Defence news

IRGC unveils UGVs

By Jeremy Binnie 22 September 2021
Most of the UGVs that were displayed were EOD robots. (Defapress.ir)  Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) shed some light on its robotics programmes when it displayed dozens of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) during a ceremony to hand over equipment to explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams on 20 September.  More than 30 UGVs were seen displayed in photographs of the event, most of which were a tracked type configured as an EOD robot with a manipulator arm fitted with a camera and disruptor. The same type was also seen configured w...

France to cut Sahel force by up to 3,000 in two years

By Jean-Marc Tanguy 21 September 2021
Task Force Sabre, France's special operations force in the Sahel, will remain largely untouched by the cuts. (Jean-Marc Tanguy)  French officials have revealed new details of the planned drawdown in the Sahel region that was announced by President Emmanuel Macron in June.  France currently has about 5,500 troops committed to Operation Barkhane: its mission is to counter Islamist militants in the Sahel since 2014. This number will be cut to “between 2,500 and 3,000” by 2023, according to Colonel Pascal Ianni, the spokesperson for the French Ar...

RAF receives sixth Poseidon MMA

By Gareth Jennings 21 September 2021
Guernsey's Reply is the sixth of nine P-8A Poseidon MMAs to be delivered to the RAF. (Crown Copyright)  The sixth of nine Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime multi-mission aircraft (MMA) for the Royal Air Force (RAF) arrived in the United Kingdom on 21 September.  Aircraft ZP806, named Guernsey's Reply after a 201 Squadron Supermarine Spitfire with the same name during the Second World War, flew into RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland to join the previously delivered ZP801 Pride of Moray, ZP802 City of Elgin, ZP803 Terence Bulloch DSO DFC, ZP804 Spir...

DSEI 2021: British Army demonstrates progress with HED-powered prototypes

By Peter Felstead 21 September 2021
A HED-equipped Jackal 2 high-mobility patrol vehicle and Foxhound protected patrol vehicle demonstrating silent running outside the ExCel Centre at DSEI 2021. (Janes/P Felstead)  Evidence that the power and mobility advantages of vehicles powered by hybrid electric drive (HED) are approaching real-world utility on the modern battlefield was in evidence at this month's DSEI exhibition in London in the form of three vehicles demonstrated by the British Army.  The three vehicles – a Jackal 2 4×4 high-mobility patrol vehicle, a Foxhound 4×4 prote...

Argentina allocates JF-17 funding in latest fighter recapitalisation twist

By Gareth Jennings 20 September 2021
The JF-17 Thunder may enter Argentine service, with the disclosure that procurement funding has been allocated. (Janes/Paul Jackson)  Argentina has allocated funding to procure the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC)/ Pakistan Aeronautical Complex FC-1/JF-17 in the country's latest effort to recapitalise its fighter aircraft capabilities.  Announced on 15 September, the draft budget for fiscal year (FY) 2022 includes USD664 million towards the purchase of 12 JF-17 Thunder Block III jets (including USD20 million for infrastructure).  This devel...

DSEI 2021: Leonardo leads UK industry team trialling new high-tech protection for AFVs

By Nicholas Fiorenza 20 September 2021
Leonardo is leading a UK industry team that is trialling the MIPS standardised architecture for protecting AFVs. (Leonardo)  A UK industry team led by Leonardo is trialling the Modular Integration Protection System (MIPS) standardised architecture for protecting armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), which it presented at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2021 exhibition, which was held in London on 14–17 September.  The system was demonstrated at the UK Ministry of Defence's Shoeburyness range in Essex in July as part of t...

AFSOC plans operational capability demo of amphibious MC-130J ‘in only 17 months'

By Gareth Jennings 17 September 2021
An artist's impression of an MC-130J Commando II with floats attached. An amphibious version of the special mission aircraft would have a special utility in the Indo-Pacific region, operating independently of airfields and runways. (AFSOC)  The US Air Force (USAF) Special Operations Command (AFSOC) plans to perform an operational capability demonstration of an amphibious Lockheed Martin MC-130J Commando II special mission aircraft “in only 17 months”, it disclosed on 14 September.  AFSOC said that the MC-130J Commando II Amphibious Capability...

Lockheed Martin reveals LMXT offering for USAF KC-Y tanker competition

By Gareth Jennings 17 September 2021
Revealed on 17 September, the LMXT is being offered to the USAF for the service's KC-Y competition. (Lockheed Martin )  Lockheed Martin has revealed the LMXT aircraft that it is to bid for the US Air Force (USAF) KC-Y tanker competition, also known as Bridge Tanker.  Disclosed on 17 September, the LMXT will be a US-built and USAF-specific version of the Airbus Defence and Space (DS) A330-200 MultiRole Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft that is borne out of a teaming arrangement between the two companies, which was first announced in December 20...

North Korea says it tested ‘railway-borne' missile system on 15 September

By Gabriel Dominguez & Mark Cazalet 16 September 2021
An image released by North Korean state media showing what appears to be a modified KN-23 SRBM being launched from railway-borne launch system on 15 September. (Rodong Sinmun)  Images released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) indicate that Pyongyang test-launched on 15 September what appears to have been a modified variant of the KN-23 (US/South Korean designation) short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) from a railway-based launch system.  The state-run media outlet reported that the weapons were launched as part of a launch drill carri...

RoCAF aircraft conduct first emergency landing drill on highway

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 16 September 2021
RoCAF F-CK-1 Ching Kuo, F-16V, and Mirage 2000-5 fighter aircraft along with an E-2K aircraft during emergency take-off and landing drills that were conducted from a provincial highway in Taiwan on 15 September during this year's ‘Han Kuang' military exercises. (Military News Agency )  Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) aircraft have taken part in a take-off and landing exercise in which they used highways as emergency airstrips for the first time.  The drill, which was aimed at testing the ability of RoCAF pilots to operate from narrow and...

DSEI 2021: Royal Navy sets out its course to ‘podularisation'

By Richard Scott 16 September 2021
The UK Royal Navy (RN) is pressing ahead with plans to develop and demonstrate a suite of modular and interchangeable mission containers that are designed to support the rapid deployment of role-based capability around the fleet.  Prototypes of Nav...

UK adds Hercules and Sentry to list of surplus military aircraft for sale

By Gareth Jennings 15 September 2021
The UK has added the remainder of the C-130J Hercules transport fleet to its annual publication of surplus aircraft for sale. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The United Kingdom has added both the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules and Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW1 to its annual list of surplus military equipment for sale.  The medium-lift and airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft have been listed in the Defence Equipment Sales Authority (DESA) brochure, published in early September.  The Royal Air Force (RAF) has one remaining short-bodied C-130J C5 and 13 lon...

Thales leads SEANICE Consortium for future European ASW

By Richard Scott 15 September 2021
The European Commission has selected a Thales-led consortium to scope, prototype, and demonstrate a next-generation anti-submarine warfare (ASW) solution based on manned/unmanned teaming capabilities.  Known as SEANICE (anti-Submarine warfare Europ...

DSEI 2021: British Army battlegroups to dwell in Kenya and Oman

By Tim Ripley 15 September 2021
British Army battlegroups are to spend extended periods on deployment in Kenya and Oman from later this year as part of a drive to enhance regional deterrence and persistent presence.  Under the plans, revealed by Lieutenant General Chris Tickell,...

US, UK, Australia launch new security partnership with nuclear-submarine development plan

By Michael Fabey 15 September 2021
Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States have started a collaborative effort to develop a nuclear-powered submarine to replace Australian's conventionally powered Collins-class vessels. (Commonwealth of Australia)  Leaders from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia detailed a new security partnership on 15 September called AUKUS, for which the first initiative will be to collaborate on developing a nuclear-powered submarine fleet.  “Under the ‘AUKUS' alliance, we will enhance the development of joint capabilities and te...

China deploys naval task group to US EEZ

By Andrew Tate 15 September 2021
A task force of Chinese naval ships was monitored by the US Coast Guard as it sailed in waters off the coast of Alaska in the US exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in late August, according to images published online on the US Defense Visual Information...

UK to stand-up 30 Sqn as second operational A400M unit

By Gareth Jennings 14 September 2021
The RAF is to shortly stand-up 30 Squadron at its second operational A400M unit after 70 Sqn. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  The United Kingdom is to name 30 Squadron as its second operational unit for operating the Airbus Defence and Space (DS) A400M Atlas transport aircraft.  The new unit is set to be stood up at the type's main operating base at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire later in the month, it was announced on 9 September by the official heading up delivery of the type's capabilities to the Royal Air Force (RAF).  With 70 Sqn the RAF's only...

Russia's Northern Fleet launches large-scale Arctic exercises

By Bruce Jones 14 September 2021
The Russian Northern Fleet Joint Strategic Command has begun a major independent combined arms Arctic exercise led by the Northern Fleet commander Admiral Alexander Moiseyev.  As reported by Russia's Ministry of Defence on 9 September, Exercise ‘Ar...

Philippine Coast Guard acquires new Cessna Grand Caravan EX multirole aircraft

By Alessandra Giovanzanti 14 September 2021
The PCG announced on 9 September that it has acquired a new Cessna Grand Caravan EX as part of its lightweight multipurpose fixed-wing aircraft acquisition programme. (Philippine Coast Guard)  The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) announced on 9 September that it has acquired a Cessna Grand Caravan EX multirole aircraft as part of its lightweight, fixed-wing aircraft acquisition programme to replace its ageing fleet of Britten-Norman BN-2A Islanders.  Before retiring from the service, then-PCG Chief Admiral George V Ursabia Jr inspected the new ai...

Mali inaugurates personnel registration system

By Jeremy Binnie 14 September 2021
The Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) inaugurated its Integrated Defence Personnel Management System (SIGPD) in a ceremony attended by Minister of Defence Colonel Sadio Camara on 10 September.  The FAMa said in a statement that the SIGPD is being rolled o...
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