Morning Defence News Briefing 3 April 2020

Morning Defence News Briefing 3 April 2020

Morning Defence & Security News Briefing 3 April 2020


Russia: new MiG-35 poses serious threat to US stealth fighters

With Russia’s MiG-29 nearing the end of its shelf life Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) are making sure its successor the MiG-35 is up to the highest level of standrds.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a Kremlin conference: “I note that the new multipurpose MiG-35 fighter has enhanced flight and technical characteristics and is equipped with the very latest weapons systems. You know this better than I. It can follow from 10 to 30 targets at once, and can operate over land or sea. This is a genuinely unique and promising aircraft, 4++, you could say, very close to being fifth generation.”

Russia urges parties to Karabakh conflict to exercise restraint

Moscow has called on the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to show restraint and refrain from using force on the line of contact, said Spokesperson for Russian MFA Maria Zakharova.

Russia, no decision on postponement of the military parade on 9 May

Moscow is considering staging its annual Victory Day parade in front of empty stands as the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide. If the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases will rise the parade could be held without spectators.


Israel, coronavirus, parliament approves Shin Bet data collection

An Israeli parliamentary committee has approved the collection of personal data on citizens by domestic spy agencies, for the purpose of battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yemen, army stops Houthi infiltrations on the front of al Hodeidah

The west front of Yemen conflict has witnessed new clashes between the country’s regular forces and the Shiite Houthi rebels, despite the international truce and the ceasefire agreement.


Tunisia, dismantled terrorist cell in the Kasserine region

The National Guard’s general directorate declared the dismantling of three terrorist cells as part of the battle against terrorism. The first cell consists of three young people who were providing assistance to terrorist elements in the governorate of Kasserine.

 Sahel, humanitarian crisis is worsening due to the Covid-19 emergency

UN raised alarm in the Sahel where millions face hunger amid rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis.  The number of people facing a critical lack of food and vital livelihood opportunities in the Sahel has spiked in one year due to rising insecurity and climatic shock.


US Navy relieves commander of COVID19-stricken aircraft carrier

The US Navy (USN) on Thursday relieved the commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt. The removal of Captain Brett Crozier from the command of the vessel, which was first reported by Reuters, was announced by acting USN Secretary Thomas Modly, who said the commander “exercised poor judgment” and “raised alarm bells unnecessarily”.

Modly said the letter was sent through the chain of command but Crozier did not safeguard it from being released outside the chain.

USN has evacuated sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in Guam after its captain warned a coronavirus outbreak was threatening the crew (read more).

NATO agrees on new measures to fight COVID-19

COVID-19, NATO Coordination Center for Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response provides critical help to Italy and Spain

NATO’s foreign minister’s meeting agreed on new measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

“NATO was created to deal with crises,” Stoltenberg said following the meeting, adding that the alliance is coordinating and supporting national efforts against the pandemic.

The ministers agreed to task NATO’s top commander Gen. Tod D. Walters to direct the necessary military support to combat the coronavirus pandemic, according to a NATO statement.


USAF awards Lockheed Martin contract to build 790 JASSM-ER cruise missiles

Lockheed Martin will build 790 stealthy long-range cruise missiles, called the AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER), for the US Air Force (USAF) under terms of a $818.2 million contract.

L3Harris to modernise US Space Force capabilities

L3Harris Technologies has been awarded a contract to modernise and sustain critical US Space Force (USSF) infrastructure to be used by the military. Under the $23m contract, the modernised infrastructure will keep track of activities and objects in space.

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