L3Harris focusing on security

Florida-based L3Harris Technologies, which has a long-standing relationship supplying surveillance technology to the Canadian military, announced November 27 that it will sell its commercial aviation business to a New York private-equity firm. Contingent on regulatory approval, it would enable the company to focus more on national security and technology while paying down debt. [node:read-more:link]

Boosting howitzer ammo for Ukraine

A year into efforts to boost production of 155mm artillery rounds for Ukraine, the U.S. and EU states are seeing radically different results. U.S. output has increased faster than forecast while European output has been slowed by the consensus-focused nature of NATO and the EU. [node:read-more:link]

Ireland reviews neutrality

Irish Defence Minister Micheál Martin, who doubles as deputy prime minister, has told his parliament that he wants to reform his country’s “triple lock” neutrality policy on deploying troops abroad. Any such proposals require explicit consent from his government, the parliament and the UN Security Council. [node:read-more:link]

F-35 sustainment challenge

Stalled talks between Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Department of Defense about a new F-35 sustainment program have prompted the DoD to consider a temporary fix through to at least the end of 2024. “That’s just to ensure that we have the necessary framework and support in place to sustain currently fielded F-35s and operations globally,” says Assistant Secretary of Defense Christopher Lowman. [node:read-more:link]

Memorial project problematic

The federal government has postponed the unveiling of a $7.5-million Victims of Communism monument in Ottawa after it was pointed out that it did not include, among other things, a key Korean War battle involving Canadian troops. [node:read-more:link]

Ortis verdict to be appealed

The lawyer representing Cameron Ortis, the former RCMP intelligence official convicted of breaching national security, says he plans to appeal the November 22 Ontario Superior Court’s jury verdict. Ortis’ sentencing hearing is expected in early January but the Crown has said imprisonment for about 20 years would be appropriate. [node:read-more:link]

Bipartisan push for Five Eyes

Three U.S. House of Representatives committees have been asked to review draft legislation which would require the Defense Department to collaborate more closely with Canada, Australia, Britain and New Zealand on artificial intelligence. The proposal (H.R. 6425) is sponsored by Wisconsin Republican Mike Gallagher, chair of the Armed Services subcommittee on cybersecurity and information technology, and its ranking Democrat, California member Ro Khana. [node:read-more:link]

Cameron Ortis found guilty

An Ontario Superior Court jury in Ottawa today found Cameron Ortis guilty of six charges, including multiple counts under the Security of Information Act, and the Crown has suggested a sentence in the range of 20 years. The former civilian head of the RCMP’s intelligence division had pled not guilty, claiming that he had been acting to protect Canada against a “grave threat.” [node:read-more:link]

Poland charges 16 foreigners

Sixteen foreign nationals were charged today in Poland with sabotage and propaganda activities “on behalf of Russian intelligence.” The office of Intelligence Service Coordinator Mariusz Kaminski said the accused, arrested when the NATO state shut down a spy ring earlier this year, all have confessed. [node:read-more:link]

More peacekeepers for Balkans?

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance is considering an increase in the number of troops it deploys to the Western Balkans to keep tensions under control. Hundreds of British and Romanian troops were deployed after a recent dispute in Kosovo,which declared independence from Serbia in 2008 after a guerrilla uprising and a 1999 NATO intervention that included some 1,300 Canadian Armed Forces personnel. [node:read-more:link]

Latvia brigade tanks arrive

Canada has completed delivery of 15 Leopard 2A4M tanks to Latvia as part of a proposed a combat-ready NATO brigade in Eastern Europe. DND said they are accompanied by some support equipment and personnel but the rest of the full complement of 130 are not expected until the spring. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. Army wants anti-vaxxers back

With recruitment slumping, the U.S. Army is inviting personnel forced out for refusing coronavirus vaccinations to rejoin. “Former soldiers who were involuntarily separated […] may request a correction of their military records,” says Brigadier-General Hope Rampy, Army Director of Personnel Management. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine running short of fires

Ukrainian forces have been burning through 240,000 rounds of 155mm howitzer rounds a month but security of supply now is an issue as the U.S. has begun sending Israel stocks originally meant. The number of rounds being sent to Israel is reportedly close to U.S. monthly production capacity and EU states have emptied their bunkers. [node:read-more:link]

NATO pushes Ukraine support

Amid uncertainty about the durability of support for Ukraine with Russia’s invasion now in its 21st month, the NATO Military Committee met last week with the NATO-Ukraine Council. “Supporting Ukraine is in our own security interest, because the world would be a more dangerous place if President Putin gets what he wants,” said Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer. “NATO must remain committed to providing support, so that Ukraine can prevail as a sovereign nation.” [node:read-more:link]

Zelenskyy says “little time left”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for rapid changes in how his military operates. “Priorities were set,” Mr. Zelensky said in his nightly video address. “There is little time left to wait for results,” he said November 19 after meeting with Defence Minister Rustem Umerov. “There is little time left to wait for results; quick action is needed for forthcoming changes.” [node:read-more:link]


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