NEWS BRIEFS: INTERNATIONAL
22 September 2023 (Ottawa Citizen)
More than six years after the 2017 Strong, Secure, Engaged policy paper disclosed plans for Canada to acquired armed drones, the Department of National Defence has confirmed plans to buy a fleet of General Atomics MQ-9 Reapers which can be fitted with Hellfire missiles at an overall cost of some $5 billion. “Should the finalization phase conclude successfully, contract award is expected within this fiscal year,” says DND spokesperson Jessica Lamirande. “We expect the first delivery in 2028.”
22 September 2023 (Breaking Defense)
The U.S. Government Accountability Office reports that a lack of depot capacity, access to technical data, insufficient spare parts and overreliance on contractors have undermined F-35 fleets’ mission capability rates. Only 55% of aircraft were mission-ready earlier this year, well short of 90% for the basic F-35A and 85% for the B and C variants.
22 September 2023 (BBC)
Recent disappearances of several high-ranking Chinese military officials, most notably Defence Minister Li Shangfu, are sparking speculation about whether President Xi Jinging has begun a purge. Li was being investigated over equipment purchases while three others, including a judge, have been removed from office.
21 September 2023 (BBC )
A 24-hour military “anti-terror” offensive against ethnic Armenian forces in the disputed South Caucasus enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh has ended with a declaration by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev that his country’s sovereignty has been restored.
21 September 2023 (C4ISRNet)
Authorities in Hong Kong have extradited to the U.S. a man accused of shuttling sensitive microelectronics into Russia amidst its invasion of Ukraine. Maxim Marchenko, originally from Russia, faces several charges, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to commit wire fraud and smuggling.
21 September 2023 (BBC)
Amidst a diplomatic dispute over what it said are market-destabilizing grain exports, Poland is no longer supplying Soviet-era weapons to its neighbour, preferring instead to re-equip its own forces. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was responding September 20 to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s complaint that some his country’s allies were “making a thriller from grain
21 September 2023 (Breaking Defense)
Air Force General CQ Brown was confirmed by the U.S. Senate late September 20 as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is the first break in a months- stall of more than 300 promotions resulted from an Alabama Republican’s legislative tactics in opposition to a Department of Defense abortion policy.
20 September 2023 (C4ISRNet)
The U.S. imposed sanctions September 19 on four companies and seven individuals in China, Russia and NATO member Turkey for alleged connections with Iran’s drone program. The Turkish persons accused are two money exchangers. Iran’s president has denied that his country supplied drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine.
20 September 2023 (NY Times)
The UN was criticized today by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of not fulfilling its fundamental obligation in dealing with Russia’s invasion. Calling for Russia to be stripped of its Security Council veto, he said “it is impossible to stop the war because all actions are vetoed by the aggressor.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated a claim that the West had staged a “coup” in Ukraine to install a pro-Western president.
19 September 2023 (Al Jazeera)
Nearly three years after conflict in the region war resulted in more than 6,000 deaths, Azerbaijan today launched a military operation in breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh. Recognized internationally as part of Azerbaijan, the region is majority ethnic Armenian.