Weapons

Russia waves its nuclear sword

A successful test today of Russia’s Sarmat ICBM, launched from the country’ northwest and hitting targets on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far east drew praise and a threat from President Vladimir Putin. “This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure the security of Russia from external threats,” he said in a televised address, adding that it would “make those who, in the heat of aggressive rhetoric, try to threaten our country think twice.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian howitzers destined for Ukraine?

As Russian forces mount a new offensive in Ukraine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said April 19 that Canada would have news “in the coming days” about supplying “heavy artillery” to Ukraine. he offered no details but the Canadian Army’s largest artillery piece is the British M777 155mm howitzer, which has a range up to 40 kilometres. [node:read-more:link]

Serbia gets Chinese missiles

China has delivered anti-aircraft missile systems to Serbia under a contract signed in 2020. Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said April 11 that the delivery was part of the two countries’ annual cooperation plan and has “nothing to do” with current regional tensions. [node:read-more:link]

Trilateral defence commitment unveiled

Australia, Britain and the U.S. have agreed to cooperate on hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare capabilities, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office announced April 5. Australia and the U.S. already have a hypersonics weapon program but while Britain’s involvement is designed to increase all three countries’ options, it would not be joining the bilateral program at this time. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. tests hypersonic missile

The U.S. Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have confirmed the successful test of a hypersonic missile in March. The development was not announced earlier to avoid exacerbating tensions with Russia as it invaded Ukraine. Developed by Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne and released from a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, the missile surpassed Mach 5, topped 65,000 feet altitude and flew more than 300 miles. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. shipping more weapons to Ukraine

The U.S. Department of Defense is sending Ukraine an additional $300 million of war-fighting equipment. Procured from manufacturers rather than DoD stockpiles, it includes laser-guided missile systems and surveillance and tactical drones as well as array of other gear on top of $1.6 billion in “security assistance” already shipped since Russia’s invasion began. [node:read-more:link]

North Korea ramps up rhetoric

In the aftermath of his country’s test of an ICBM, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is planning to develop more powerful weaponry to give his country “formidable striking capabilities . . . that cannot be stopped.” The official Korean Central News Agency report March 28 suggests additional missile tests and possibly resuming underground nuclear tests which it stopped in 2017. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. replenishing man-portable missiles

Having shipped thousands of Javelin and Stinger missile systems to Eastern Europe since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine a month ago, the U.S. is moving to restock. “I think we can do it,” says Doug Bush, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, explaining that it will involve an assessment of the Army’s needs, supply chains, long-lead procurement and ancillary equipment. [node:read-more:link]

North Korea tests new ICBM

Japanese and South Korean observers said that North Korea today launched its first ICBM since 2017. The missile reached an altitude of 3,728 miles and travelled 683 miles downrange before crashing into the sea west of Japan. South Korea says it was more powerful that the last ICBM launched by its neighbour. [node:read-more:link]

Brits deploy new defence system to Poland

Britain is deploying a new medium- range air-defence system and 100 personnel to Poland to bolster its ability to deter what Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said March 17 could be “further aggression from Russia.” Part of a growing NATO commitment to regional defence, the MBDA-developed Sky Sabre replaces Rapier missiles dating to the 1970s and uses a Saab radar and Rafael command-and-control system. [node:read-more:link]

More Turkish drones for Ukraine

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. [node:read-more:link]

More Canadian arms for Ukraine

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. [node:read-more:link]

More Stinger missiles for Ukraine

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. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine appeals for more weapons

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.” [node:read-more:link]

China sanctions Lockheed Martin and Raytheon

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. [node:read-more:link]

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