Radar now protecting Russian airbase in Libya

by Tim Ripley

An early warning radar has been identified at the Libyan airbase where Russia deployed fast jets in late May, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced on 18 June.

An overhead image released by AFRICOM on 18 June shows a ‘Spoon Rest’ radar and a MiG-29 at Libya’s Al-Jufrah Air Base. (US Africa Command)

An overhead image released by AFRICOM on 18 June shows a ‘Spoon Rest’ radar and a MiG-29 at Libya’s Al-Jufrah Air Base. (US Africa Command)

It released an overhead reconnaissance image that it said showed the ‘Spoon Rest’ radar and a MiG-29 at Al-Jufrah Air Base earlier that day. It released another image showing an Su-24 coming into land at the base.

“Russia uses this system when deployed to a nation in the conduct of tactical combat operations”, AFRICOM said.

“Russia’s sustained involvement in Libya increases the violence and delays a political solution,” said US Marine Brigadier General Bradford Gering, AFRICOM director of operations. “Russia continues to push for a strategic foothold on NATO’s southern flank and this is at the expense of innocent Libyan lives.”

It described the Libyan deployment as part of a wider drive by Moscow to expand its influence in Africa, saying Russia is the “number one arms dealer in Africa” and “continues to profit from violence and instability across the continent”.


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Details emerge on DoD waveform resiliency initiative

by Carlo Munoz

Handheld radios prior to a TSM waveform exercise in February 2020. (US Army)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is launching a new development initiative geared towards improving waveform resiliency for its growing arsenal of software-defined radios (SDRs), according to a recent departmental solicitation to industry.

Led by the DoD's Joint Tactical Networking Center (JTNC) and managed by the US Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR), details of the waveform resiliency programme have largely been kept under wraps. However, details on the general scope and overall goals of the effort have emerged in recently released JTNC and NAVWAR documents to industry.

The programme, as defined, will drill down into “resilient waveforms and associated technologies” either already in use within the military sector or at a high technology maturity level and explore integration options into current and future networked communication systems, according to the initial request for information (RFI).

“The purpose is to provide ready access to resilient waveform information retrievable in a timely manner to aid [US armed forces] ... in planning future network architectures in support of resilient and interoperable joint communications,” the RFI added.


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China, Russia fly bombers to ‘counter' Quad summit

by Akhil Kadidal

A Tu-95 bomber of the Russian Air Force flies over the Sea of Japan on 24 May 2022. (Japan Ministry of Defense)

Japan and South Korea scrambled its fighters to intercept a “provocative” joint exercise by four Chinese and two Russian strategic bombers in the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea on 24 May.

The exercise appears to be a show of force by Beijing and Moscow pointed at the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad), which was taking place in Tokyo on that same day. The meeting was attended by the leaders of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States.

Two Chinese Xian H-6 bombers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) were detected flying from the East China Sea to the Sea of the Japan in the morning. The H-6s were joined by two Tupolov Tu-95 strategic bombers of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) in the sea of Japan.

The four bombers proceeded on a southwestern course. In the afternoon, two new PLA H-6s replaced the earlier two H-6s in the formation. The aircraft then flew through the Miyako Strait between Okinawa and Miyakojima islands, into the Western Pacific.


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NATO counter-terrorism project proves its viability in demonstration

by Brooks Tigner

The Microwave Imaging Curtain to detect concealed firearms using microwave technology was one of the Detection of Explosives and Firearms to Counter Terrorism (DEXTER) technologies demonstrated in the Rome Metro on 24 May under NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme. (Brooks Tigner)

One of NATO's flagship counter-terrorism research consortia has moved a step closer to market with a live demonstration of its capabilities. Once commercialised, the project's real-time threat detection systems could fan out to civil critical infrastructure sites across the allies, according to NATO and national research officials, who said Europe's armies are closely following the work's outcome for its potential military applications as well.

“We have had some informal talks with Italy's military, for example, and they have expressed interest in DEXTER [Detection of Explosives and Firearms to Counter Terrorism] for its potential peacekeeping uses,” a researcher told reporters after the technologies' demonstration on 24 May in a Rome Metro station.


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