12 May 2023
by Kate Tringham
HMS Vanguard is expected to return to operations later in 2023 following the completion of its post-refit trial period. (Crown Copyright)
The UK Royal Navy's (RN's) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), HMS Vanguard (S28), has finally departed Babcock International's Devonport Royal Dockyard facility in Plymouth following the completion of a much-delayed deep maintenance and refuelling programme.
An RN spokesperson confirmed to Janes that Vanguard set sail from Devonport Dockyard on 9 May bound for HM Naval Base, Clyde, at Faslane, Scotland, where it will start its post-refit trial period. This will include crew training and will culminate in a demonstration and shakedown operation. The demonstration firing of the Trident weapon system typically takes place off the Eastern Seaboard of the US.
Vanguard started what was originally intended to be a three-year Long Overhaul Period (Refuel) – (LOP[R]) – at Babcock Internationals Devonport facility in Plymouth in December 2015. However, the programme ended up taking more than seven years at significantly increased cost because of technical issues as well as further setbacks arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
09 June 2023
by Marc Selinger
A US Air Force F-35A flies over the Toronto waterfront during the 2021 Canadian International Air Show. (US Air Force)
The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND), which is reviewing its six-year-old defence policy, has received more than 1,500 public comments as part of the process, according to a DND spokesperson.
The DND is “taking into account these submissions in crafting” a defence policy update (DPU), the spokesperson told Janes on 8 June. The DPU “is currently under way and we look forward to releasing it in due course”.
The Canadian government announced in April 2022 that it was launching a defence policy review to determine whether the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is adequately sized, equipped, and funded in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Canada's current defence policy, titled ‘Strong, Secure, Engaged', was released in 2017.
As part of the review, members of the Canadian public had from 9 March to 30 April 2023 to submit their views. After the DPU is completed, the DND intends to publish a “summary of the themes and concepts that were heard”.
31 May 2023
by Akhil Kadidal
A Chinese SAC J-16 fighter flies in front of a USAF RC-135V Rivet Joint aircraft over the South China Sea on 26 May 2023. This is a screen-grab from a video of the incident. (US Department of Defense)
The United States has said that a Chinese Shenyang Aircraft Corporation (SAC) J-16 fighter aircraft conducted an unsafe manoeuvre near a US Air Force (USAF) Boeing RC-135V Rivet Joint surveillance aircraft on 26 May.
US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) said in a statement on 30 May that the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) J-16 “performed an unnecessarily aggressive manoeuvre during the intercept of a US Air Force RC-135 aircraft”.
INDOPACOM added that the Chinese “pilot flew directly in front of the nose of the RC-135, forcing the US aircraft to fly through its wake turbulence”. This action describes the buffeting turbulence experienced by an aircraft caused by another jet aircraft flying in close proximity ahead of it.
The incident took place over the South China Sea, according to INDOPACOM.
26 May 2023
by Marc Selinger
The US Capitol building in Washington, DC. (Janes/Marc Selinger)
The US Professional Services Council (PSC) is urging its member companies to prepare for the possibility that the US government could delay payments to contractors if it fails to resolve its debt limit crisis.
Contractors should stockpile cash and consult with their credit providers to ensure they can continue operations if the government suspends payments, David Berteau, PSC president and CEO, told reporters on 25 May.
The government is expected to run out of money in early June unless its borrowing authority is increased. While President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies in Congress support raising the USD31.4 trillion debt ceiling without conditions, congressional Republicans insist that a ceiling increase be coupled with cuts in non-defence spending. The Biden administration and congressional leaders have been trying to negotiate a compromise but have yet to reach a deal.
“We want this to be done as soon as possible,” Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, told reporters on 25 May. “That's why the negotiators have been working around the clock – 24 hours, practically – to get this done.”
The UK Royal Navy's (RN's) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), HMS Vanguard (S28), h...
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