The D Brief: Russia’s new bomb; Rolling blackouts in Ukraine; Bid for Philly shipyard; China-Philippines fracas; And a bit more.

The Russian military appears to have unleashed a new weapon on Ukraine for the first time on Thursday in northeastern Kharkiv. It's a 6,600-pound, air-launched glide bomb known as the FAB-3000 UMPK. It’s part of a wider Russian effort, as David Axe of Forbes wrote in March, to bolt “pop-out wings and satellite-guidance kits to 1,100-, 2,200- and 3,300-pound dumb bombs” from the Kremlin’s stockpiles. (The designation refers to the updated universal planning and correction module.)

According to footage posted online, the bomb exploded near “the end of a building used by the Ukrainian army as a temporary deployment point,” the Kyiv Independent reports. And while it seems to have failed to strike precisely as intended, it nonetheless appeared to leave a wide zone of destruction. 

Expert reax: “The fact that Russian forces have figured out how to launch FAB-3000s is a significant development and will increase the destructive potential of Russia's ongoing glide bomb attacks against Ukrainian forces and infrastructure,” analysts at the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War wrote Thursday. “Russian forces have already increased guided and unguided glide bomb use against Ukraine, particularly in Kharkiv Oblast, to devastating effect,” the analysts explained, “and should Russian forces be able to launch massive barrages of FAB-3000s (or even heavier guided glide bombs) they will be able to cause even more widespread damage to Ukrainian frontline positions and critical infrastructure.”

Russian missile attacks Thursday forced rolling blackouts across Ukraine, and have “knocked out half of Ukraine's energy generating capacity since March,” Reuters reported from Kyiv. The Associated Press has more on the topic, reporting Friday from the capital. 

Developing: Ukraine says it struck four Russian oil refineries with drones overnight Thursday. That included the Afipsky, Ilsky, Krasnodar, and Astrakhan facilities, Reuters reports. “The damage of these refineries will significantly complicate the logistics of fuel oil supply, making it more expensive and time-consuming, as it will have to be delivered from other refineries," a Ukrainian source told the wire service. 

Update: After signing an alliance treaty with North Korea, Russia is now angry that South Korea may arm Ukraine against Russian invasion forces. “Seoul had earlier condemned the Russian-North Korean agreement as a threat to its national security, and national security adviser Chang Ho-jin had said his country planned to ‘reconsider the issue of arms support to Ukraine’,” the BBC reported.

Putin responded that if that happens, Moscow will make “decisions which are unlikely to please the current leadership of South Korea.” More, here.

Russia’s nuclear-power diplomacy. Long the dominant global provider of reactor construction to non-nuclear states, Moscow has stepped up its efforts since post-invasion sanctions reduced its exports of oil and gas. “Before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia already accounted for about half of all international agreements on nuclear power plant construction, reactor and fuel supply, decommissioning or waste management. Its main competitors in the nuclear power sector — China, France, Japan, South Korea and the US — accounted for about 40 per cent combined,” the Financial Times reported Thursday. “It is involved in more than a third of the new reactors being constructed around the world at the moment, including in China, India, Iran and Egypt.”

But G5 nations have made a few moves to undercut Russia’s efforts. Read on at FT, here.

By the way: Putin still flies around in Soviet-era presidential planes.With his latest trip coming shortly after aircraft crashes killed two other world leaders, President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran and Vice President Saulos Chilima of Malawi, a Kremlin spokesman felt it necessary recently to reassure the Russian public that Mr. Putin’s planes were ‘very reliable’,” the New York Times reported Wednesday.

New: The Commerce Department officially banned Kaspersky anti-virus software, alleging that “the company’s continued operations in the United States presented a national security risk—due to the Russian Government’s offensive cyber capabilities and capacity to influence or direct Kaspersky’s operations.” 

“This action is the first of its kind and is the first Final Determination issued by BIS’s Office of Information and Communications Technology and Services,” the Commerce Department said.

If you have Kaspersky, what now? You “are strongly encouraged to expeditiously transition to new vendors.” However, you “will not face legal penalties” if you continue to use the products; but you can’t be surprised if your systems are compromised by Russia-linked actors in the months ahead. Read more, here

Additional reading: 

Welcome to this Friday edition of The D Brief, brought to you by Ben Watson with Bradley Peniston. Share your newsletter tips, reading recommendations, or feedback here. And if you’re not already subscribed, you can do that here. On this day in 2001, 13 men from Saudi Arabia and one from Lebanon were indicted in a Virginia federal court over the June 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. airmen and wounded more than 370 others.

Chinese naval forces attacked and injured Philippine troops during an altercation Monday at the disputed Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. The Philippine military released video of the engagement as well as photos purporting to show Chinese troops “boarded a Philippine boat, smashed its outboard motor and communications equipment, and grabbed the Filipino crew’s cellphones,” the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The Chinese also “seized seven disassembled rifles that were packed in cases for delivery to a Philippine outpost,” according to the Philippines. 

The Chinese wielded axes and knives as they threatened the Philippine troops, as seen in multiple clips posted online in a social media thread Wednesday.

“Only pirates do this,” said the Philippines’ top military officer Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr.. “Only pirates board, steal, and destroy ships, equipment and belongings,” he said in a statement. 

Why it matters: Encounters like this “could result in the death of a Filipino, spark a conflict and potentially draw the U.S. into the fight,” the Journal notes. “If that happened, Washington and the Philippines would be forced to confront tough decisions that would have broader reverberations, including on the credibility of U.S. alliance commitments in the region.” More here

From the region: 

Philadelphia shipyard agrees to $100m purchase by S. Korean shipbuilder. “Pending regulatory approvals, Philly Shipyard”—the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard—“is set to be acquired by Hanwha Systems and Hanwha Ocean for $100 million from its Norwegian parent Anker ASA,” which acquired the facility from Kvaerner in 2005. Read more at USNI News.

Honeywell just bought defense aerospace firm CAES Systems for $1.9 billion in cash, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. “CAES, formerly known as Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions, designs, develops and tests electronics ranging from antenna systems to communication networks for aerospace and defense companies,” the Journal reports. “The deal will bring more than 2,000 employees to Honeywell, including hundreds of engineers.” 

In context: “The deal complements Honeywell's offerings on programs such as Lockheed Martin's F-35, Boeing's EA-18G, and missiles including Raytheon's AMRAAM,” an equity analyst told Reuters.

And lastly this week: RIP, William Goines, the first Black Navy SEAL. The native of Lockland, Ohio, enlisted in 1955, about nine years after the Navy was integrated. He fought off the service’s efforts to make him a steward and became instead one of 40 original members of the Virginia Beach, Va.-based SEAL Team 2. Goines “retired from the Navy in 1987 as a master chief petty officer. In his 32 years in uniform, which included three tours of duty during the Vietnam War, he received a Bronze Star and a Navy Commendation Medal among other decorations,” the New York Times reported.

Have a safe weekend, and we’ll see you on Monday.