Collaboration with Chinese military

Researchers at 50 Canadian universities have collaborated for nearly two decades with Chinese military scientists at the National University of Defence Technology, according to Strider Technologies, a strategic intelligence company headquartered in Utah. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has warned that China increasingly uses joint academic research to obtain innovative science and technology. NUDT was blacklisted by the U.S. in 2015 because it posed a “significant risk” to national-security or foreign-policy interests. [node:read-more:link]

South Korea-Emirates ties

Two memoranda of understanding to improve bilateral defense ties were signed by the United Arab Emirates during South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to Dubai this week. One calls for more joint investment, research and technological development, the other for more UAE involvement in South Korea’s development of a new multi-mission cargo aircraft [node:read-more:link]

Exclusion from security pact an issue

A 2021 security pact between Australia, Britain and the U.S. evidently has raised concerns that Canada, by exclusion, won’t have access to some emerging defence technologies. The “AUKUS” treaty was designed to counter China’s growing military presence in the Indo-Pacific region but Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, head of Canadian Joint Operations Command says there are “conversations we need to be in on.” [node:read-more:link]

F-35 tech upgrade successful

A 50-minute test flight of an ugraded Lockheed Martin F-35A is described as a step toward loading the fighter with improved computer memory and processing power, laying the groundwork for a major Block 4 modernization. The test by the USAF 461st Flight Test Squadron verified airworthiness and system stability at 35,000 feet and at nearly Mach 1. [node:read-more:link]

NORAD upgrade a huge challenge

Since Canada announced its plan last June to spend $4.9 billion over six years to modernize North American defences, it has become clear that there are significant technical obstacles to overcome. Improved satellite coverage, over-the-horizon radar and deployment of undersea sensors and surveillance in the Arctic are among them and while Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, head of Canadian Joint Operations Command, says Canada has “decent domain awareness right now”, it continues to work with the U.S. on key elements of the NORAD upgrade. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian components in Iranian drones

Parts manufactured in more than a dozen countries, including Canada and the U.S., were found in an Iranian drone downed in Ukraine last fall, according to a Ukrainian intelligence assessment. While specific parts were not named in the assessment shared with U.S. officials, is further proof that despite sanctions, often complicated supply chains enable Iran to acquire commercially available technology. [node:read-more:link]

Ukrainians targetted Russian cellphones

A January 1 missile attack on Russian forces in occupied Ukraine evidently was possible when Russians’ personal mobile phones facilitated targetting, the Russian military disclosed today. The number of casualties remains in dispute; Ukraine initially said but Russia initially reported 63 only to update that today to at least 89. They were housed in a vocational college with ammunition stored nearby. [node:read-more:link]

Mammals beat tech in USN role

The U.S. Navy has been training bottlenose dolphins and sea lions since 1959 to recover lost equipment, intercept intruders and detect buried sea mines. It had planned to wind down much of the program this year, relying more on drones and other sensors, but it seems the mammalian platforms are still much more effective. [node:read-more:link]

AI a growing challenge for NATO

The growing role of artificial intelligence in cyber attacks is a “double-edged sword” and a “huge challenge” for NATO, according to David van Weel, Assistant Secretary-General for Emerging Security Challenges. ““Artificial intelligence allows defenders to scan networks more automatically, and fend off attacks rather than doing it manually,” the Dutch national says. “But the other way around, of course, it's the same game.” [node:read-more:link]

USAF grounds stealth bombers

The U.S. Air Force’s fleet of 20 Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bombers was grounded indefinitely December 19 pending inspection for potential safety defects. Operations at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri were paused after one aircraft made an emergency landing due an undisclosed in-flight malfunction. [node:read-more:link]

L3Harris succeeds where LM failed

Ten months after a Lockheed Martin bid to acquire Aerojet Rocketdyne failed when the U.S. Federal Trade Commission intervened because it deemed the plan anti-competitive, L3 Harris and Rocketdyne announced a $4.7-billion deal December 18. [node:read-more:link]

Satellite imagery firm being sold

Colorado-based Maxar Technologies, a publicly-traded company which supplies satellite imagery to U.S. national security agencies, has announced a $6.4-billion takeover by Advent International, a Boston private equity firm. Both sides say the takeover would benefit Maxar in the long term but a previous acquisition, of the British aerospace company Cobham in 2020 eventually saw it sold off in pieces within 18 months. [node:read-more:link]

Seven face Russia-related charges

Two Americans and five Russians, four of whom remain at large, are charged with conspiracy related to procurement and money laundering on behalf of Moscow. The U.S. Justice Department also says in a a 16-count indictment unsealed December 13 that they are suspected of trying to obtain military-grade and dual-use technologies as well as sniper ammunition. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. chip move challenged by China

The World Trade Organization has been asked by China to rule on U.S. export controls on computer chips. China’s commerce ministry announced the challenge through its mission in Geneva, saying December 12 that the controls announced in October threatened the stability of global industrial supply chains. [node:read-more:link]

Media giants get military cloud contracts

The U.S. Department of Defence has resurrected a plan to shift to cloud-based computing by awarding contracts to Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Oracle. The multi-service deal replaces a single-source $10-billion Enterprise Defense Infrastructure plan ditched in 2021 after a lengthy legal battle. [node:read-more:link]


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