- The Strategist - https://www.aspistrategist.org.au -

The five-domains update

Posted By , and on November 19, 2019 @ 13:58

Sea state

The European Union has announced [1] 13 new projects to be funded under its Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) initiative. Two focus [2] on naval defence: the first involves developing a new class of military ship, the European patrol corvette, and the second aims to provide an advanced command, control and communications service architecture for anti-submarine systems. PESCO was established [3] to support EU states to ‘enhance the operational readiness and contribution of their armed forces’.

Australia’s two largest warships, HMA Ships Canberra and Adelaide, have achieved [4] final operational capability, making the Royal Australian Navy one of the world’s ‘premier amphibious forces’. The two Canberra-class landing helicopter docks, whose design is based [5] on the Spanish Navy’s light aircraft carrier Juan Carlos I, will form the core of the RAN’s new ‘amphibious ready groups’. Both vessels are ready to be deployed [6] on maritime operations such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Russia has returned [7] three Ukrainian navy ships that were seized last year in the Kerch Strait. The three vessels (two gunboats and a tugboat) were captured after Moscow accused the Ukrainian navy of illegally entering Russia’s territorial waters. The ships’ crew were released to Ukraine in September. The return of the ships is expected to help build trust between Moscow and Kiev, and came as France announced [8] that a summit will be held on 9 December to discuss ways to resolve the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Flight path

Israel hosted [9] its biennial Blue Flag exercise, involving 70 aircraft and more than 700 personnel from Israel, the United States, Greece, Germany and Italy. The scenario-based exercise featured, for the first time, the Israeli Air Force’s F-35I Adir, a customised variant of the F-35A Lightning II. The purpose of Blue Flag is to provide [10] training missions that build strategic partnerships and interoperability and help participating forces maintain their ‘sharp combat edge’.

In testimony [11] to the US Congress, Lieutenant General Eric Fick said significant progress has been made in finding alternative suppliers for components for the F-35 that Turkey was contracted to produce. This will likely mean Turkey will be phased out of the process by March 2020. Turkey was originally committed to purchase 100 F-35s from the US, but its decision to purchase a Russian-built S-400 defence system prompted Washington to rescind the deal due to security concerns.

Student pilots from Norway and the US are conducting [12] joint training to learn how to fly the F-35 as part of the aircraft’s first allied basic flight course. Pilots will first fly smaller aircraft over a period of eight months before they’re allowed to fly the F-35. The course has the benefit of increasing interoperability between allied pilots who will be using the same syllabus and tactics manual in training.

Rapid fire

Former members of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), the UK organisation that investigated alleged war crimes by British troops during the occupation of Iraq, have provided [13] evidence indicating that the UK government and armed forces may have covered up the killing of civilians. One IHAT detective told BBC Panorama that ‘the Ministry of Defence had no intention of prosecuting any soldier of whatever rank he was unless it was absolutely necessary’. The Defence Ministry and Foreign Minister Dominic Raab have denied the allegations.

The Australian government has awarded [14] a $137 million contract to Canberra-based CEA Technologies to provide advanced ground-based radars that will protect land and maritime forces from airborne threats. The company will integrate both short- and long-range radars into existing air defence technology. Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said the contract with CEA demonstrates the company’s success after securing a $90 million loan through the government’s Defence Export Facility.

In November 2018, the Turkish government and BMC, a Turkish–Qatari joint venture, signed [15] a multibillion-dollar contract to design, develop and produce Turkey’s new main battle tank, the Altay. Delivery of the initial 250 units is scheduled for 2020, but an unnamed industry source said it would likely take a few more years due to technological issues. Western countries have been hesitant to share their technological nous with Turkey because of political concerns.

Final frontier

More than 1,200 scientists signed [16] a letter calling for the European Space Agency to fund a mission to a near-earth asteroid at a ministerial meeting later this month. Hera, as currently planned, will launch in 2024 and will conduct a ‘double asteroid redirect test’ on Didymoon, the small moon of the asteroid Didymos, when it arrives there in 2026. The mission is important for planetary defence because it will test the ability of ‘kinetic impactors’ to change the orbit of an asteroid.

China launched [17] two spacecraft within hours of each other last week. The first launch, organised by Chinese commercial launch company ExPace, used a Kuaizhou-1A rocket to deploy a small remote-sensing satellite. Three hours later, China used a Long March 6 rocket to launch five satellites into low-inclination orbit for the first time. These two launches bring China’s successful launch total to seven rockets in the past two months.

A new report by NASA’s Office of Inspector General has revealed [18] the significant difference in price between companies for travel on commercial space vehicles. The space agency is likely to pay more than twice as much for a seat on Boeing’s Starliner as on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. NASA, which currently pays US$86 million per seat aboard Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft, is expected [19] to pay around US$90 million for a seat on Boeing’s Starliner and US$55 million on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk commented [20] on Twitter that it didn’t seem fair that Boeing should get more money for the same service.

Wired watchtower

DFRLab has published an analysis [21] of the sockpuppet Twitter accounts that impersonated Kailasavadivoo Savian, the chair of India’s space agency, around the time of India’s first lunar landing attempt. The accounts were used to amplify disinformation about the agency’s attempts to re-establish contact with the Chandrayaan-2 mission. They managed to gain a significant number of followers before being suspended by Twitter.

A leaked report has revealed [22] that the UK’s cross-party intelligence and security committee has been unable to come to a conclusion about the extent or impact of Russian interference in the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union. The committee has indicated that Britain’s intelligence services didn’t dedicate enough resources to countering Russian disinformation on social media in the lead-up to the referendum. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suppressed the report until after the upcoming general election, saying that his government needs more time to assess [23] the security implications of the report.

Amazon has launched [24] an appeal against the Pentagon’s decision to award the contract for its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure project, known as JEDI, to Microsoft. Amazon had been the favourite to win the cloud-services contract until President Donald Trump said he was ‘very seriously’ [25] considering intervening on behalf of Microsoft. Amazon is claiming that the decision was influenced by political pressure. The company released a statement [26] alleging that ‘aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors and unmistakable bias’.

Article printed from The Strategist: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au

URL to article: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-five-domains-update-85/

URLs in this post:

[1] announced: https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2019/11/12/eu-unveils-new-cooperation-projects-in-training-cyber-operations-naval-warfare/

[2] focus: https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2019/11/eu-launches-two-new-pesco-projects-in-the-field-of-naval-defense/

[3] established: https://thedefensepost.com/2019/11/12/new-pesco-projects-eu-defense-cooperation/

[4] achieved: https://news.navy.gov.au/en/Nov2019/Fleet/5558/Australia%E2%80%99s-Canberra-Class-amphibious-ships-confirm-full-capability.htm#.XdHHsVczaUk

[5] based: https://thediplomat.com/2019/11/australias-largest-warships-achieve-final-operational-capability/

[6] deployed: https://www.minister.defence.gov.au/minister/lreynolds/media-releases/navys-largest-warships-achieve-new-milestone

[7] returned: https://www.dw.com/en/russia-to-return-navy-vessels-seized-from-ukraine/a-51286196

[8] announced: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/russia-return-captured-ukraine-naval-ships-monday-191117165852861.html

[9] hosted: https://theaviationist.com/2019/11/15/the-israeli-air-force-completes-blue-flag-2019-exercise-with-the-f-35i-adir/

[10] provide: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/351866/blue-flag-2019-builds-strategic-partnerships-provides-tactical-training

[11] testimony: https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/strike-air-combat/5155-us-closes-in-on-completing-turkey-s-f-35-exile

[12] conducting: https://www.airforce-technology.com/news/us-and-norway-pilots-participate-in-first-f-35-basic-flight-course/

[13] provided: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-50419297

[14] awarded: https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/land-amphibious/5162-army-to-receive-next-generation-air-defence-radars

[15] signed: https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2019/11/14/turkeys-multibillion-dollar-altay-tank-program-faces-delay/

[16] signed: https://spacenews.com/advocates-promote-planetary-defense-mission-ahead-of-esa-ministerial/

[17] launched: https://www.space.com/china-rocket-launches-rally-roundup-oct-nov-2019.html

[18] revealed: https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-20-005.pdf

[19] expected: https://www.space.com/spacex-boeing-commercial-crew-seat-prices.html

[20] commented: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1195143158486765568

[21] analysis: https://medium.com/dfrlab/sockpuppet-accounts-impersonate-indias-space-agency-chief-7fc2c1980f13

[22] revealed: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/revealed-the-russia-report-kz6c9mwxf

[23] assess: https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/leaked-report-concludes-russia-may-have-influenced-brexit-vote-20191118-p53bfb.html

[24] launched: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-50428744

[25] ‘very seriously’: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/18/us/politics/trump-amazon-defense-department-contract.html?module=inline

[26] released a statement: https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/kz4vbm/amazon-says-it-didnt-get-a-dollar10-billion-contract-because-trump-hates-bezos

Copyright © 2024 The Strategist. All rights reserved.