Morning Defence News Briefing 6 February 2020

Morning Defence News Briefing 6 February 2020

Morning Defence News Briefing 6 February 2020

DEFENCE & SECURITY NEWS AT A GLANCE

Europe

  • Russia, first batch of S-400 to India will be delivered by the end of 2021.
  • Germany-EU, Seehofer, security priority of the German presidency.
  • France, excludes the terrorist track in the attack on a gendarmerie in Dieuze.
  • Spain, the MG5 model will be the new machine gun used by the army’s special forces.
  • Italy-Egypt, Fincantieri close to the sale of 2 Fremm to Cairo.
  • Russia-Sweden, Lavrov, we need to work together to ensure safety in the Baltic region.

EMEA

  • Syria, 40,000 people fleeing Idlib in the past two days for the Syrian army offensive.
  • Russian ambassador to Tehran, Iran interested in purchasing military equipment.
  • Israeli aviation targets Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
  • UN, 20,000 ISIS fighters still alive in Iraq and Syria.
  • Syria, US forces prevent Russian military vehicles from reaching the border with Iraq.

Africa

  • Libya, NGO, another 4,700 Syrian mercenaries arriving, Benghazi prime minister in Washington for talks.

America

  • USA to collaborate with technology companies to develop 5G alternative to Huawei.

HAPPENING THIS WEEK

Iran prepares to a launch a satellite into space this week after three major failures last year, the latest for a program that the US claims helps Tehran develop intercontinental ballistic missile technologies.

An Iranian citizen convicted of spying for the C.I.A. and attempting to share details of the country’s nuclear program will be executed in the near future, authorities said.

New US Air Force’s space radar likely to go online this month. According to a report from the US Department of Defense’s chief weapons tester the Air Force could declare Space Fence’s initial operational capability in February.

GEOPOLITICS

US military withdrawal from Iraq would “likely” mean IS resurgence: According to a recent US inspector general report a US military withdrawal from Iraq would “likely” mean IS resurgence. The assessment comes as US-Iraqi relations continue to falter following the US drone strike that killed Soleimani in Baghdad.

Iran-linked hackers pretend to be journalists in email scam: A number of hackers have been reportedly impersonating journalists through an email scam, as the US government has warned of Iranian cyber threats in the aftermath of the US airstrike against Soleimani.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict, UN committed to its established position of a two-state solution: Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the UN is committed to its established position of a two-state solution with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The UN’s position on the two-state solution has been defined throughout the years by relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions by which the UN Secretariat is bound, Guterres said, adding, resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains key to sustainable peace in the Middle East. 

Indian Army boosts its depleted ammunition stocks for 10 days of ‘intense war’: The stock of at least 61 different types of ammunition – out of a total of 152 types – that are considered critical by the Indian Army to fight a war is now available for 10 days only, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has found. The Indian Army aims to overcome this shortage by sourcing ammunition from not only the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and from private vendors and foreign manufacturers.

Greece gets ready to deploy Patriot  air-defence to Saudi Arabia: The Patriot air-defence unit has been activated ahead of its deployment to Saudi Arabia, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said in a radio interview. The move is part of a programme that also involves the US, the UK and France.

A Government spokesman said that the move comes after airstrikes by Yemeni Armed Forces targeted key strategic installations, as well as sites in Saudi Arabia, in response to the ongoing aggression against Yemen from five years ago.

Since 2002 the Hellenic Air Force’s 350 Guided Missile Wing has been operating Patriot PAC 3 systems with MIM-104D Guidance Enhance Missiles, with six guided missile squadrons (21-26) equipped with the system. The Greek Parliament has recently approved an updated defence agreement with the US, which allowed the use of Greek Military facilities.

DEFENCE & SECURITY SYSTEMS

Leidos to support NORAD and USNORTHCOM: The General Services Administration has awarded Leidos a contract to support the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). Under the contract, hybrid firm-fixed-price time and material contract, Leidos will provide network operations and general IT maintenance services to NORAD and USNORTHCOM.

Australian Defence Force (ADF) set to acquire Rafael Spike LR2 missile system: The missile system is expected to serve as the Army’s Long Range Direct Fire Support Weapon capability. The ADF is currently considering options to address a Medium Range Direct Fire Support Weapon capability which will be presented to the Australian government for consideration in 2022.

Australian Army chief lieutenant general Rick Burr said: “The Long Range Direct Fire Support Weapon capability will enable our dismounted teams to engage armoured targets faster at an increased range and with improved accuracy.

The British Royal Air Force receives first Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft: The RAF has received the MPA at a military base in Scotland after being flown from the US. Named the ‘Pride of Moray’, the aircraft is the first of a new £3 billion programme that includes the purchase of nine Poseidon jets, which are expected to improve the ability of the UK to track hostile targets below and above the waves.

Russia’s Uralvagonzavod unveils upgraded AU-220M remote weapon station: The company, a subsidiary of state corporation Rostec, has unveiled a combat-ready variant of its Burevestnik AU-220M remotely controlled weapon station (RWS) at the Defexpo 2020 defence exhibition in Lucknow.

The upgraded RWS features a 57 mm gun, which has a range of up to 14.5 km and a firing rate of 80 rounds per minute and is coupled to an ammunition load comprising up to 80 ready-to-use air-burst, high-explosive, armour-piercing projectiles. The RWS’s main gun can engage a wide range of targets on the battlefield, except for heavy ones. To target heavy target the station can now optionally carry a protected bank of two ready-to-use Ataka or Khrizantema anti-tank guided missiles.The RWS station is also capable of firing on-the-move as well as during the day and at night.

Armenia to receive Su-30SM fighters: Defence Minister David Tonoyan also announced an increase in the Armenian Armed Forces’ military equipment of “tens of percent”, while not disclosing exactly how much or what kind. The next batch of four Su-30SMs is expected to be delivered in May or June 2020.

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.

Discover more Military, Defence and Security Events

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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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