DND accesses U.S. satellite

The Department of National Defense became the first NATO ally to gain access to the U.S. Space Force’s geosynchronous satellite-based mobile network developed for narrowband voice, video and data. The recently disclosed test in October used tactical radios from two locations in Ottawa to make point-to-point calls, transfer files, and access group chat services on the network. [node:read-more:link]

NORAD moves into the Cloud

North American Aerospace Defense Command has taken a significant step toward modernizing its capabilities by putting a Cloud-Based Command and Control system online at one of its key hubs. “The effect is a more streamlined connection between sensors, systems, and decision-makers,” said a NORAD official. [node:read-more:link]

Space junk penalized

Colorado-based Dish Network, which provides direct-broadcast TV programming, has been fined $150,000 for leaving a defunct 21-year-old satellite in in an orbit where it posed a threat. The company admitted liability in the unprecedented case which prompted the Federal Communications Commission to warn that “as satellite operations become more prevalent and the space economy accelerates, we must be certain that operators comply with their commitments.” [node:read-more:link]

Crimean air defence system hit

Ukraine said today that it used cruise missiles and drones early today to destroy Russian radar stations and S300 and S400 missile launchers near Yevpatoriya in occupied Crimea. Russia, not comment specifically, said it had downed several drones in an attempted attack on a naval patrol ship. [node:read-more:link]

RTX wins Polish radar contract

RTX (formerly Raytheon) announced today that Poland is the first foreign buyer of a new 360-degree radar developed for the U.S. Army. Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak approved a letter of acceptance to buy 12 Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensors as well as 48 launchers to be integrated into the current air and missile defence architecture. [node:read-more:link]

Sites sought for NORAD project

DND is shopping south of the Trans-Canada Highway in Ontario for up to four parcels of land to build new NORAD over-the-horizon radar installations. The $38.6-billion project was announced by the government 13 months ago. [node:read-more:link]

More military aid for Ukraine

The U.S. announced today that it will send Ukraine an additional $500 million in ammunition and equipment to be followed by more than $2 billion in other weaponry and materiel as Ukraine prepares for a spring counteroffensive against Russia. Much of the ammunition will be taken from current stockpiles. [node:read-more:link]

Lockheed Martin scores Down Under

Australia’s 11-month-old Labour government has announced that Lockheed Martin has been sole-sourced to supply the country’s first sovereign military satellite program at a projected cost of A$4 billion. The previous coalition administration had planned to down-select to two potential suppliers from an initial list of five. [node:read-more:link]

Defence spending confirmed

Canada plans to invest $7.3 billion to upgrade fighter bases and northern landing strips to accommodate its ordered Lockheed Martin F-35s, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office announced March 24. Also confirmed during President Joe Biden’s visi to Ottawa, the government also said that the first new Over the Horizon Radar base will be in northern Ontario, part of a 20-year upgrade of continental air defences. [node:read-more:link]

Satellite jamming thwarted?

Boeing says its design for a ground-based system to protect communication satellites from signal jamming was validated in a U.S. Space Force test in January. Troy Dawson, vice-president of government satellite systems, said the system Boeing has been developing under contract since 2018, will enable the U.S. and allies to meet “the challenges of an evolving battlefield.” [node:read-more:link]

Skynet contract goes to Babcock

London-based Babcock International has won a prime contract to run the ground elements of Britain’s military Skynet satellite communications system for an initial six years. Lockheed Martin and Airbus Defence and Space were among other bidders for the contract worth at least £400 million. [node:read-more:link]

NATO unveils new space program

Streamlining the collection and sharing of huge volumes of satellite-based data is behind a new NATO initiative. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said February 13 that he expects the Alliance Persistent Surveillance from Space program would be set in motion this week at the alliance’s annual defence ministerial summit in Brussels. [node:read-more:link]

SpaceX limits Ukraine Starlink use

SpaceX has taken steps to “limit” Ukraine’s use of the company’s Starlink satellites in its counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion. Starlink President Gwynne Shotwell had said February 8 that “we were really pleased to be able to provide Ukraine connectivity and help them in their . . . fight for freedom” but the technology “was never intended to be weaponized” for such things as drone control. [node:read-more:link]

Vital satellite imagery to be shared

Colorado-based Maxar Technologies confirmed today that it has received a five-year contract to supply satellite imagery to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and allies. It will include high-resolution electro-optical and synthetic aperture radar images as well as three-dimensional data services. [node:read-more:link]

Domestic space launches planned

The federal government hopes to have domestic commercial space launch facilities within the next three years. “For many years, Canadian satellites have launched from sites in other countries,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra explained January 20, adding that the government would begin developing the regulatory requirements, safety standards and licensing conditions. He also said the government is ready to approve private-sector launches in the interim on a case-by-case basis. [node:read-more:link]


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