Weekend Briefing (22-26 March)

The third week of March brought us more interesting defense news. Sadly, its seen several air incidents, the situation in Western Tigray raises many concerns as updated of satellite imagery shows the scale of the under reported conflict. In Europe the British defence Command paper has seen significant force changes announced and the refit of Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov saw fresh intrigue. There have been political clashes in Germany with the development of modern military technology. These subjects and many more can be found in our Weekend Briefing for this week.

General Director of Kuznetsov Refit Shipyard Arrested For Embezzlement

The general director of Shipyard No.10 in Polyarny is accused of embezzling 45 million rubles earned from overbilling for cleaning the carrier’s fuel tanks.

British Plans for Permanent Troop Presence in the Falklands Anger Argentina

References to a permanent garrison of the Falklands in the new British Integrated Review were met with backlash from the Argentinian government.

Korean Defense Minister Talks of Strengthening Ties with Japan

Unexpectedly considering the deteriorating relationship between S. Korea and Japan, the ROK Minister of Defense calls for increased bilateral cooperation.

Pilot Killed, Another Missing Following Apparent Taiwanese F-5E Mid-air Collision

ROCAF Lieutenant Lo Shang-hua succumbed to his injuries after ejecting from his F-5E, while search & rescue efforts continue for the pilot of the other F-5E.

Warrior Capability Sustainment Program Axed In Favor Of Boxer

The Warrior will retain its unupgraded, unstabilized 30mm RARDEN cannon and other systems until it is replaced by Boxer “by the middle of this decade”.

First Joint Strike Missile Test Drop From F-35A Internal Bay

The first test drop was carried out in February, verifying that the missile could safely separate from an F-35 after being launched in flight.

UK To Continue F-35B Orders, But Will Retire Tranche 1 Typhoons and Hawk T1 Trainers

The Defence Command Paper confirmed that more F-35Bs will be purchased beyond the 48 currently contracted, but did not provide further details.

Three Airmen Die in Tragic Incident of Tu-22M3

The causes of the Tu-22 incident are under the examination of Russia’s Aerospace Force commission that will further investigate the scene.

F-35 Block 4 Upgrade Program Faces Delays and Cost Overruns

F-35 Upgrade Program Faces Delays and Cost Overruns
A recent report released by the Government Accountability Office stated that the F-35 block 4 upgrade program is facing some delays.

Satellite Imagery Raises Concerns Over Situation in Western Tigray

Satellite imagery depicts burnt and destroyed buildings in western Tigray, Ethiopia, amidst claims of ethnic cleansing. The conflict continues to escalate.

UK To Retire C-130Js 14 Years Early, Accelerate Sentry AEW Retirement

The Royal Air Force will be retiring its C-130Js by 2023, while its E-3 Sentry AEW aircraft are being retired this year instead of in 2022.

EU Launches $6 Billion initiative Aimed at Bolstering International Security

The European Peace Facility will be the EU’s primary financial instrument for dealing with “external actions that have military or defense implications”.

Royal Navy Jet Crashes In Cornwall

A Royal Navy Hawk T1 trainer jet, of 736 Naval Air Squadron, has crashed in Cornwall. The pilots ejected and suffered only minor injuries.

An Uncertain Fate For Japan’s First Phantom

No museums or private collectors have sought to acquire F-4EJ 17-8301, Japan’s first Phantom, following its retirement last week.

FCAS Meets Obstacles In German Parliament

The European Greens remain a strong opponent to any nuclear-related subject. With the addition of reluctance to armed UAVs, problems began to accumulate.

Stoltenberg and Blinken Define NATO as a Cornerstone of the International World Order

The US Secretary of State and NATO Secretary General discussed the future of NATO with Stoltenberg presenting his vision of NATO 2030.

Iran Accused Of Missile Attack On Israeli-owned Cargo Ship

Israel’s Channel 12 News claims that the container ship Lori was hit by an Iranian missile when sailing from Tanzania to India.

Libyan Militia Leader Wanted By ICC Assassinated In Benghazi

“Special Forces Colonel” Mahmoud al-Werfalli was wanted by the International Criminal Court for his involvement in 33 extrajudicial killings.

DARPA Releases Information on WARP and GRYPHON Projects

DARPA has released information pertaining to two projects aimed at developing technology deemed crucial for communications and microelectronic systems.

Slovakia Seeks IFV Replacement

The Ministry of Defence would require circa 200 new vehicles. The overall cost of the modernization may be as high as 1.5 billion EUR.

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