it.”

Mar 11, 2022

A Royal Canadian Navy investigation has led to Acting SLt Kevin Vuong, a reservist officer from Toronto, being charged with failing to disclose that he was charged with sexual assault in 2019, a charge which was subsequently dropped. Vuong, who has denied any wrongdoing, was elected to Parliament as a Liberal in 2015 but now sits as an independent.

Mar 10, 2022

The senior advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky belives there have been more than a dozen assassination attempts on his leader, not the “two or three” reported by foreign intelligence sources. Mykhailo Podoliak said Zelenskyy is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s main target as Russian troops continued their invasion.

Mar 10, 2022

An RCAF CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue helicopter from 103 SAR Squadron at 9 Wing Gander in central Newfoundland crashed at low speed and altitude on a training flight today. The six-member crew of the AgustaWestland aircraft were taken to hospital but four were released. Images show the fuselage on its side, missing its tail and rotor.

Mar 10, 2022

The federal government reportedly has done an about-face on the exportability of surveillance cameras designed by L3Harris Wescam in Hamilton, Ont. The government prohibited further exports 11 months ago after it was learned that Turkey had used the cameras aboard its Bayraktar TB2 armed drones in combat. It’s now understood that at least 30 will be purchased through a $50-million Ukrainian support package announced March 9 by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Mar 10, 2022

Ukrainian-Canadian veteran Andriy Tovstiuk used to dread Saturday mornings in Edmonton when he was at Ukrainian school, but the experience planted the seeds of appreciation for his heritage. Today, his Canadian Armed Forces’ experience with Op Unifier, where he helped to train Ukrainian troops, has him thinking about how they and ordinary citizens are resisting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “completely unjustified war.”

Mar 10, 2022

Beijing has seemingly adopted a neutral position on Russia’s war on Ukraine, neither condemning Moscow nor ruling out the possibility of mediation. However, China’s state media’s coverage of the invasion has tended to parrot Russian President Vladimir Putin’s characterization of his bloody assault as nothing more than a “special military operation” and largely echoing Russian state media or information from Moscow.

Mar 10, 2022

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underscores the need for the alliance to “step up” defence spending. “Canada is contributing in many ways to our collective defence, to our shared security,” he said March 9. “Canada is the lead nation in the Baltic region with the (Op Reassurance) battle group . . . but then of course I would love to see all allies to do even more.”

Mar 09, 2022

Politicians, influential oligarchs and media figures are among the Russians sanctioned by Canada and other countries over President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Poland and essentially wage all-out war. Canada has continued to add to its sanctions list in smaller and more thematically-targeted batches three times since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Mar 09, 2022

A proposal by Poland to provide MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters to the Ukrainian air force in its fight against Russian invaders in return for U.S. F-16 replacements evidently is off the table. Calling it not “tenable” a Defense Department explained late March 8 that “the prospect of fighter jets ‘at the disposal of the Government of the United States of America’ departing from a U.S./NATO base in Germany to fly into airspace that is contested with Russia over Ukraine raises serious concerns for the entire NATO alliance.”

Mar 09, 2022

An ongoing legal fight over when the U.S. can mandate coronavirus vaccinations for military personnel has left the Navy unable to deploy a destroyer because its commanding officer who has refused vaccination cannot be dismissed. In a case which has raised questions about the lines between military good order and discipline, and the legal rights of U.S. citizens, a Florida judge ruled last month that the USN could not discipline the officer.

Mar 09, 2022

Iran is threatening to avenge the deaths of two Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers in a March 7 Israeli air strike in Syria. The foreign ministry said today that holding Israel accountable “is one of the main goals of the resistance in the region.” The strike on an arms depot near Damascus airport was the seventh on Syrian targets this year.

Mar 09, 2022

LGen Eric Fick, the USAF executive officer on the Lockheed Martin F-35 program, said March 8 that testing delays could push a decision on whether to move to full production into 2024. It originally had been scheduled for December 2019 but he said there is “not a lot of leeway” for a decision because critical joint simulation environment testing must precede initial operational test and evaluation phases.

Mar 08, 2022

Prague-based Bohemia Interactive Simulations, which works with 60 militaries worldwide, has been acquired by BAE Systems Inc. The U.S. subsidiary of BAE Systems says the $200-million takeover will expand its capabilities and solidifies its systems integration strategy.

Mar 08, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told his Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian counterparts today that Canada will stand with the Baltic states against not only the war in Ukraine but also Russia’s cyberattacks on their countries. “You have been living not just with the military threat, not just with the history of occupation, but also, the daily use of propaganda and disinformation to try and undermine the democracy and the values you have,” he said during a visit to Latvia.

Mar 08, 2022

Germany, possibly the most pacifist European power as it spends 1.5 per cent of its GDP on defence, has reversed long-standing policy by shipping weapons to Ukraine and promising to meet NATO's two per cent target. Canada currently spends 1.39 per cent and despite sundry promises, continues to fall short. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau possibly signalled a renewed effort March 7, saying that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the global “context.”

Mar 08, 2022

The U.S. Navy is leading a three-week exercise in the Beaufort Sea, including construction of a camp on an ice pan some 300 kilometres offshore in the Beaufort Sea. Other branches of the U.S. military and Coast Guard are involved along with Canadian and British personnel

Mar 08, 2022

Despite the perception that Russian ground forces’ invasion of Ukraine seems to have stalled after 12 days of intense bombardments, Ukrainian officials say the humanitarian crisis continues to grow. Nearly two million Ukrainians have fled to neighbouring countries and one official says his country expects that “the catastrophe in Ukraine will lead to a catastrophe in the world with food because Ukraine was a major supplier of wheat and grain.”

Mar 07, 2022

The U.S. is playing down the likelihood of Poland transferring some of its Mig-29s to Ukraine in return for the U.S. replacing them with F-16s.

Mar 07, 2022

The number of fighters put on alert by NATO across Europe has nearly doubled amid concerns that Russian operations in international airspace could escalate alongside its war in Ukraine. More than 100 are now on “high alert” at all times to await possible airspace violations compared with 60 in December and an Allied Air Command spokesman said March 4 that “we are maintaining 24/7 patrols in the skies along our eastern borders.”

Mar 07, 2022

Russia today announced yet another ceasefire in its invasion of Ukraine and opened a few humanitarian corridors as a prelude to a third round of talks. However, previous measures have fallen apart as bombardments resumed shortly thereafter; hundreds of thousands of fleeing civilians were forced to shelter March 6 as Russians shelled several cities. Some of the new corridors would funnel Ukrainians toward Russia or Belarus, a prospect rejected by Ukraine.

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.”

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