Canadian military getting new pistols

The Canadian Army expects to begin receiving the first of at least 7,200 new Sig Sauer P320s sem i-automatic pistols next summer under a US$3.2-million contract signed with Victoria-based M.D. Charleton Co. Announced today, the contract, which also includes holsters, spares and training, has an option for up to 9,500 pistols for the RCAF, Navy and Military Police, which would boost the procurement to US$7.6 million. [node:read-more:link]

North Korea tests ballistic missile

Air raid sirens went off in Japan October 3 when North Korea tested a ballistic missile which reached an altitude of some 1,000 kilometres before eventually falling into the Pacific 4,500km away. The first such launch since 2017, it resulted in Japan, South Korea and the U.S. conducting military exercises today in response, including firing four surface-to-air missiles off the Korean peninsula’s east coast. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine wants Canadian mine-clearing help

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says he wants Canada to head a “swift and large-scale” landmine removal effort to deal with munitions left by Russian forces. “I invited Prime Minister Trudeau to lead a global effort,” he said September 27. “Ukraine's territory has one of the greatest concentrations of mines in the world.” Canada has spearheaded global campaigns since the 1990s and was instrumental in the 1999 Ottawa Convention signed by 133 states (but neither the U.S. nor Russia) to outlaw the weapons. [node:read-more:link]

Lithuania targets U.S. suppliers

U.S. companies stand to benefit most from a Lithuanian government decision to increase its current military budget “in the context of the war started by Russia” in Ukraine. The additional funding paves the way for procurement of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems from Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control as well as Switchblade loitering munitions from AeroVironment in Virginia and light tactical vehicles from Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense. [node:read-more:link]

Army has issues with new machine guns

The Canadian Army, in cooperation with Colt Canada, is addressing problems with many of the company’s C6A1 general purpose machine guns despite the fact that they’re based on a proven design used by more than 80 other countries. Defective parts and other issues have been found in more than 1,000 of the 3,331 weapons delivered to date under a contract for 4,774. [node:read-more:link]

Depleting munitions a challenge

Norway is considering letting its stocks of key munitions drop below required levels, a short-term price to pay to keep weapons flowing to Ukraine even as it contemplates increases stockpiles in the future. Acknowledging that that the concept requires parliamentary approval, Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said the need to balance current and projected needs will be a major focus in the coming months. [node:read-more:link]

Nuclear oversight agency deficient

The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, which manages eight weapons research and production facilities, has been criticized by the Government Accountability Office for lacklustre cybersecurity policies. The GAO says the NNSA and its contractors’ “ability to effectively respond to emerging cyber threats” has been undermined by their failure to fully implement federally-mandated security practices, notably a continuous monitoring strategy. [node:read-more:link]

Kremlin’s new nuclear threat

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, now deputy chairman of his country’s Security Council, has escalated President Vladimir Putin’s threat that “all available means” could be used against Ukraine. The routinely aggressive Medvedev said today that “any Russian weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons and weapons based on new principles, could be used” to protect parts of Ukraine which opt to join Russia. [node:read-more:link]

Canada’s ammo production assessed

The U.S. Army wants to gather information on Canadian and American companies’ capacity to help produce 12,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition monthly. The U.S. has depleted its own stockpiles by donating more than 800,000 rounds to Ukraine, but that country says it needs more in its ongoing battle against Russian forces. [node:read-more:link]

Poland wants attack helicopters

The U.S. is being lobbied by Poland to authorize the sale of 96 Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, also the country’s deputy prime minister, disclosed the request after a meeting in Germany with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The aircraft would initially work with Abrams main battle tanks being procured by Poland as it upgrades defences against a potential Russian attack. [node:read-more:link]

Conflicting messages from Iran

Iran says it is receptive to proposals to resurrect its 2015 nuclear accord but it has coupled that stance with a call for the International Atomic Energy Agency “not to yield to Israel’s pressure” on the issue, going so far as to unveil a drone it says can strike Israel. The mixed message prompted one of the deal’s brokers, Germany, to express regret today that Tehran is not responding to Europe’s call in a truly positive manner. Britain and France are similarly skeptical. [node:read-more:link]

Kim Jong Un personalizes nuclear threat

North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament has enshrined the right to preemptive nuclear strikes with a new law that leader Kim Jong Un said makes its nuclear status “irreversible” and bars denuclearisation talks. “There can be no bargaining over our nuclear weapons,” Kim said in a speech to the assembly today. Among other things, the law would permit preemptive action if Pyongyang anticipates an attack against its leadership. [node:read-more:link]

Saab demos short-range air defence

Saab has disclosed that it showed off its new mobile short-range air defence system to a delegation of officials from 15 countries at the end of August. The company says the MSHORAD system, capable to hitting targets at more than nine kilometres and at altitudes up to five kilometres, is designed for the “new battlefield era, with airborne threats such as the advent of drones, unmanned aerial vehicles and other advanced airborne threats.” [node:read-more:link]

More U.S. support for Eastern Europe

The U.S. has unveiled nearly $3 billion in new military support funds for embattled Ukraine and 18 of its neighbours. Alongside a $675 million package of heavy weaponry, ammunition and armored vehicles for Ukraine, the U.S. administration notified Congress of plans for $2.2 billion in new Foreign Military Financing available to countries deemed “most potentially at risk for future Russian aggression.” [node:read-more:link]


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