Western components in Iranian drones

Iranian drones used by Russian forces to attack Ukraine’s essential infrastructure are “almost exclusively” made of manufactured in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, according to a British organization that tracks illegal weapons. Damien Spleeters, deputy operations director at Conflict Armament Research, acknowledges that “it would be unrealistic to think that we can control every single model of component that can be used . . . but certainly, the tracing, the record-keeping, the visibility on the supply chain can be improved.” [node:read-more:link]

Seven face Russia-related charges

Two Americans and five Russians, four of whom remain at large, are charged with conspiracy related to procurement and money laundering on behalf of Moscow. The U.S. Justice Department also says in a a 16-count indictment unsealed December 13 that they are suspected of trying to obtain military-grade and dual-use technologies as well as sniper ammunition. [node:read-more:link]

Single anti-tank weapon desirable?

The U.S. Army wants to replace four portable anti-tank and anti-structure munitions with a single multi-functional alternative. The proposed XM919 Individual Assault Munition would be required to “penetrate and deliver incapacitating effects” against targets with troops able to fire safely within enclosed areas. “Threats have evolved.” an Army spokesman explained. “Therefore the capabilities need to be combined to reduce soldier load and simplify training and logistics.” [node:read-more:link]

Nordic countries assessing cooperation

The government of the Nordic countries are exploring the prospect of shared arms procurements and coordinating donations to other countries, notably Ukraine, as well as expanding logistics cooperation. The discussions flow from a recent meeting of defence ministers in Helsinki. “Ukraine still needs our support to defend itself,” said Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen. “The war, unfortunately, looks like it will last a long time.” [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine downs Russian missiles

The Ukrainian air force says it shot down more than 60 of some 70 cruise missiles today which had been fired from Russian ships in the Caspian Sea and from the Rostov region in southern Russia. The barrage, which also involved long-range bombers and fighters, was the latest onslaught in a campaign targetting infrastructure and disrupting supplies of electricity, water and heat in Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Finland green-lit for missiles

The U.S. State Department has cleared the way for Finland to acquire 350 Raytheon FIM-92K Stinger air defence missile systems and related services at a potential cost of $380 million. Finland plans to bolster defensive capabilities along Europe’s northern flank while supporting U.S. European Command “top priorities.” It follows on the heels of a $323-million sale to Finland of Raytheon AIM 9X Block II Sidewinder missiles and AGM-154 Joint Stand Off Weapons [node:read-more:link]

Canada sponsors Ukraine mine-clearing

The Scottish-based HALO Trust, a non-governmental organization which began mine-clearance in Afghanistan in 1988, has received $2 million from Canada for similar operations in parts of Ukraine east of Kyiv. Volunteers are dealing with what are understood to be millions of anti-tank and anti-personnel munitions left by retreating Russian invaders. [node:read-more:link]

“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]


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