Weapons

U.S. cluster bombs for Ukraine

After weeks of apparently agonizing discussion within the U.S. administration, President Joe Biden today defended his decision to provide Ukraine with cluster bombs. “The Ukrainians are running out of ammunition” in the fight against Russian forces, he said, describing the decision as a temporary move until production of conventional artillery munitions can be ramped up. [node:read-more:link]

Canada steadfast against cluster bombs

Shortly after the U.S. confirmed today that it is sending internationally-condemned cluster munitions to Ukraine, the Canadian government, which was instrumental in getting more than 100 countries to ban their use, said in a statement that it remains “committed to putting an end to the effects cluster munitions have on civilians, especially children.” [node:read-more:link]

The ethics of cluster munitions

The U.S. is still considering whether to provide Ukraine with cluster munitions but a decision evidently has been delayed by concerns about their potential for civilian victims. It has been pointed out that Ukraine and Russia already have used similar weapons and that unexploded ordinance already needs to be addressed. [node:read-more:link]

Norwegian F-35s to get more bombs

The U.S. State Department has approved a $293-million potential sale of 580 more Raytheon GBU-53/B “StormBreaker” bombs for Norway’s fleet of 52 Lockheed-Martin F-35As which are expected to be in service by 2025. Twenty were approved earlier along with a support package [node:read-more:link]

RTX recalling Raytheon retirees

Manufacturing Stinger missiles, out of production for 20 years but heavily used by Ukraine against Russian aircraft, has forced RTX to rehire retired engineers to train new employees. “It’s the star of the show and everybody wants more,” says Wes Kremer, president of its Raytheon division. “We were bringing back retired employees that are in their 70s (and) we're pulling test equipment out of warehouses and blowing the spider webs off.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. Senator blocks HIMARS

Hungary’s defence ministry has abandoned a $US735-million order last year for U.S. High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems when talks failed to elicit a response. James Risch, the senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said this week that he blocked the sale because of Hungary’s refusal to approve NATO membership for Sweden. [node:read-more:link]

PM’s Ukraine visit includes aid

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $500 million in addition military assistance for Ukraine during a one-day visit to Kyiv, where he met with President Volodymyr Zelensky and addressed parliament. The package includes 299 AIM-7 air-to-air missiles and a contribution to a multinational fighter pilot training program. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. hits back over START II

The U.S. State Department said June 1 that it will stop notifying Russia about missile and launch locations as required by their moribund 193 nuclear arms treaty and has revoked visas for Russian inspectors and aircrews. It said the decision is a “countermeasure” to Russian “violations” of the accord. [node:read-more:link]

Donated U.S. equipment ill-prepared

The U.S. Defense Department Inspector General says equipment drawn from U.S. Army stocks in Kuwait for Ukraine was not fit for combat even though Army policy is that pre-positioned vehicles, armaments and other equipment should be kept ready for immediate use. “We identified issues that resulted in unanticipated maintenance, repairs, and extended lead times to ensure the readiness of the military equipment,” the IG says [node:read-more:link]

Rheinmetall defence solutions at CANSEC 2023

Using both indoor and outdoor booths at CANSEC, Rheinmetall is showcasing its latest and most innovative advancements including water treatment, new fabrics, satellite communications. land Vehicle crew training, strategic fires and effects information, night vision system modernization and heavy equipment replacement. [node:read-more:link]

Russia tasting own medicine?

Ukrainians are familiar with seemingly endless Russian drone attacks as Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” moves into its 16th month but today saw residents of Moscow under drone attack. Neither confirmed nor denied by Ukraine, the early morning attack damaged high-rises and an exclusive residential area. [node:read-more:link]

Lukashenko: “nukes for all”

After Russia President Vladimir Putin reiterated a plan to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus, his counterpart there suggested May 28 that any other neighbouring country could expect the same arrangement. “No one is against Kazakhstan and other countries having the same close relations that we have with the Russian Federation,” Lukashenko said on Russian state TV. “It is very simple: join in the Union State of Belarus and Russia. That's all: there will be nuclear weapons for everyone.” [node:read-more:link]

Russia confirms nukes for Belarus

Deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons to neighbouring Belarus, a close ally in the war against Ukraine, has been formalized in a May 25 agreement. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the arrangement is justified by “an extremely sharp escalation of threats on the western borders of Russia and Belarus.” [node:read-more:link]

Microwaved drones, anybody?

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory has demonstrated a microwave drone countermeasure, the Tactical High-power Operational Responder, against a swarm of targets. “THOR has never been tested against these types of drones before, but this did not stop the system from dropping the targets out of the sky with its non-kinetic speed-of-light […] pulses,” an official explained. [node:read-more:link]

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