Chinese intelligence ship tracked close to sensitive Australia-US submarine communications facility

by Julian Kerr & Jon Grevatt

A Chinese PLAN intelligence collection vessel, Haiwangxing , pictured operating off the north-west shelf of Australia. (Commonwealth of Australia)

A Chinese intelligence collection ship has been tracked for a week off the West Australian coast and within 50 n miles (93 km) of a sensitive naval communications base, Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton disclosed on 13 May.

Dutton said the People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN's) Dongdiao-class (Type 815/815A) intelligence collection ship (AGI) Haiwangxing had been closely monitored by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft as it moved along the West Australian coast and sailed past the Harold E Holt naval communication station at Exmouth.

Established in the 1960s the joint Australian and US base, named after former Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt, provides very low frequency (VLF) radio transmission services in support of Australian, US, and allied submarines.

Dutton said Australia had been tracking the Chinese ship in the past “week or so” but didn't put an exact date on the surveillance undertaken by RAAF P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and other assets.

The Haiwangxing


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Myanmar MiG-29 violates Thai airspace

by Akhil Kadidal

Thailand scrambled two F-16s after a Myanmar MiG-29 violated Thai airspace on 30 June 2022. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)

A cross-border violation by a Myanmar Air Force military aircraft engaged in military operations on 30 June prompted a scramble by Thai fighter jets.

According to air force spokesperson Air Vice Marshal Prapas Sonjaidee, two F-16s were scrambled after a Thai radar detected an aircraft in Thai airspace close to the border with Myanmar.

The incident occurred at “about 1106 [h] local time at Phop Phra, Tak province,” AVM Sonjaidee told Janes. He added that the border was violated while the aircraft was attacking an ethnic armed group along the border.

According to the spokesperson, the aircraft, identified as a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 fighter, spent no more than two minutes in Thai airspace. The airspace violation was prompted by weather and a large hill in the area, AVM Sonjaidee told Janes.

Thai media reported that the low-flying aircraft caused panic in two Thai villages near the border. Multiple types of aircraft appear to have been involved in the attack on the ethnic group.


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New reform of NATO's partner-oriented Trust Funds hikes pressure on deliverables

by Brooks Tigner

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told journalists on 29 June that Ukraine could count on NATO members to continue to provide it with military and financial aid. (NATO)

With allied leaders agreeing, during the June 29–30 Madrid summit, to massively ramp-up the defence of NATO's home territory against external aggression, attention will now turn to how effectively the alliance can deliver assistance to its partner countries, particularly Ukraine, to shore up their security via NATO's newly reformed multination Trust Funds (TFs).

The timing of the TFs' reform – hammered out during the previous 18 months – could not come sooner, and Ukraine will be an obvious acid test. As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced during a press conference on the first day of the summit, “Ukraine can count on us for as long as it takes. Allies will continue to provide major military and financial help.”


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Ukraine conflict: NATO invites Finland and Sweden to become alliance members

by Nicholas Fiorenza

NATO enlargement from 1952 to the present. (Janes/NATO)

NATO leaders invited Finland and Sweden to become the alliance's 31st and 32nd members on the first day of their 29–30 June summit in Madrid. Speaking to journalists on 29 June, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg described the invitation as a “historic decision”.

It will enable NATO to prepare accession protocols for Finland and Sweden, amending the 1949 Washington Treaty that created the alliance for signature and ratification by allies. For many of NATO's 30 members, ratification requires parliamentary approval, although for some, executive approval is sufficient. Asked by a journalist how long this would take, Stoltenberg responded, “so far this is the fastest accession process ever”, expecting ratification “as soon as possible”.


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A Chinese intelligence collection ship has been tracked for a week off the West Australian coast and...

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