Japan and Australia intend to bolster defence co-operation

by Oishee Majumdar

Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles and his Japanese counterpart Nobuo Kishi pose for a photo before their Japan-Australia bilateral defence meeting at the Japanese Ministry of Defense in Tokyo on June 15, 2022. (Kyodo News via Getty Images)

Japan and Australia are planning to expand bilateral defence co-operation to be better equipped to respond to the common security challenges in the Asia-Pacific, the defence ministers of the two countries – Nobuo Kishi and Richard Marles – said in a joint statement on 15 June.

According to the joint statement, the two countries will be increasing co-operation in the cyber and space domain, science and technology, and strategic capabilities; collaborating on supply chains to strengthen “mutual industrial bases”; and enhancing “exercises and activities in each domain” to augment the interoperability of military forces.

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) “will increasingly engage with Japan on priority strategic capabilities, including space, integrated air and missile defence, and cyber”, a spokesperson for the DoD told Janes .

“These engagements include policy exchanges, capability co-operation, and technical collaboration”.

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Czech Army's T-72M4 CZ approaches end of service life, eyes new Leopards

by Christopher Petrov & Ben Burnett

The Czech MoD is aiming to participate in the Leopard 2A8 programme, which would represent a considerable leap in capability over the ageing T-72M4 CZ. (IMOD)

The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) will develop plans to address the approaching obsolescence of its main battle tank (MBT), the T-72M4 CZ, Colonel Jan Kerdik, head of Land Forces development division at the Czech Armed Forces, told SAE Media's Future Armoured Vehicles Central and Eastern Europe conference in Prague. The Czech army has now stated its ambition to join the Leopard 2A8 programme.

The Czech Armed Forces, which is estimated to have 30 T-72M4 CZ tanks in service, faces issues with obsolescence in particular components and a desire for modernisation that will push the T-72M4 CZ out of service in the coming years. Previous modernisation efforts announced in 2018 were aimed at delaying obsolescence-related issues only until 2025. Coupled with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, there is a strong desire to rearm Czech tank forces.

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Newport News Shipbuilding redelivers carrier George Washington

by Michael Fabey

Newport News Shipbuilding redelivered aircraft carrier USS George Washington after a ship overhaul. (US Navy)

HII's Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division redelivered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) to the US Navy (USN) after the shipyard successfully completed the ship's refuelling and complex overhaul (RCOH), HII confirmed on 25 May.

George Washington has gone through a transformation and now returns to the fleet as a fully recapitalised ship for another 25 years,” Todd West, NNS vice-president, In-Service Aircraft Carrier Programs, said in a statement.

A carrier RCOH repairs, upgrades, and modernises nearly every space and system on the ship, including tanks; the hull; shafting; propellers; rudders; piping; ventilation; and electrical, combat, and aviation support systems.

During RCOH, a carrier's two nuclear reactors are defuelled and refuelled, and the ship's propulsion plant is repaired, maintained, and upgraded.

The USN's fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget proposal includes USD1.2 billion for RCOHs to fund advance procurement of long-lead items for the USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) with the RCOH scheduled to begin in FY 2025. The FY 2024 request also funds cost to complete for USS John C Stennis

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Ukraine conflict: Canada to donate Sidewinder missiles to Kyiv

by Gareth Jennings

Canada is to donate to Ukraine older versions of its AIM-9 Sidewinder, as carried here by a Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet. (Janes)

Canada is to donate Raytheon AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles to Ukraine, the Canadian defence minister announced at the 12th Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting on 25 May.

Canadian Minister of National Defence Anita Anand announced the donation as part of a wider raft of support measures for the Ukrainian armed forces.

“Minister Anand … announced that Canada is donating 43 AIM-9 missiles to Ukraine from CAF [Canadian Armed Forces] inventory and noted that this donation will help Ukraine to secure its skies in the face of ongoing Russian attacks,” the Canadian Ministry of National Defence (MND) said.

The donation marks the first time that Ukraine has been earmarked to receive the Sidewinder, which is typically used as a short-range air-to-air weapon carried by combat aircraft, but which can also be used as a ground-based air-defence asset launched from the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) that Ukraine fields.

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