Morning Defence News Briefing 4 February 2020

Morning Defence News Briefing 4 February 2020

Morning Defence News Briefing 4 February 2020

DEFENCE & SECURITY NEWS AT A GLANCE

Europe

  • Russia, first flight test for the new Tu-160M bomber.
  • France will deploy 600 more troops to the Sahel.
  • United Kingdom, man stabbing several people in Streatham, killed by police.
  • Donbass, Foreign Minister of Belarus, we support all kind of negotiation formats for resolution of the conflict.
  • Germany, in 10 years, 105 rifles and guns of police and armed forces disappeared.
  • Serbia-Kosovo, Borrell, EU to appoint special representative for dialogue.

EMEA

  • New Israeli raids on Gaza, stop to deliver of cement.
  • Syria, Erdogan: Russia should not interfere.
  • Syria, 6 Turkish soldiers killed in attack in the north-west.
  • Syria, Hmeimim base jihadist drone attack rejected.
  • Syria, Idlib, government forces advancing towards the strategic city of Saraqib.
  • Iraqi chief of staff meets commander of the NATO mission.
  • Middle East, Kremlin, US peace plan does not fully respect UN Security Council resolutions.
  • Abbas, we will break all ties with Israel and the United States.

Africa

  • Libya, Austrian Chancellor Kurz against renewal of Sophia mission to impose arms embargo.
  • Libya, Haftar forces announce killing 71 Syrian mercenaries in Tripoli.
  • Libya, GNA artillery targets Lna forces at Al Waskah east of Misrata.

America

  • US drones deployed to Guam for surveillance of the area.
  • Trump eases Obama-era restrictions on military use of landmines.
  • 5G, secretary Esper, USA worried about Chinese technology in allied countries’ networks.
  • The US has yet to confirm that it has killed the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen in an airstrike.
  • The Pentagon unveiled the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, a set of cybersecurity regulations companies will need to meet to win future Defense contracts.

Asia

  • US Admiral Aquilino visiting South Korea to strengthen military cooperation.
  • Japan, Takanami destroyer deployed to Gulf Oman to protect oil tankers.

HAPPENING THIS WEEK

State of the Union: US President Donald Trump is going to deliver his annual address to Congress today. White House says national security will be one of five “buckets” in the speech.

GEOPOLITICS

Iran threat might have ‘de-escalated,’ but retaliation risk remains, US general warns: A month after the US strike that killed Soleimani, Iran’s military is no longer on a heightened war footing, but the US continues to brace for further retaliation, a Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie Jr said. McKenzie, who heads the US Central Command, said Iran had “de-escalated” its ballistic missile force and brought its air defense forces back to a “normal state of readiness” following its retaliatory strikes on bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq. The General said Iran’s maritime forces likewise had displayed a “fairly normal” level of activity in recent weeks. He added that he believed Iran was still “digesting” the impact of the Trump administration’s decision to kill Soleimani.

DEFENCE & SECURITY SYSTEMS

Russia, CMD in Siberia received upgraded multiple launch rocket systems Grad
Russia, CMD in Siberia received upgraded multiple launch rocket systems Grad

Russia, CMD in Siberia received upgraded multiple launch rocket systems Grad: A total of 18 upgraded multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) Grad have entered service in the artillery unit 41 of the combined arms army of the Central Military District (CMD) in Siberia, according to the Russian MoD. The MLRS is equipped with modern means of communication that allow for uninterrupted and secure radio exchange with the combat control vehicle. The combat part is installed on the base of the Ural 4320 vehicle. The upgrade versions reportedly feature automated guidance, targeting, and navigation systems.

Russian Army to get RS-28 Sarmat missiles in 2021: The Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles will be added to the Russian armed forces’ arsenal in 2021, Deputy Defence Minister Aleksey Krivoruchko announced.

Russian Army to get RS-28 Sarmat missiles in 2021

The system is expected to replace the Voevoda (РС-20В Satan), the heaviest strategic missile in the world. The RS-28 Sarmat (NATO: SS-X-29 or SS-X-30) is a liquid-fueled, MIRV-equipped, heavy thermonuclear intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The Sarmat is expected to be capable to carry about 10 tonnes of payload for either up to 10 heavy or 15 light MIRV warheads, up to 3 Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs). 

US Army unveils plans to develop binoculars capable of identifying far-off faces in the dark: The advanced facial recognition technology could help soldiers in the field, but comes with some growing cybersecurity challenges, researchers and analysts said. Indeed, an Army prototype could potentially boost image quality from thermal infrared cameras, so a soldier can identify faces at night through handheld binoculars from as far as 500 yards away, said Sean Hu, an electronics engineer for the US Army Research Laboratory. Thermal infrared cameras, widely used within the military, don’t need visible light as they capture heat signatures. However, the images appear blurrier and at lower resolution than from traditional cameras.

Israel tests Jericho intercontinental ballistic missile: Residents report seeing white trails left behind by launch; MoD says it was pre-planned, carried out successfully. Jericho is a general designation given to a loosely related family of deployed ballistic missiles developed by Israel from the 1960s forward. The new Jericho family development is related to the Shavit and Shavit II space launch vehicles believed to be derivatives of the Jericho II IRBM and that preceded the development of the Jericho III ICBM. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US concluded that the Shavit could be adapted as an ICBM carrying 500 kg warhead over 7,500 km.

IDF gets Rafael Fire Weaver sensor-to-shooter system: The Israeli MoD has acquired Rafael’s Fire Weaver system to connect sensors and personnel for a ‘digitised battlespace’. Jointly developed by Israel’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, The system can map targets, locations, points of interests, friendly personnel and more. This data is shared instantly across several systems to give personnel on operations greater situational awareness. The system is designed to link personnel and systems, reducing engagement times and increasing ‘operational performance’.

IDF gets Rafael Fire Weaver sensor-to-shooter system

Curtiss-Wright demonstrates new AI-Based Solution at TSO-ID: Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions division, a supplier of ruggedized ISR and data storage systems, has demonstrated an open standards architecture (OSA)-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and electronic warfare (EW) solution at the recent Tri-Service Open Architecture Interoperability Demonstration (TSOA-ID) in Atlanta, US.

Curtiss-Wright demonstrates new AI-Based Solution at TSO-ID
AI-Based Solution at TSO-ID

The demonstratio featured artificial intelligence (AI) based commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions for signal intelligence (SIGINT) and electronic warfare (EW) situational awareness applications. This deployable solution for RF spectrum situational awareness automatically classifies signals through the use of machine learning. The system also demonstrated certification-ready NSA Type 1 data encryption of ISR data at a read/write throughput of 10/17 Gbps (nominal/maximum) per data channel.

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force acquires UAVs: The contract with Swift Tactical Systems, valued at $17 million, is for the delivery of 55 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The systems are intended to help Nassau combat maritime crimes, such as drug trafficking, illegal fishing, human trafficking, in addition to law enforcement-related activities.

US pushes ahead with Assured Autonomy programme: The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Assured Autonomy programme has made public the completion of the first phase of a program that aims to develop formal safety assurances for the rapidly developing autonomous domain. Autonomous systems are increasingly critical to several current and future Department of Defense (DoD) mission needs. For example, the US Army Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) strategy report for 2015-2040 identifies a range of capability objectives, including enhanced situational awareness, cognitive workload reduction, force protection, cyber defense, logistics, etc, that rely on autonomous systems and higher levels of autonomy.

It can be argued that while huge advances in the modeling, sensing, computing, and other technologies needed for autonomous systems to operate have been already made, there has not been a similar progress in assuring the safe and correct operation due mainly to a reliance on data-driven machine learning (ML) technologies, which the agency states “are inherently unpredictable and lack the necessary mathematical framework to provide guarantees on correctness”.

DEFENCE EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology (5-6 February 2020 – Rome, Italy)

As varied threats in the Mediterranean Sea continue to proliferate, the need to advance all-encompassing reconnaissance and surveillance platforms to cover larger areas of ocean is greater than ever.

Platforms and topics discussed include: Space based ISR, Airborne Platforms & Operations, C4ISTAR, Unmanned Maritime Systems, Hydrographic platforms and many more.

Register online at www.maritime-recon.com/janeswl

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International Insider aims to report on the world-leading Defence and Security news from around the world. If you want to send us a press release or tell us about a new story you can an email us: matteo.natalucci@internationalinsider.org

Matteo Natalucci

Matteo Natalucci is a geopolitics expert working as an Editor in London covering all aspects of international affairs and technology. Matteo previously worked for the United Nations, the European Commission, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, IHS Markit, and Global Data. Get in touch with the author: matteo.natalucci@internationalinsider.org

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