Kazakhstan deployment demonstrates Russia's rapid reaction capabilities

by Thomas Bullock & Nicholas Fiorenza

A Russian-led rapid reaction force began deploying to Kazakhstan in the early hours of 6 January. (Russian MoD)

A Russian-led rapid reaction force (RRF) began deploying to Kazakhstan in the early hours of 6 January following a request by the Central Asian country's president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the day before for support from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in the face of civil unrest.

Russian Aerospace Forces transport aircraft began deploying Russian forces to Almaty and Zhetigen air bases in Kazakhstan, arriving at around 0300 h local time on 6 January. They were followed by troops from Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

The Russian Ministry of Defence's TV Zvezda reported on its website on 7 January that the airlift involved 70 Il-76 and five An-124-1003 transports and that Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) commander Colonel General Andrei Serdyukov had been appointed to lead the CSTO RRF.

CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas told Russian newspaper Kommersant

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US Army outfitting Infantry Squad Vehicle with 20 kW laser, DE M-SHORAD deliveries forthcoming

by Ashley Roque

US Army infantry soldiers secure their rucks in the cargo netting on the roof of the ISV after it was airdropped at Fort Bragg during operational testing. The service announced it will outfit the ISV with a 20 kW-class laser to down unmanned aerial systems. (US Department of Defense)

The US Army is integrating a 20 kW-class laser weapon system into its new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) to help soldiers down smaller unmanned aerial systems (UASs), according to the director of the service's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office Lieutenant General Neil Thurgood.

The three-star general spoke at the Space and Missile Defense symposium on 10 August about a host of programmes under his purview including directed energy initiatives. At the event, he announced that senior service leaders recently approved the development of an Army Multi-Purpose High Energy Laser (AMP-HEL) prototype that they want completed by the end of September 2023.

Tentative plans involve outfitting General Motors (GM) Defense's ISV with a pallatised 20 kW-class laser weapon system to enable soldiers to down Group 1 and 2 UAS, Lt Gen Thurgood added.

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Australia advances 'battlefield electrification' capability with new Bushmaster prototype

by Jon Grevatt

Australia's new Bushmaster ePMV is pictured above after being unveiled at the Chief of Army Symposium 2022 in Adelaide. In the background is a Bushmaster ePMV fitted with ruggedised solar panels. (Commonwealth of Australia)

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has unveiled the Bushmaster electric protected military vehicle (ePMV) reflecting an effort, it said, to ensure the Australian Army is ‘future ready'. The prototype was showcased on 10 August at the Chief of Army Symposium, a three-day event in Adelaide.

The vehicle was developed by the Australian Army's Robotic and Autonomous Systems Implementation & Coordination Office (RICO), working in collaboration with an Australian company, 3ME Technology, which specialises in lithium-ion battery systems for mining and military vehicles, and the DoD's Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG).

Colonel Robin Smith, the director of RICO, told Janes in an interview, “This prototype is a normal Bushmaster in terms of its protective hull. We removed its engine, gear box, and drive train, and we replaced those with two electric motors, a battery pack, and the voltage control system.”

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Côte d'Ivoire unveils new equipment during military parade

by Erwan de Cherisey

The Ivorian army's cavalry contingent unveiled its WZ551 armoured vehicles during the 62nd anniversary parade in Yamoussoukro on 7 August. (AFP via Getty Images)

Several types of previously unseen armoured vehicle and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) were displayed during a parade held by the Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire (FACI) on 7 August

Televised coverage of the parade in Yamoussoukro to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the country's independence showed it included 20 of the FACI's new Otokar Cobra II light armoured vehicles (LAVs), including an ambulance and a recovery vehicle.

The official commentator said the vehicles are attached to Combined Arms Tactical Groups (GTIA) Bolt and Flash, which are intended as a rapid intervention reserve. Several were fitted with electronic jammers to counter remote-controlled improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The Cobra II has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of up to 13.5 tonnes and can embark up to 10 personnel, including a driver and a gunner. Its armour provides protection against direct impact from 7.62×51 mm ammunition. The Ivorian vehicles were seen armed with 12.7 mm heavy machine guns.

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