Russian airborne forces retool for expanded role

by Mark Galeotti

Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) order of battle, 2025 (Janes/Mark Galeotti)

The ‘winged infantry' of Russia's Air Assault Troops (Vozdushno Desantniye Voyska: VDV) is an arm of service in its own right, with a strength of 45,000 paratroopers and rising, as well as a distinctive culture and esprit de corps . With its blue berets and blue striped telnyashka vests, the VDV is a fixture of parades and military open days, but it has long suffered from a tension in its roles.

Historically, parachute divisions were envisaged as strategic forces at the disposal of the General Staff, while air assault units were operational forces supporting Military District commands. However, in practice they were repeatedly – from Afghanistan to Chechnya – pressed into service as light infantry because they had the toughness and willingness to act with the initiative that a mission demanded.

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Bangladesh issues tender for AK-15 assault rifles

by Parth Shukla

Bangladesh's Directorate General Defence Purchase (DGDP) has issued a tender in support of the procurement of 2,000 7.62 mm AK-15 assault rifles from Russia's Kalashnikov.

The tender, which calls for industry and agent responses by mid-February, does not specify which Bangladesh military service will receive the rifles. However, the Bangladesh Army already operates 7.62 mm AK‐47 and 7.62 mm AKM assault rifles.

Janes has previously reported that the AK-15 is chambered for the M43 7.62x39 mm cartridge. It has a combat weight of 4.1 kg, a full length of 1,066 mm, a barrel length of 415 mm, a firing rate of 700 rds/min, a 715 m/s muzzle velocity, and an 800 m maximum firing range.

The AK-15 features a picatinny rail for mounting optical/red dot scopes on the upper receiver, a handguard with ventilation holes, an advanced muzzle brake, an ergonomic pistol grip, and a retractable folding stock. The assault rifle can equip a suppressor or 40mm GP-25/GP-34 single-shot underbarrel grenade launcher.

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North Korea launches more cruise missiles, says MND in Seoul

by Jon Grevatt

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Seoul told Janes on 26 January that North Korea had fired two ground-launched missiles a day earlier. The missile launches are yet to be confirmed by Pyongyang.

An official MND spokesperson said, “We detected the firing of two cruise missiles. It is assumed that North Korea fired the cruise missiles from a land area.” The spokesperson added that the MND is evaluating the launches for more detail.

The missiles reportedly landed in the sea off North Korea's east coast, but the MND did not confirm the exact location. “We cannot confirm at this point where the missiles landed,” the spokesperson said.

No other details were available at the time of publication.

In response to the new missile launches a US State Department spokesperson said the United States was assessing reports with South Korea and Japan.

Unlike rocket-propelled ballistic missiles – several new types of which North Korea has developed in recent years – jet-propelled cruise missiles are not banned under UN Security Council resolutions on the Northeast Asian country.

North Korea has periodically launched cruise missiles in the past, although their risk has been downplayed.

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Update: India selects Saab's AT4 as its new single-shot weapon

by Parth Shukla

The AT4 platform (mock-ups in picture) will enhance the Indian Armed Forces' urban warfare capabilities. (Janes/Amael Kotlarski)

The Indian Armed Forces have selected Saab's AT4 as their new single-shot weapon.

Saab has been awarded a contract for providing AT4 single-shot support weapons to the Indian Army and Indian Air Force, the company announced on 20 January. The AT4 was selected by the Indian Armed Forces following a competitive programme, the company said.

Janes understands that Saab was awarded the contract during the fourth quarter of 2021. The contract was signed by FFV Ordnance AB, which is the organisation responsible for Saab's offer in India.

The AT4 is an 84 mm unguided anti-armour weapon manufactured by Saab Bofors Dynamics. It is designed to be effective against tanks and combat vehicles, landing craft, helicopters, aircraft, and armoured vehicles.

Janes understands that Saab will supply the Indian Armed Forces with the AT4CS AST variant. However, Saab did not share what fire-control system (FCS) or sight system will be supplied along with the AT4CS AST.

According to Janes Weapons: Infantry

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The ‘winged infantry' of Russia's Air Assault Troops (Vozdushno Desantniye Voyska: VDV) is an arm of...

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