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]

Reapers’ Arctic potential limited

A planned $5-billion RCAF procurement of General Atomics MQ-9B Reaper armed drones for Arctic deployment has been delayed until at least 2028. DND cites a need for “significant development work” on links to aerial and orbital communications as well as training [node:read-more:link]

Boeing maintains AWACS role

NATO has opted for an off-the-shelf approach to replacing its fleet of 14 Boeing 707-based E-3A Sentry surveillance platforms with an initial six E-7A Wedgetails, the first of which is expected to be operational by 2031. NATO says the new aircraft is “the only known military-off-the-shelf/non-developmental system currently capable of fulfilling the strategic commands’ essential operational requirements […] within the timeframe required.” [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]

Putin pushes cooperation with China

Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken up his Chinese counterpart’s offer last year of “no-limits friendship” by proposing more cooperation on military technologies. “Russia and China aren’t building any military alliances based on Cold War patterns,” Putin said November 8, adding that cooperation with China is a “serious factor in stabilizing the international situation.” [node:read-more:link]

Pyongyang supplying Moscow?

British and U.S. analysis of new satellite imagery indicates that two Russian cargo vessels linked to military transport networks have delivered materiel from North Korea on multiple occasions in the past two months. There was no record of the ships on that route until after talks between senior Russian and North Korean official. [node:read-more:link]

Five Eyes reduced to Two?

Britain, Canada and New Zealand have cooperated for decades with Australia and the U.S. in the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing accord but the latter two are planning to add a new bilateral layer. Few details about the new initiative have been release but Australian Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles calls it a “significant step forward” toward “seamless” intelligence sharing. [node:read-more:link]

Continental awareness improved

Air Force General Glen VanHerck, head of U.S. Northern Command and NORAD, said July 20 that the Chinese surveillance balloon that transited North America earlier this year exposed gaps in the U.S. ability to detect airborne threats and propelled the development of new surveillance technology. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese balloon collected no data

The U.S. Defence Department press secretary, Air Force Brigadier-General Pat Ryder, said June 29 that the Chinese “spy balloon” that caused political uproar in Canada and the U.S. before it was shot down last February collected no data during its week-long transit. [node:read-more:link]

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]


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