Ukraine conflict: Russia launches new offensive in southern Donbas

by Thomas Bullock

Russia began a new offensive in southern Donbas on 19 May. (Janes)

Russia has begun a new offensive likely aimed at closing an encirclement around the city of Severodonetsk in western Luhansk. The city is currently Ukraine's most easterly position in the Donbas and is effectively surrounded on three sides by Russian forces. Its only supply lines to the rest of Ukraine are two roads: the T1302 in the south and the T0513 in the north. The unfolding Russian offensive is likely aimed at securing these roads – Russian forces captured a portion of the T1302 on 24 May – isolating the Ukrainian forces in the Severodonetsk area.

Russia's offensive began on 19 May when a force spearheaded by Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) advanced some 15 km west from the recently captured town of Popasna around 80 km northeast of Donetsk, according to pro-Kremlin media.

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Slovakia expects to start receiving CV90 IFVs within three years

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The Slovak government approved the procurement of 152 CV90 MkIV tracked IFVs with 35 mm guns on 28 June. (Slovak MoD)

Slovakia expects to receive its first CV90 tracked infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) within three years, subject to the results of negotiations of the government-to-government contract with Sweden, the Slovak Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Janes on 4 July. The Slovak government approved the procurement of 152 CV90 MkIV IFVs with 35 mm guns on 28 June.

The proposed timeline of deliveries is from the second quarter of 2025 to the third quarter of 2028, according to a May 2022 feasibility study by the ministry on the procurement of tracked armoured vehicles. The study rated CV90s armed with 30 mm and 35 mm guns above the General Dynamics European Land Systems-Santa Bárbara Sistemas ASCOD proposed by Spain and the Rheinmetall Landsysteme Lynx KF41F proposed by Hungary. In early 2022 Slovakia held trials of the three contenders to replace its BMP IFVs at the Military Technical and Testing Institute (VTSÚ) in Záhorie.

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IAG showcases refined Rila 8×8

by Christopher Petrov

IAG's redesigned Rila 8×8 armoured vehicle is a major improvement over the first prototype presented at IDEX 2021. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

The Rila 8×8 armoured vehicle family was launched by the International Armored Group (IAG) at the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) 2021 in Abu Dhabi. However, an improved model featuring a new turret and redesigned hull showcased at both HEMUS and at Eurosatory 2022 in June presented significant refinement to the vehicle's design.

This latest iteration of the design showcased the Rila 8×8 in an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) configuration, utilising the Spanish-made Guardian 30 remotely operated weapon system armed with the MK44 Bushmaster II 30 mm cannon. The turret is equipped with 12 smoke grenade launchers, Elbit laser-warning receivers, a meteorological sensor, and a PILAR acoustic array. The gunner and commander each have a fully stabilised third-generation thermal sight with CCD TV cameras, with the commander's panoramic sight located on the turret's roof. The Guardian 30 features a laser rangefinder and is suitable for hunter-killer operations.

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GDLS wins US Army's ‘light tank' competition, deliveries to begin in early 2024

by Ashley Roque

This GDLS ‘light tank' prototype has won the US Army's Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) competition. (GDLS)

General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) will build the US Army's new ‘light tank' and has received a USD1.14 billion contract to produce up to 96 vehicles, according to several service officials.

The army has tasked GDLS with producing the first 26 Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) vehicles with initial deliveries scheduled to begin within 19 months, Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems Brigadier General Glenn Dean told reporters on 28 June. The army plans to buy a total of 504 platforms but service leaders may adjust this number over time.

“MPF represents a new capability for the army, allowing our light manoeuvre forces to overmatch adversaries,” said Major General Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross-Functional Team. “Through multiple soldier touchpoints, our soldiers have operated the prototypes and provided crucial feedback to the design team, ensuring our forces will have the asset they need on the future battlefield.”

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