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Kuwait Air Force Takes Delivery Of Third And Fourth Eurofighter Typhoons

The Aviationist Blog - Thu, 31/03/2022 - 13:31

The two new Eurofighters for the Kuwait Air Force have just been delivered. Sporting the provisional serials M.T. 55269 and 55270, the third and fourth Eurofighter Typhoons for the Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiyya al-Kuwaytiyya (Kuwait Air Force [...]

The post Kuwait Air Force Takes Delivery Of Third And Fourth Eurofighter Typhoons appeared first on The Aviationist.

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Study - Values on the retreat? The role of values in the EU’s external policies - PE 639.318 - Committee on Development - Committee on Foreign Affairs - Subcommittee on Human Rights - Subcommittee on Security and Defence - Committee on International Trade

There is a general perception in Western countries that the role of values as a foreign policy driver is currently on the decline. This study in the series ‘global trends in external policies’ seeks to contribute to the debate by investigating what is meant by ‘values’, whether their importance is on the wane and, if so, how this manifests itself, and how the European Union (EU) can respond to these trends. The broad concept of values has therefore been split into five categories. Socio-cultural values are implicit drivers of foreign policy. In the case of the EU, these are characterised by diversity. ‘Political values’ is used as a term to describe the fundamental principles of political and public action, defining the relationship between the state and its citizens. For the EU, these are often referred to as the triad of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Economic values characterise the nature of the prevailing economic system in a country. The EU advocates a social market economy. The term ‘Earth values’ refers to the inclusion of environmental considerations in external policies. The EU has become a leader in promoting sustainability. Resulting from the preceding four are ‘international order values’, which characterise the overall international outlook of actors. The EU’s international order value is ‘principled pragmatism’. This study compares the EU’s values with those of four reference countries: the US, Turkey, Russia and China. The US in the West comes closest to many of the EU’s values, but does not overlap completely. Turkey and Russia are in the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood and increasingly disagree with the EU on values. Chinese values overlap least with the EU’s values. The study confirms a decline in the influence of the political values preferred by the EU. This decline appears to correspond to a clear West-East spectrum. However, the study also notes an opposite trend of increasing influence of Earth values. For these, a Eurocentric spectrum appears more adequate. For economic values, the definition of trends depends on benchmarks and methodology. The international order notion of ‘principled pragmatism’ has been extended to ‘EU strategic autonomy’. Values are often considered as part of EU strategic autonomy and some policies, such as EU accession or trade policy, incorporate them. A values-based approach to external policies should differentiate according to the partner country and the value category concerned. Whereas cooperation on political values does not appear to be fruitful with certain countries, continued efforts on economic or Earth values may still be possible. The study explores what such a differentiated approach could mean for the four reference countries in the near future. Such an approach should also take into account the differing perceptions of partner countries. Although positive avenues of cooperation on, for example, Earth values are still possible, geopolitical tensions, partly rooted in differing values, are overshadowing this path.
Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

The Oldest F-22 Raptors Might Soon Be Headed For The Boneyard

The Aviationist Blog - Wed, 30/03/2022 - 21:39

The U.S. Air Force is planning to retire the 33 oldest, non-combat-capable F-22s to optimize resources The U.S. Air Force is seeking approval from the Congress to retire the oldest Tyndall Air Force Base’s F-22 [...]

The post The Oldest F-22 Raptors Might Soon Be Headed For The Boneyard appeared first on The Aviationist.

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The U.S. Repositions Ten USMC F/A-18C/D ‘Legacy’ Hornets To Eastern Europe Amid Ukrainian Crisis

The Aviationist Blog - Wed, 30/03/2022 - 18:11

U.S. repositions 200 Marines from Norway to Lithuania and moves Hornets to Eastern Europe. The build up on NATO’s Eastern Flank continues. Yesterday we reported about the arrival at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, of an [...]

The post The U.S. Repositions Ten USMC F/A-18C/D ‘Legacy’ Hornets To Eastern Europe Amid Ukrainian Crisis appeared first on The Aviationist.

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Press release - European security: Parliament delegation to visit Moldova

MEPs from the Foreign Affairs Committee and Security and Defence Subcommittee will visit Moldova from 31 March to 2 April, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Committee on Foreign Affairs
Subcommittee on Security and Defence

Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Switzerland Got A Taste Of The F-35 And Patriot During Armeebotschaft 2022

The Aviationist Blog - Wed, 30/03/2022 - 13:40

Switzerland presented citizens and authorities the weapon systems chosen to defend the small Alpine State from current and future threats. Two F-35A Lightning II of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force), took part in “Armeebotschaft [...]

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Six EA-18G Growlers Have Deployed To Germany For Deterrence Mission

The Aviationist Blog - Tue, 29/03/2022 - 11:24

U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers have arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base to increase readiness and enhance NATOs collective defense amid growing tensions in Eastern Europe. Six EA-18G Growler aircraft belonging to the Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) [...]

The post Six EA-18G Growlers Have Deployed To Germany For Deterrence Mission appeared first on The Aviationist.

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Canada Selects The F-35 And Enters Into Negotiations With Lockheed Martin For 88 Stealth Jets

The Aviationist Blog - Mon, 28/03/2022 - 20:53

Canada is closer to replace its CF-188 Hornet with the F-35 stealth aircraft. As part of the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) Canada aims to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of legacy CF-188 [...]

The post Canada Selects The F-35 And Enters Into Negotiations With Lockheed Martin For 88 Stealth Jets appeared first on The Aviationist.

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Video of a committee meeting - Monday, 28 March 2022 - 17:48 - Subcommittee on Security and Defence - Subcommittee on Human Rights - Committee on Foreign Affairs

Length of video : 95'

Disclaimer : The interpretation of debates serves to facilitate communication and does not constitute an authentic record of proceedings. Only the original speech or the revised written translation is authentic.
Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Russian Media Analysis, Issue 12, March 25, 2022

Russian Military Reform - Mon, 28/03/2022 - 16:01

Here are the abstracts from the latest issue of our Russian Media Analysis newsletter. You can also download the full text PDF version.

1. INVASION OF UKRAINE: NATO STRATEGY

Russian analysts are still focusing on the issue of NATO membership for Ukraine. Many point out that the ongoing war, while leading to a de facto defense arrangement between the “collective West” and Ukraine, has also hindered it from formally joining the alliance. Many authors believe that this is a benefit to Russia, although it has come at the cost of NATO unity and an amplification of arms supplies to Ukraine.

2. INVASION OF UKRAINE: EU STRATEGY

Connected to, although distinct from, the issue of Ukraine’s NATO ambitions, is the desire by its political leadership to join the EU. While Russian commentators are broadly pessimistic about how much defense cooperation there now is between Ukraine and the West, they are more optimistic that Ukraine’s EU bid will remain stalled for the foreseeable future. Although both sides have made many symbolic gestures to signal an agreement for membership down the road, concrete steps are harder to find, and the internal political machinations of the EU will further slow down integration.

3. INVASION OF UKRAINE: RESPONSES TO WESTERN SANCTIONS

More than a dozen articles offer responses to international sanctions against Russia, featuring reactions ranging from optimism to pessimism, and including skepticism and determination to wreak economic havoc on the West. Some serve to reassure the Russian public that even though foreign industries are leaving, they will still be able to access certain goods. Others discuss the prospect of more serious sanctions, such as EU bans on Russian oil and gas imports, or a U.S. sea-route trade embargo against Russia. The authors argue that such measures would introduce a number of cascading effects that would harm countries “hostile to Russia.”

4. INVASION OF UKRAINE: RESPONSES TO NATO MILITARY AID

The details and implications of NATO and U.S. military aid and efforts to arm Ukraine are the subject of several articles. It is evident that there is concern for the unified support that Ukraine is getting from the West, but there remains a confidence in the narrative surrounding Russian capabilities against the perceived lackluster quality of provisions going to Ukraine.

5. INVASION OF UKRAINE: U.S. NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Several articles address U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s decision to cancel a Minuteman III missile test following President Putin’s announcement that Russia put its nuclear forces on a “special combat regime duty.” While some experts characterize the test cancellation as an effort to avoid nuclear escalation, one article suspects that it helped avoid drawing attention to the stagnant U.S. nuclear modernization process. An additional article takes issue with the optics and messaging that the U.S. is responsibly conducting nuclear policy, when it has conducted “mock nuclear strikes” in recent exercises and increased the frequency of nuclear-capable aircraft flights near Russia’s border.

6. INVASION OF UKRAINE: PERCEPTIONS OF A NO-FLY ZONE

As Ukraine’s request for a West-enforced no-fly zone remains unmet, Russian commentators caution against the implementation of anything remotely close to it and highlight the escalatory nature of such potential actions by NATO and the U.S..

7. INVASION OF UKRAINE: UKRAINE AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS CONSPIRACY

A recent issue of the Ministry of Defense newspaper posits the conspiracy theory that “Ukraine’s scientific establishment has sufficient competencies to create a nuclear explosive device.” The content of this article appears to be drawn from a TASS report that cites the Russian intelligence agency SVR as a source of claims that Ukraine had an advanced missile and nuclear weapon program.

8. INVASION OF UKRAINE: THE BIOLABS CONSPIRACY

Coverage of the conspiracy theories about U.S. DTRA reference laboratories in Ukraine continues to proliferate across Russian media sources. It now includes official newspapers as well as MOD and MFA officials. Coverage has also begun to note statements made by Chinese government officials on this issue.

9. CHINESE-RUSSIAN RELATIONS

A number of articles in the Russian press assess the state of the Russian-Chinese relationship as well as China’s diplomatic and economic relations with the United States and the broader West. Many commentators are quick to point out that China is resistant to following along with the West’s sanctions regime against Russia, although also acknowledging that there remains much to be desired in terms of China’s closeness to Russia itself.

10. SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES AND NATO

The ambitions of Scandinavian countries to join NATO continue to be a worry for Russian commentators. Yet given the scale of hostilities in Ukraine, experts are quick to note that parallels with Ukraine-and any potential Russian reaction to new Scandinavian member-states-are improper. Although Russia assesses the membership of Sweden and Finland to NATO in a very negative light, it is clear that this issue is not an existential one compared to Russian perceptions of Ukraine’s or Georgia’s entrance into the alliance.

11. IRAN AND THE JCPOA

Russian commentators have maintained a close watch over U.S. actions and engagement with other OPEC+ and oil suppliers ever since the U.S. sanctioned Russian oil. Analysts have focused on the U.S.-Iran relationship and the relevance of Iranian oil to the JCPOA negotiations. They remain critical of U.S. moral flexibility and assert that the “special military operation” in Ukraine has had a profound impact on long-term global security, as is evidenced by the changing oil environment around the globe.

12. FOREIGN ACQUISITION OF U.S. ARMS

Several articles focus on and are critical of the proliferation of U.S. weaponry abroad. They include the legal sale of arms to Egypt and the resulting arms capabilities of the Taliban after the U.S. exit from Afghanistan.

13. U.S. STRATEGY IN THE ASIA PACIFIC

Amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian media maintain a close watch on U.S. policy developments in other areas of the world, especially the Indo-Pacific region.

14. INFORMATION WARFARE

Two articles address alleged acts of “information warfare” against Russia, tending to take on a defensive tone about Moscow’s leadership and the progress of the “special military operation.” The first article responds to recent quotes from U.S. Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby, who noted Russia’s history of use and potential future use of chemical and biological weapons. The second article details alleged activities from the 72nd Center for Information and Psychological Operations (CIPO) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which the article claims was trained by the UK.

15. U.S. AND EUROPEAN MILITARY CAPABILITIES

Several articles report on developments of U.S. and NATO capabilities and weapons systems. One article reports on funding cuts to the U.S. Air Force’s first hypersonic missile, the AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW). A second article reports on a reorganization of the 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment that puts combat groups on the first and second island chains of the Pacific at a moment’s notice. A third article reports on Germany’s decision to purchase 35 American F-35A fighter jets to replace the Tornado fighter-bombers it uses to carry American B61 nuclear weapons.

Video of a committee meeting - Monday, 28 March 2022 - 14:47 - Subcommittee on Security and Defence

Length of video : 52'

Disclaimer : The interpretation of debates serves to facilitate communication and does not constitute an authentic record of proceedings. Only the original speech or the revised written translation is authentic.
Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

Highlights - Debate with Oleksii Reznikov, Minister of Defence of Ukraine - 17 March 2022 - Subcommittee on Security and Defence

On 17 March, the members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs jointly with the Subcommittee on Security and Defence held a debate with Oleksii Reznikov, Minister of Defence of Ukraine. Against the backdrop of Russia's unprovoked war against Ukraine, members discussed with the Ukrainian Minister the military situation on the ground and the current needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

They reaffirmed their unwavering support to Ukraine and asked about military implications of the occupation of nuclear plants by the Russians. Members also inquired the Minister about the alleged usage of banned phosphorus bombs and cluster ammunition by Russians as well as the apparent mobilisation of Chechen irregular troops and on the recruitment of Syrian mercenary fighters.
Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

The A-10 Prepares For ‘Bomb Truck’ Configuration Carrying 16 GBU-39 SDBs During Developmental Tests

The Aviationist Blog - Mon, 28/03/2022 - 12:02

The Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) integration, is one of the many programs to keep the A-10 Warthog flying in the 2030s. The U.S. Air Force recently released, on March 25, the first photos of an [...]

The post The A-10 Prepares For ‘Bomb Truck’ Configuration Carrying 16 GBU-39 SDBs During Developmental Tests appeared first on The Aviationist.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Field trial held to populate future European Terrain Database

EDA News - Mon, 28/03/2022 - 09:24

EDA is working on the establishment of a European Terrain Database (ETDB) which will include a vast selection of images taken from across Europe to be made available to Member States’ Armed Forces for multiple military purposes. To this end, a Multinational Field Trial Exercise was held on 23/24 March at the land test centre of the Italian Armed Forces (Centro Polifunzionale di Sperimentazione) in Montelibretti near Rome. 

More than 30 experts from military test centres based in Italy, Sweden, Greece, Spain, the Netherlands, France and Portugal participated in the exercise co-organised by EDA and the Italian Secretariat General of the Defence and National Armaments Directorate - Technological Innovation Department. The first part of the event took place outdoor, in the wider area of the test centre, and was aimed at acquiring images with several cameras working in different spectral regions (visible, long wave Infrared, short wave Infrared) under diverse configurations (mounted on a drone or grounded). A large number of pictures of different terrain landscapes were taken, with and without a specific target. During the second part of the exercise, all these images were uploaded onto the prototypic software platform of the future European Terrain Database which will be installed on EDA servers in the coming months, ready to be populated by users from different participating Member States with unclassified images in different spectral regions (visible, Infrared wavelengths and microwave). The stored pictures will also include information and metadata deemed necessary or useful for their military usage in test and/or research activities.

Once established and fully accessible, the database can be used, for instance, for target recognition, the assessment and improvement of camouflage effectiveness, the testing and enhancement of sensors in different terrains, the generation of synthetic images or the support of modelling and simulation activities. 

The exercise participants came from different expert communities with an interest in the ETDB, particularly scientists and technicians specialised in Optronics and Radar sensor design (including materials) and performance prediction, design, development and testing of new camouflage, visible and infrared signature and Radar Cross Section mitigation solutions. The future dataset can be employed by the Ministries of Defence of all participating Member States for R&T initiatives as well as for operational and training purposes. The multinational field trial was therefore an excellent opportunity for those experts to meet and explore potential cooperation opportunities among European defence test centres.

The event was organised in the framework of EDA’s Defence Test & Evaluation Base (DTEB) initiative, which was launched in 2010 to collect, share and harmonise defence test & evaluation standards and procedures at European level. In the meantime, the DTEB has developed into a dynamic and useful network, not only of European Military Test Centres, but also of companies, universities and public/private research centres operating in the sector of defence technologies.

 
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Leonardo’s BriteCloud Cleared To Begin Foreign Comparative Testing In The U.S.

The Aviationist Blog - Sat, 26/03/2022 - 21:50

The Expendable Active Decoy will be tested on US F-16s after the recent tests on Italian Tornados and Danish F-16s. The U.S. Air Force’s Seek Eagle Office has approved Leonardo’s BriteCloud 218 Expendable Active Decoy [...]

The post Leonardo’s BriteCloud Cleared To Begin Foreign Comparative Testing In The U.S. appeared first on The Aviationist.

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EDA’s Annual Report 2021 is out!

EDA News - Fri, 25/03/2022 - 09:31

2021 has been a year of significant developments in the security and defence domain, both for Europe and the EU institutions in general, and for the European Defence Agency (EDA) in particular.

Amid rising threats in an increasingly tense geo-strategic environment, especially along the EU’s borders (build-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine), EDA was involved last year in all major efforts to bring EU defence cooperation forward: from the preparation of the Strategic Compass (eventually adopted this week) and ministerial discussions on defence innovation, to the implementation of PESCO and European Defence Fund (EDF) sponsored projects and the launch of the second Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) cycle. The 2021 Annual Report, published today, provides a comprehensive overview of the work accomplished in EDA’s various activity domains throughout the past year.

The report reflects the progress made in the wide spectrum of the Agency’s activities, from its central role in the implementation of the EU defence initiatives (CARD, PESCO, EDF) and the increasing number of defence research and capability development projects and programmes (+11% compared to 2020), to the launch of new enablers and incentives for defence cooperation and EDA’s growing interface role towards wider EU policies.

From Personnel Recovery to Cyber Defence and C-IED exercise

Among the many 2021 highlights was the Agency’s successful involvement in the multinational Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) Exercise ‘Bison Counter21’ hosted by Italy in Sardinia. The Agency also prepared the launch, in 2022, of a new EDA Bison Counter C-IED Exercises Capability Building (BC-EX) project which foresees at least three additional exercises in 2023, 2025 and 2027.

2021 also saw EDA taking over the role of project manager for two important Cyber Defence and Communication & Information Services (CIS) projects financed under the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP): one aimed at developing a European Cyber Situation Awareness Platform (ECYSAP), and other one meant to develop a European Command and Control System from strategic to tactical level (ESC2).

EDA’s prototype Tactical Personnel Recovery Mission Simulator (TPRMS) was inaugurated in November 2021 at Italian Air Base Poggio Renatico. The new Virtual Reality-based simulator, which allows Personnel Recovery teams to collectively rehearse tactics, techniques and procedures in a risk-free environment, marks a significant achievement as no such capability currently exists within Europe.

The PDF version of the 2021 Annual Report can be downloaded here.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

EDA and DG DEFIS joint away day

EDA News - Thu, 24/03/2022 - 18:01

Senior management and staff of EDA and the European Commission’s Directorate General Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS) met on 18 March for a day-long work retreat designed to bring the respective teams together, enhance mutual knowledge and understanding about the respective priorities, objectives and ways of working, to foster cooperation on a growing number of European defence topics relevant to both organisations, and to identify additional opportunities for improved interaction in the future.

The meeting on the initiative of DG DEFIS Director General Timo Pesonen and EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý, was the first informal get-together of this kind between select staff of the Agency and DG DEFIS. The retreat took place in a positive and constructive atmosphere and was hailed by both sides as particularly timely given the tense security and defence situation in Europe following Russia’s war against Ukraine, and the various ongoing EU defence activities such as the European Commission’s recent Defence Package, the adoption of the EU Strategic Compass, and the Commission/EDA taskings stemming from the recent informal meeting of heads of state or government in Versailles.

The discussions during the day were structured in two main parts. The morning session was devoted to capability development (with a special focus on how to make best use of EDA’s activities and tools in support of the European Defence Fund managed by DG DEFIS) and defence innovation, especially on how to develop synergies between EDA’s activities and European Commission policies and initiatives in this domain. In the afternoon, several breakout groups composed by specialists from both sides discussed how to improve cooperation on topics such as EDA support to EDF (from upstream to downstream), EDF project management, defence innovation (including on how to shape the partnership with the Commission to ensure synergies between the soon to be established Hub for Defence innovation within the Agency and initiatives announced by the European Commission under the EU Defence Innovation Scheme) as well as the prospect of promoting and supporting joint defence procurement among EU Member States.

It was agreed by both EDA CE Jiří Šedivý and DEFIS DG Timo Pesonen that such informal consultations should be held again in the future.

Categories: Defence`s Feeds

Video of a committee meeting - Tuesday, 22 March 2022 - 16:07 - Subcommittee on Security and Defence - Committee on Foreign Affairs

Length of video : 84'

Disclaimer : The interpretation of debates serves to facilitate communication and does not constitute an authentic record of proceedings. Only the original speech or the revised written translation is authentic.
Source : © European Union, 2022 - EP

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