Italy collaborating on nextgen fighter

The Italian defence ministry has contracted with four of the country’s defence firms for development along with Britain and Japan of next-generation fighter. An evolution of the British-led Tempest initiative, the Global Combat Air Program, has targetted 2035 to begin production. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine support slammed by NATO member

Elected in 2019 as a left-leaning liberal, Croatian President Zoran Milanov today criticized NATO allies for supplying Ukraine with weapons in its campaign against Russia, saying it only would prolong the war. “What is the goal: disintegration of Russia, change of the government?” asked Milanov, who has shifted to populist nationalism. “There is also talk of tearing Russia apart. . . . It is clear that Crimea will never again be part of Ukraine.” [node:read-more:link]

Hungary to meet NATO goal early?

Recent joint ventures with foreign defence manufacturers evidently will enable Hungary to boost military expenditure to NATO’s target of two per cent of gross domestic product a year earlier than expected. The deals with the state-owned N7 Holding company are part of a large-scale effort to procure new weapons and production facilities. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. military exports booming

The rush by European allies to shore up Ukrainian defences, thereby depleting their own materiel, contributed significantly to a 49 per cent jump in U.S. military sales to foreign governments last year. The State Department says the total value was US$51.9 billion, excluding direct commercial sales which rose by a similar percentage to $153.7 billion. [node:read-more:link]

F-35 sales affect L-M’s bottom line

Nearly six weeks after halting deliveries of new F-35 fighters, Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet says the company is awaiting results of an investigation of a December 15 mishap before resuming acceptance flights and deliveries. While the pause was a factor in an F-35 sales decline at loss of some US$310 million, the company’s aeronautics division had nearly US$27 billion in net sales in 2022, up $239 million from 2021. [node:read-more:link]

France considers maritime patrol aircraft

Nearly six years after announcing a joint maritime patrol aircraft project with Germany, France is looking at domestic options after Germany bought some Boeing P-8 Poseidons from the U.S. Navy as an interim solution. It has awarded 18-month contracts to Airbus Defence & Space and Dassault Aviation to examine potential replacements for its current decades-old MPA fleet. [node:read-more:link]

Domestic space launches planned

The federal government hopes to have domestic commercial space launch facilities within the next three years. “For many years, Canadian satellites have launched from sites in other countries,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra explained January 20, adding that the government would begin developing the regulatory requirements, safety standards and licensing conditions. He also said the government is ready to approve private-sector launches in the interim on a case-by-case basis. [node:read-more:link]

Turkish drone maker spreads its wings

The Turkish drone manufacturer, Baykar, has announced another export sale, increasing its international market to more than two dozen countries. Its latest deal is a US$370-million contract to provide Kuwait with armed Bayraktar TB2s. [node:read-more:link]

Australian firms buy Barrett Firearms

Tennessee-based Barrett Firearms, a family-owned company whose weapons have become almost synonymous with sniper systems, has been purchased by privately-owned NIOA Group of Australia, which began as a firearms business and has since been built up as an agglomeration of interests. Barrett will operate as a unique brand within NIOA. [node:read-more:link]

South Korea-Emirates ties

Two memoranda of understanding to improve bilateral defense ties were signed by the United Arab Emirates during South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to Dubai this week. One calls for more joint investment, research and technological development, the other for more UAE involvement in South Korea’s development of a new multi-mission cargo aircraft [node:read-more:link]

Turkey’s F-16 order problematic

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met with U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington January 18 to secure a $20 billion arms sale that includes 40 new Lockheed Martin Block F-16 fighters as well as upgrades to its current F-16 fleet. [node:read-more:link]

DND continued data collection effort

Six months after stating in November 2020 that it was shutting down collection of Canadians’ social media data, the Department of National Defence evidently continued its efforts by funding private sector development of new ways to analyze social media data. [node:read-more:link]

Australia replacing controversial helos

After years of political controversy and long-running and costly operational issues, the Australian government confirmed today that it will replace its multi-role Airbus Taipan helicopters with 40 Lockheed Martin Black Hawks at a cost of someUS$2 billion. The decision was taken even though Australia is still in the middle of a comprehensive defence policy review but officials suggested the situation was urgent. [node:read-more:link]

Iranian drone engines investigated

The intricacies of global supply chains are underscored by the discovery that some Iranian drones used by Russia against Ukraine are powered by Rotax engines akin to those used in snowmobiles. They are manufactured by an Austrian subsidiary of Quebec-based Bombardier Recreational Products, which was spun off from Bombardier Incorporated in 2003 but BRP says the engines were not sold by any authorized distributors and has referred the issue to authorities. [node:read-more:link]

More action, less talk: CADSI

Christyn Cianfarani, executive director of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries said that if the private sector is to provide materiel to the Canadian military on a “war footing” basis, as suggested by the Chief of the Defence Staff, it needs to get its act together. She said that unlike its allies, Canada has relied on “vague pleas” and that “defence companies can and would step up if they knew exactly what, and how much” Canada wants to buy. [node:read-more:link]


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