Rapid Ukrainian tank training expected

New tank training programs in Poland could get the Ukrainian army ready to operate Leopard 2 main battle tanks in as few as six weeks due to their experience thousands of Ukrainians have built up in combat with their own and captured Russian armour. That could position Ukraine for a spring counteroffensive against Russian invaders a year into their war. [node:read-more:link]

Leopard MBTs for Ukraine

Unnamed German government sources say their government, subject to parliamentary debate January 25, is prepared to send Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine. The expected ratification would effectively free Canada and other NATO allies to ship their Leopards as well to bolster the country’s defences. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine needs “hundreds” of tanks

Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said today that his country needs “several hundred” main battle tanks to mount an effective counteroffensive against Russia and reclaim Crimea. “Our goal is the borders of 1991 and punishing the enemy, who will pay for their crimes,” he said. [node:read-more:link]

Germany open to tank re-exports

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said January 22 that her government will not object if Poland decides to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. However, she said, Poland had not formally requested approval. “If we were asked, we would not stand in the way,” she said, acknowledging “how important these tanks are” to Ukraine. “This is why we are discussing this now with our partners.” [node:read-more:link]

Poland willing to ship tanks

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki reiterated today that his government is willing to ship Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine without authorization by Germany, which has legal power to veto re-exports. “We will ask for such permission, but this is an issue of secondary importance,” he said. [node:read-more:link]

Anand non-committal on tanks for Ukraine

Fresh from a meeting with her NATO counterparts in Germany last week, Defence Minister Anita Anand said in a January 22 broadcast that she had “no news to share” on whether Canada will send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine as repeatedly requested by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Canada has 82 of the German tanks but has said it has said it needs permission from Germany to ship them to a third country. [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]

North Korea boosts military budget

Weeks after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for an “exponential increase” in his nuclear arsenal, the country’s rubber-stamp parliament has passed a budget that sustains a high level of military spending despite the country’s economic troubles. [node:read-more:link]

Estonia learning from Ukraine’s experience

Estonia is increasing its fleet of South Korean howitzers to 36 with a new order for 12 at a cost of some €36 million. “Ukraine clearly shows how important indirect fire weapons are,” Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur said January 17. “We have made quick decisions to equip both infantry brigades with additional K9 Thunder mobile howitzers and bring Estonia’s indirect fire capability to a completely new level.” [node:read-more:link]

Marine mammals impacted by noise

As the Canadian military plans to resume weapons testing in an area off the southern tip of Vancouver Island after a three-year hiatus, British research shows increased ambient noise levels are forcing dolphins to “shout” to hear each other. Also, the European Commission has found that underwater noise levels have doubled every decade in the last 60 years, mainly due to increased shipping. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. Navy frustrated with suppliers

Admiral Daryl Caudle, head of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, is fed up with the U.S Navy’s inability to get weapons delivered fast enough to keep its own magazines full, let alone offer more assistance to Ukraine. “I’m not as forgiving of the defence industrial base . . . not delivering the ordnance we need,” he said January 11. “I am not forgiving the fact that “All this stuff about COVID this, parts, supply chain this, I just don’t really care.” [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine getting British MBTs

Britain plan to send up to a dozen Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, according to officials in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office. However, a formal announcement is not expected until January 20 at a meeting of Ukraine donor countries in Germany. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. weapons training to resume

After a three-year hiatus to study the effects on marine mammals of weapons training at the southwestern tip of Vancouver Island, the Canadian Armed Forces plans to resume the program. It cites a Toronto-based engineering company’s study which concluded that current measures to mitigate harmful effects of surface and aerial gunnery in the Strait of Juan de Fuca are effective. [node:read-more:link]


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