“Drone Dome” approved by U.S.

The Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office in the U.S. Department of Defense has approved the modular “Drone Dome” system produced by a Maryland-based unit of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems in Haifa. After successful testing of its detection, identification and soft-kill capabilities at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, Rafael Systems Global Sustainment now can compete for DoD contracts. [node:read-more:link]

Russian minister focused on nuclear

After postponing scheduled strategic arms limitation talks with the U.S. only a few days before they were due to begin in Cairo, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has spelled out his immediate priorities. He said today that his plan includes expanding nuclear weapons infrastructure and improving missile combat capabilities. [node:read-more:link]

Missile blanks still destructive

A senior U.S. military official agrees it is “likely” that Russia is launching missiles without warheads into Ukraine an attempt to deplete its air defences, as reported November 26 by the British defence ministry. That report said ballast probably was being substituted for explosives but pointed out that the missiles were still destructive because of unspent fuel and the sheer kinetic energy involved. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. sends 26th military package to Ukraine

Up to $400 million worth of munitions and materiel comprise the U.S. Department of Defense’s 26th drawdown on stockpiles for Ukraine. It includes High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems ammunition, anti-radiation missiles, precision-guided artillery rounds, heavy machine guns, mortar rounds, surface-to-air missiles, small-arms ammunition, and various vehicles and other gear. It boosts U.S. support for Ukraine since the Russia invaded last February to more than $19 billion. [node:read-more:link]

Ukrainians burning out howitzer barrels

Ukraine’s counteroffensive against invading Russian forces has resulted in a rate of artillery shelling not seen in decades, straining howitzers to the point where a third are out of commission at any given time and must be sent to Poland for repairs. The heavy use can damage not only barrels but also loading/reloading components, all of which can affect accuracy. [node:read-more:link]

START stopped for now

A proposed November 29 reboot of the U.S.-Russia strategic arms limitation talks has been postponed. The State Department said today that the meeting in Cairo has been “unilaterally postponed” without explanation, only that new dates would be forthcoming. [node:read-more:link]

Patriot missiles for Poland problematic?

Even though Germany’s offer of Patriot missiles to Poland earlier this week was immediately accepted, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said today that the offer must be endorsed by all alliance members. “Patriot systems are part of NATO’s integrated air defense of NATO, which is why it was possible to make this proposal,” she said. “Proposals that deviate from that have to be discussed now with NATO and with our allies.” [node:read-more:link]

Japan tests ballistic missile defences

Using missiles launched from destroyers, Japan has successfully carried out two ballistic intercepts near Hawaii, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency reported November 21. The tests were conducted over a two-week period in cooperation with the U.S. Navy. [node:read-more:link]

Iran renewing tanker attacks?

Debris recovered from an Israeli-owned oil tanker attacked in international waters off Oman last week has prompted the U.S. Navy to say today that it was the same type of Shahed-136 drone that Iran has supplied to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. The drone’s explosion caused minor damage to the Liberian-registered ship’s stern above the waterline. There was a similar attack on another Israeli tanker off Oman in July 2021 but Iran denied responsibility. [node:read-more:link]

Iran pushes back at nuclear agency

Iran confirmed today that it has begun enriching uranium up to 60 per cent purity at its underground Fordow plant, more than a year after it had started doing so at its above-ground Natanz facility. The announcement evidently is in retaliation to last week’s International Atomic Energy Agency’s call on Iran to cooperate with a years-long IAEA investigation into the origin of uranium particles found at three sites. Weapons-grade uranium-235 is typically enriched to at least 90 per cent but lower purity can still be used. [node:read-more:link]

Poland accepts more Patriot missiles

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said today he has accepted “with satisfaction” an offer of Patriot air-defence systems by his German counterpart, Christine Lambrecht, to be positioned along his country’s border with Ukraine. Poland already had Patriot systems supplied by the U.S. Lamprecht, who also had offered Eurofighters, said “we have to position ourselves in the alliance even better in terms of air defence.” [node:read-more:link]

State Department approves European sales

The latest in a series of proposed military exports approved by the U.S. State Department is the $700-million sale of up to 72 Patriot air defence missile systems to Switzerland. Subject to final approval, it follows a $495-million sale of eight high-mobility rocket system launchers and 36 warhead pods to Lithuania and a $380-million sale of 120 air-to-air missiles and 10 guidance sections to Belgium. [node:read-more:link]

Definitely no nukes in a NATO Finland

Finnish PM Sanna Marin has reiterated that her country will not permit nuclear weapos on its territory if it eventually joins NATO. Her rebuttal November 17 came as her government presented new proposals to reinforce its 1,340 km) border with Russia. Sauli Niinistö, Finland’s president and military commander-in-chief points, out that the nuclear option has never been discussed or even intimated as a condition for membership in the alliance. [node:read-more:link]

North Korea fires missile near Japan

A suspected intercontinental ballistic missile fired by North Korea today landed only 200 kilometres off northern Japan, a day after a smaller missile launch was accompanied by a warning of “fierce military responses” to a U.S. buildup in the region. Japanese Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the latest missile had a potential range of 15,000km. [node:read-more:link]


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