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14 Apr 22. Poland will get a new air-defense system after the summer. Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak has signed a deal under which the country’s military will get a short-range, air-defense system using MBDA’s Common Anti-air Modular Missile, or CAMM, this year.
With Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine continuing to stir Poland’s defense posture, Warsaw decided to accelerate the procurement.
The news marks a significant shift from the ministry’s earlier plans under which the Polish military was to secure the system in 2027, according to earlier announcements by officials.
“We draw lessons from what is happening across our eastern border,” Błaszczak said during the official signing ceremony on April 14. “We see how important is the role played … by air-defense, anti-aircraft defense. This is why we significantly accelerated the delivery of the Narew short-range air-defense system to the Polish military.”
A consortium led by Poland’s state-run defense giant PGZ will serve as the integrator of the new system, dubbed Narew, cooperating with the European group which will supply the necessary technology.
“As part of the deal’s implementation, two fire modules of a short-range air-defense system will be acquired, of which the first will be delivered to the Polish Armed Forces this September. The second fire unit will be delivered on the turn of 2022 and 2023,” the ministry said in a statement.
A spokesperson for MBDA confirmed to Defense News the new delivery schedule presented by the Polish Ministry of National Defence.
The ministry did not immediately disclose the value of the deal.
Under the plan, Poland’s new short-range air-defense system is to complement the two Patriot Configuration 3+ batteries the country is to secure this year under the Wisla mid-range, air-defense program. (Source: Defense News)
13 Apr 22. NATO planners put the F-35 front and center in European nuclear deterrence. Following Germany’s decision to buy a fleet of F-35s, NATO planners have begun updating the alliance’s nuclear sharing mechanics to account for the jet’s next-gen capabilities, a key NATO official said this week.
“We’re moving fast and furiously towards F-35 modernization and incorporating those into our planning and into our exercising and things like that as those capabilities come online,” said Jessica Cox, director of the NATO nuclear policy directorate in Brussels.
“By the end of the decade, most if not all of our allies will have transitioned,” she added, speaking during an online discussion of the Advanced Nuclear Weapons Alliance Deterrence Center, a Washington-based think tank.
The alliance’s nuclear sharing concept goes back to the 1960s. It prescribes that non-nuclear weapon countries in Europe would strap relatively small-yield atomic bombs onto their dual-capable aircraft and drop them on adversary military positions in the event of an attack on NATO.
The idea is to deter attacks by keeping the doctrine current, communicating it to would-be aggressors and using it as a bargaining chip during conflicts with a potential nuclear dimension, Cox said.
The United States military stores around 150 B-61 gravity bombs in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey for that mission, according to a recent accounting in an article by the British-based Chatham House think tank.
But the F-16 and Tornado aircraft set aside for the job by a “core” group of European allies — as Cox called them, presumably excluding Turkey — are aging, prompting a recent wave of upgrade decisions that all came down in favor of the Lockheed Martin-made F-35.
The U.S. government kicked Turkey out of the F-35 program in 2019 over the country’s insistence on buying advanced Russian sensing and missile defense equipment capable of unmasking the American jet’s stealthy capabilities.
Most recently, the new German government picked the F-35 specifically for the nuclear sharing mission, committing to up to 35 copies. The decision followed a lengthy discussion in Germany about Berlin’s continued participation in the nuclear sharing responsibility in the first place, a debate that appears to have abated following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Cox said the aircraft’s advanced features also will boost the capabilities of alliance members and F-35 customers like Poland, Denmark or Norway who might be tasked with supporting actual nuclear sharing missions. For example, the F-35 is thought to be better at penetrating air- and missile-defense networks, requiring fewer accompanying fighters, she said.
“And we will also have some operational advantages with the F-35 since there will be opportunities for enhanced networking and integration across the force,” she added. (Source: Defense News)
13 Apr 22. France: Presidential candidate vows to reduce military cooperation with Germany, escalating risk of regional tensions if elected. During a press conference on 13 April, far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen gave an overview of her foreign policy manifesto if elected to the French presidency in second-round elections on 24 April. Le Pen stated that ‘strategic differences’ between the German and French leadership have become ‘irreconcilable’. Therefore she committed to ending all joint arms and defence programmes with Germany, as well as ending support for Germany’s demand for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, if elected. Le Pen further called for a ‘strategic rapprochement’ between Russia and NATO after the Russian invasion of Ukraine has concluded. Whilst it remains unclear how the invasion might conclude allowing for such a rapprochement, it is certain that Le Pen’s words will deeply alarm EU and German officials, heralding a substantial division in Franco-German relations should she be elected and raising regional tensions risks significantly. (Source: Sibylline)
13 Apr 22. Army chief: We need greater investment in larger service.
The Chief of the General Staff believes that more money should be spent on a force bigger than the planned 72,500 soldiers.
The head of the British Army has called for a “greater investment in a larger Army”, amid what he called “a redefinition of European defence and deterrence”.
Chief of the General Staff General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith was talking alongside his US counterpart General James C. McConville during a discussion by UK think-tank Policy Exchange on the security and the role of land power.
Changes outlined last year in the Integrated Review said that the Army will see its staffing target shrink by about 10,000 troops by 2025 to 72,500.
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During the event, the outgoing head of the army, Gen Carleton-Smith said he would like to see a “balanced land force of about 110,000”, regular and reserve combined, to give “depth and resilience to our current structure”.
Last year, the head of the British Army compared the future transformation to the 1930s, highlighting that the shift would “fundamentally change how we do business”.
Gen Carleton-Smith told the Policy Exchange think tank: “I think our structure and the growing shopping list of potential outputs in the wake of a redefinition of European defence and deterrents, which I am sure Ukraine heralds, I think, is going to demand more of the field force and I would like to see greater investment in a larger Army.” (Source: forces.net)
11 Apr 22. China delivers anti-aircraft missiles to Serbia. China has delivered anti-aircraft missile systems to Serbia as part of a contract the European nation signed with China that also included drones.
Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters Monday the delivery was part of the two countries’ annual cooperation plan, does not target any third parties and “has nothing to do with the current situation.”
Zhao gave no further details.
It is believed the delivery, which took place over the weekend, was for a battery of FK-3 medium-range, road-mobile, surface-to-air missiles. Serbia had signed for the missiles in 2020 under a contract that also included the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation-made CH-92 armed drone.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić did not confirm the delivery of the FK-3 when asked on Saturday, although he added in remarks reported by The Associated Press that he would present “the newest pride” of the Serbian military on Tuesday or Wednesday.
The FK-3 is an export version of the HQ-22 surface-to-air missile system, and it retains the domestic version’s top speed of Mach 6, although its maximum range has been reduced from 170 kilometers to 150 kilometers (105 miles to 93 miles).
The missiles are guided by semi-active radar guidance with a secondary command guidance capability. It can reportedly engage ballistic and cruise missiles, aircraft, helicopters, and UAVs.
A typical HQ-22/FK-3 system consists of a radar vehicle and three launch vehicles equipped with four missiles each. Each battery can supposedly engage six air targets simultaneously. The HQ-22 entered service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in 2017.
Notably, the Chinese used an air bridge to transport the FK-3 missiles, and presumably other support equipment, to the Serbians, using the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s Xi’an Y-20 heavy airlifters flying between China and Serbia over two days.
Each day’s flights involved six Y-20s, which made stopovers in Baku, Azerbaijan, and Istanbul, Turkey, and also flew over central Asia, Armenia and Bulgaria before landing at Nikola Tesla Airport in Serbian capital Belgrade.
The Y-20s making the flights to Serbia and back were monitored on flight-tracking websites, which together with images and videos posted online from Belgrade indicated the aircraft were from the PLAAF’s 13th Transport Division, 37th Air Regiment based out of Kaifeng in China’s Henan province. (Source: Defense News)
11 Apr 22. UK announces sanctions under Bosnia and Herzegovina sanctions regime. The UK government announces its first sanctions under the Bosnia and Herzegovina sanctions regime.
- Bosnian-Serb politicians Milorad Dodik and Zeljka Cvijanovic are sanctioned by the UK for their attempts to undermine the legitimacy and functionality of the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- the designations, which include travel bans and asset freezes, are the first under the UK’s Bosnia and Herzegovina sanctions regime
- UK believes the pair are deliberately undermining the hard-won peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina
UK has today sanctioned Milorad Dodik, Bosnian-Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s state-level Presidency, and Zeljka Cvijanovic, President of the entity of Republika Srpska, for their destabilising activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The designations, which include travel bans and asset freezes, are the first under the UK’s Bosnia and Herzegovina sanctions regime.
Emboldened by Russia’s undermining of the international rules-based system, both individuals have used their positions of authority to push for de facto secession of Republika Srpska – one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 2 entities – in direct contravention of the country’s constitution.
Milorad Dodik has driven action to withdraw Republika Srpska from key State institutions, using divisive, dangerous, nationalist rhetoric, undermining domestic and regional peace and encouraging ethnic hatred and genocide denial.
Meanwhile, in October 2021, Zeljka Cvijanovic used her office to table legislation in Republika Srpska seeking to transfer state competencies to the entity level. Cvijanovic has publicly glorified war criminals and denied the genocide at Srebrenica.
Working in coordination with the US and other like-minded partners, the Foreign Secretary hopes today’s announcement will encourage other nations to apply similar restrictive measures which hold politicians to account for their destabilising and dangerous behaviour.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said:
These two politicians are deliberately undermining the hard won peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Encouraged by Putin, their reckless behaviour threatens stability and security across the Western Balkans.
With these tough sanctions we are showing that the enemies of peace will be held to account.
Dodik and Cvijanovic’s actions and rhetoric threaten to undo 26 years of hard-won peace and stability, and undermine the General Framework Agreement for Peace (Dayton Peace Agreement), which brought hostilities to an end in 1995. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
11 Apr 22. France: First round of presidential elections confirm Macron/Le Pen showdown, but electoral uncertainty remains ahead of second round. On 10 April, the first round of France’s presidential elections were held amid relatively low turnout (approximately 74 percent). According to Ipsos, incumbent President Emmanuel Macron returned with 28 percent of the vote, with next-closest candidate Marine Le Pen securing 23 percent. Far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon took home 22.2 percent, with other candidates mostly scoring in the single digits. The result confirms a run-off between far-right leader Le Pen and Macron in the second round on 24 April. The vote is a surprising boost for Macron, with some pre-election estimates suggesting Le Pen could come to within one or two percentage points of the current President. Polls for the second round currently predict a close-fought victory for Macron at 51 percent to 49 percent for Le Pen. Substantial uncertainty will remain ahead of the 24 April runoffs, escalating threats from government instability and policy risk. (Source: Sibylline)
07 Apr 22. MBDA boss rallies European governments to spend locally. MBDA chief executive Eric Beranger has urged European governments to direct new spending aimed at rebuilding military capabilities to be spent in the region rather than procuring foreign-made equipment. Speaking at an April 6 press conference in Paris, he argued Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine should be a wake-up call for European efforts to achieve greater defense independence. “The Ukrainian drama is emphasizing again the importance of sovereignty,” he said. “Suddenly, Europe is harshly reminded that enjoying the way we live requires us to be protected, defended with military action.”
Beranger declined to answer questions over the company’s involvement in the supply of weapons to the Ukraine but confirmed the company had received requests for urgent operational requirements.
He said Europe was facing a turning point, both at the national level, where countries like Germany planned to invest heavily in military procurement, but also at a regional level.
“A willingness to invest in its defense capability is extremely important and a huge opportunity to strengthen European sovereignty and European autonomy in certain areas, provided this money is spent in Europe,” Beranger said. “If it is not spent in Europe and if it is spent with other countries, the result could be exactly the opposite. The result may, on the contrary, be very destructive.”
Plugging immediate gaps in capabilities with equipment acquired from countries outside the region is already underway. For example, Germany recently announced it was buying F-35 jets from the United States and Israel is said to be the front runner to supply the country with a ground based anti-air system.
In this year’s iteration of the annual company briefing, Beranger relegated financial performance to a few remarks at the end of the presentation in order to emphasize his message about the importance of Europe strengthening its defense sovereignty.
For the record, 2021 turned out to be a decent year for the French-based missile maker owned by Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo.
Revenues broke through the 4bn euro mark for the first time, reaching 4.2bn euros, with a 5.1bn order intake in 2021.The company order book reached 17.8bn euros by the end of last year. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
12 Apr 22. Europe: Oil industry organisation issues dire warning to EU over Russian oil ban, highlighting threat of further energy disruption. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) issued a warning to the European Union yesterday (11 April) that further sanctions on Russian oil imports would inflict an ‘unprecedented, irreplaceable’ loss in energy flow to the EU. The warning follows the EU’s move to sanction Russian coal last week, which senior EU officials have indicated is likely to prefigure targeted sanctions on Russian oil. Whilst OPEC is not an unbiased commentator – representing the Russian oil sector amongst others – it is correct in that targeted EU sanctions on Russian oil will have a destabilising impact on the EU’s energy sector, particularly on countries more heavily dependent on Russia for their oil supply. Although the bloc intends to decrease its oil usage by 30 percent by 2030, substantial threats to the EU-wide energy sector remain in the short-term, particularly as Europe already faces an energy price crisis. As the Russian invasion of Ukraine is expected to intensify in the coming weeks, the likelihood of an embargo on Russian oil will grow, increasing the overall threat of greater energy disruptions in Europe. (Source: Sibylline)
Founded in 1987, Exensor Technology is a world leading supplier of Networked Unattended Ground Sensor (UGS) Systems providing tailored sensor solutions to customers all over the world. From our Headquarters in Lund Sweden, our centre of expertise in Network Communications at Communications Research Lab in Kalmar Sweden and our Production site outside of Basingstoke UK, we design, develop and produce latest state of the art rugged UGS solutions at the highest quality to meet the most stringent demands of our customers. Our systems are in operation and used in a wide number of Military as well as Homeland Security applications worldwide. The modular nature of the system ensures any external sensor can be integrated, providing the user with a fully meshed “silent” network capable of self-healing. Exensor Technology will continue to lead the field in UGS technology, provide our customers with excellent customer service and a bespoke package able to meet every need. A CNIM Group Company