China extends polar footprint

The 1959 Antarctic Treaty stipulates that continent could not be used for military purposes, but the evolution of dual-use technologies is raising concerns about China, which has a growing interest in the Arctic, building a fifth Antarctic base which could be used to monitor communications in southern regions. [node:read-more:link]

Balloon controversy continues

It remains unclear whether the Chinese balloon shot down off South Carolina two months ago could collect real-time data on potentially sensitive military installations as it transited Canada and the U.S. Washington said April 3 that it could not confirm reports to that effect and Beijing said it “rejects distortion and hyping up of this incident.” [node:read-more:link]

Poland breaks up spy ring

Six foreign nationals “from across the eastern border” have been charged by Poland with preparing acts of sabotage and spying for Russia. “Their tasks included recognising, monitoring and documenting weapons transports to Ukraine,” says Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski. “The suspects were also preparing sabotage actions aimed at paralysing the supply of equipment, weapons and aid.” [node:read-more:link]

Drone downing contentious

Russia and the U.S. ramped up their rhetoric today after a General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper surveillance drone wound up in the Black Sea March 14. U.S. European Command says a pair of Russian Su-17 fighter pilots had been “unsafe and unprofessional” in the interception over international airspace but Moscow, vowing to recover the debris, denies responsibility. [node:read-more:link]

Eyre defends U.S. balloon intercept

General Wayne Eyre, the Chief of Defence Staff, would have preferred that an RCAF CF-188 Hornet had downed a suspicious balloon over the Yukon last month but freezing rain delayed deployment from Cold Lake, Alberta. He said May 7 that the U.S. F-22 Raptor which shot down the balloon while under NORAD command was acting on an order that “whoever had the best shot” should take it. [node:read-more:link]

Spy vs. Spy in the stratosphere

The pilot of a U-2 surveillance aircraft flew above a Chinese balloon in the stratosphere over the continental U.S. before it was eventually shot down by an F-22 Raptor off the Carolinas earlier this month. The image released by the Defense Department shows the U-2’s shadow on the 200-foot balloon and a clear view of its solar array which evidently powered what the U.S. says was a one-ton “signals intelligence collection operations” payload. [node:read-more:link]

Joly calls China increasingly disruptive

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said today that NORAD will takes a strong stance to protect Arctic sovereignty as more reports of foreign interference emerge. “We will challenge China when we ought to, and we will cooperate with China when we need to,” she said. “When it comes to issues over the Arctic within our maritime borders, or any form of foreign interference, we will be clear. [node:read-more:link]

Canada seizes Chinese buoys in Arctic

Chinese monitoring buoys in the Arctic, located and retrieved by the Canadian Armed Forces, adds to a list of pressing concerns about Beijing’s interventions in Canadian affairs. The buoys were spotted during Operation Limpid, an ongoing effort to provide early detection of potential security threats. [node:read-more:link]

Russians enter U.S. buffer zone

The U.S. Air Force scrambled four fighters as well as surveillance and tanker aircraft from Anchorage February 13 to escort four Russia aircraft, including a bomber and fighter, out of an international airspace buffer zone near Alaska. NORAD said the “routine” activity occurs a half dozen times a year. [node:read-more:link]

Detecting unauthorized flying objects

With imaginations running wild over the four objects sighted over North American airspace, it is likely that a new definition of UFO and new technology, such as sensors that can detect low profile and low heat signatures, will be required to spot and neutralize future Unauthorized Flying Objects (UFOs). [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]

China-U.S. ballooning relationship

As Canada and the U.S. continue to investigate airspace incursions by “flying objects”, including a Chinese “spy” balloon and three others shot down by NORAD in the past week or so, the Chinese foreign ministry said February 13 that the U.S. has flown balloons into its airspace more than 10 times in the past year. “It’s not uncommon for the U.S. to illegally enter the airspace of other countries,” an official said. “The first thing the U.S. side should do is start with a clean slate, undergo some self-reflection, instead of smearing and accusing China.” [node:read-more:link]

Four NORAD shootdowns in nine days

An “unidentified” object shot down by a U.S. F-22 Raptor pilot over Lake Huron February 12 is the focus of a Canadian-U.S. debris recovery in Canadian waters. It was the fourth such interception since a suspected Chinese “spy” balloon was shot down off the U.S. East Coast after transiting the U.S. and Canada. That was followed by the downing of high-altitude “objects” off northern Alaska and the central Yukon due to concerns about surveillance and potential interference with commercial air traffic [node:read-more:link]

Australia MoD removing cameras

Following similar decisions in Britain and the U.S., the Australian military is removing Chinese-made security cameras from its buildings. “It’s important that . . . our facilities are completely secure,” Defence Minister Richard Marles confirmed today. Auditors found that at least 913 Chinese cameras had been installed in nearly every department. [node:read-more:link]


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