Russia confirms nukes for Belarus

Deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons to neighbouring Belarus, a close ally in the war against Ukraine, has been formalized in a May 25 agreement. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the arrangement is justified by “an extremely sharp escalation of threats on the western borders of Russia and Belarus.” [node:read-more:link]

New U.S. military chief nominated

Subject to Senate approval, President Joe Biden has nominated General CQ Brown, current head of the air force, as the next Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman to succeed Army General Mark Milley. Having served in Europe, the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific, Brown is the son of a Vietnam War veteran and grandson of a World War II vet. [node:read-more:link]

Orban pessimistic about Ukraine

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, often out of step with other NATO leaders, said today that Ukraine is unlikely to win its war with Russia. “It is obvious that there is no victory for the poor Ukrainians on the battlefield,” he said. “The war can be stopped only if the Russians can make an agreement with the U.S. “In Europe, we are not happy with that, but it’s the only way out.” [node:read-more:link]

More delays for new U.S. trainer

The Government Accountability has highlighted more issues with the U.S. Air Force’s planned procurement of new T-7A Red Hawk advanced jet trainers being developed by Boeing and Saab. It cites safety issues, scheduling and testing delays and the potential for further slippage in a program already a decade later than the USAF had expected. [node:read-more:link]

Microwaved drones, anybody?

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory has demonstrated a microwave drone countermeasure, the Tactical High-power Operational Responder, against a swarm of targets. “THOR has never been tested against these types of drones before, but this did not stop the system from dropping the targets out of the sky with its non-kinetic speed-of-light […] pulses,” an official explained. [node:read-more:link]

USAF dislikes monopoly procurement

In what it says is an attempt to avoid mistakes in programs such as the Lockheed Martin F-35, the U.S. Air Force plans to ensure it has access to all the follow-on data it needs from contractors as it works on its Next Generation Air Dominance platform. Otherwise, says Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, “what that basically does is create a perpetual monopoly […] so we’re not going to do that with NGAD.” [node:read-more:link]

Fortin case under more scrutiny

The Military Police Complaints Commission is looking into how military police handled the sexual-assault allegation against Major-General Dany Fortin, who was cleared of misconduct after his acquittal by a Quebec Court last December. Fortin says he was the victim of a biased investigation and the Commission said today that his statements about senior military officials make it a matter of public interest. [node:read-more:link]

Russian hypersonics under fire

Three Russian scientists involved in hypersonic weapons development face what the Kremlin calls “very serious accusations” of treason. They were detained several days after Russian hypersonic missiles were downed by Ukrainian air defences last week. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. ups pressure on defence spending

Julianne Smith, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO, says the alliance expects Canada and other alliance members to have a clear plan of how they will meet defence spending targets when they meet July 11-12 in Lithuania. “Negotiations are still underway […] but my prediction is that will focus on making the 2% (of national GDP) target an enduring commitment.” [node:read-more:link]

Millimetre error costs millions

A 33-tonne propellor shaft misaligned by no more than a millimetre took Britain’s newest aircraft carrier, the £3-billion HMS Prince of Wales, out of service after only one day in August 2022. Now the Royal Navy is trying to figure out liability for the massive repair bill, an exercise complicated by the fact that the ship was built by a now defunct consortium [node:read-more:link]

Australian ship selection lacked transparency`

Australia’s national auditor has delivered a highly critical report on the selection of the country’s newest warship, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship. It says “management of this procurement and related advisory processes […] lacked a value for money focus” and transparency in choosing the BAE Systems design over two competitors. [node:read-more:link]

Hussars celebrate with royal visitor

Princess Anne wound up a visit to New Brunswick on the weekend, having helped to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the 8th Canadian Hussars, an Army reserve reconnaissance regiment which she has served as colonel-in-chief 1972. [node:read-more:link]

Biden changes tack on F-16s

Having resisted for months the notion of supplying F-16 fighters to Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden today told allies that he would permit training on U.S. aircraft. He also said he is prepared to let other countries donate their Fighting Falcons to Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]


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