US announces Bomb Sale to NATO member Nation of the Reconfirmed Secretary General

US announces Bomb Sale to NATO member Nation of the Reconfirmed Secretary General



Jens Stoltenberg to Remain NATO Chief

Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general, finally gave in. Having previously announced that he would leave the job this September, he reversed himself on Tuesday and said that he had agreed to extend his mandate another year, until October 2024.

In a Twitter message, Mr. Stoltenberg confirmed what had come to seem inevitable, saying: “Honoured by #NATO Allies’ decision to extend my term as Secretary General until 1 October 2024.”

His reappointment takes a contentious issue off the agenda of NATO’s yearly summit meeting, scheduled for next week in Vilnius, Lithuania. The meeting is designed to show trans-Atlantic unity and solidarity in support for Ukraine as it battles Russia’s invasion.


Norway has asked for almost $300 million worth of Raytheon-made glide weapons

There are no obstacles to selling Norway a total of 600 glide bombs for their F-35A jets, the US State Department notified Congress on Wednesday. The total value of the contract is estimated at $293 million, and includes the munitions as well as maintenance and support.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) sent out the notice as required by US law. It specified that permission was required because the government in Oslo increased the request from the original $18.9 million for 20 bombs to 580 additional munitions.

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The DSCA notice described the weapon as the GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bombs-Increment II (SDB-II) All-Up-Rounds (AUR). Its manufacturer, Raytheon, uses the name ‘StormBreaker’.

According to Raytheon, the bomb can use millimeter-wave radar, infrared and semi-active laser homing to guide itself to the target, and can even operate in semi-autonomous mode. First entering service in late 2020, it is intended for use by the F-15 and F/A-18 fighter-bombers, as well as the F-35s, though that required a software update in 2022.

The Deadliest StormBreaker Bomb by Raytheon during a USAF Testing – click to watch the video

Norway has received 37 F-35s of the 52 it has ordered from the US. Each plane can carry up to 24 StormBreaker bombs, eight internally and 16 on external wing mountings.

Oslo originally ordered 20 bombs in July 2022. It was unclear whether Raytheon has already produced the munitions, or how long it may take to fulfill the order.

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In addition to the bombs themselves, the contract calls for instructors that will teach the Royal Norwegian Air Force how to load the weapons and engage in explosive ordnance disposal; various support and maintenance equipment, spare parts, consumables and accessories, as well as support for repair, return, modification and maintenance.

The value of the contract is a high estimate and the actual amount is likely to be lower “if and when” the sales agreement is actually concluded, according to the DSCA notice.

Originally published by Russia Today

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NATO member states agree Stoltenberg to remain Secretary General for another year

Governments of NATO member states agreed that Jens Stoltenberg will remain the alliance’s Secretary General for another year, Norway’s Verdens gang reported Wednesday.

“Governments of the 31 NATO member states have come to an agreement: according to the Verdens gang’s information, all NATO states collectively support the decision to ask Jens Stoltenberg to continue his service as the Secretary General,” the newspaper says.

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Stoltenberg has not yet officially agreed to the extension of service. His contract with NATO expires on October 1, 2023. The NATO headquarters in Brussels expect Stoltenberg’s confirmation ahead of the July 11-12 summit in Vilnius.

Originally published by TASS Russian News Agency

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