France completes Mali withdrawal

by Jeremy Binnie

The last helicopter hangar at the French base in Gao is taken down (a photograph released on 7 August). (Armée Française - Opération Barkhane)

The French military announced on 15 August that it has completed its withdrawal from Mali, saying the last unit from its main base at Gao had crossed into Niger earlier that day.

It said that the “major logistical challenge” was completed in less than six months after it was ordered by President Emmanuel Macron on 17 February and stressed that it remained committed to fighting terrorism in the Sahel in close co-ordination with its African partners.

The decision to withdraw from Mali was prompted by successive coups in Bamako in 2020 and 2021 and the resulting military-led transitional government's decision to turn to Russia for support. Meanwhile, there has been growing popular resentment of the French military presence and the perceived lack of progress it had made against the various militant groups operating in Mali since the intervention to stabilise the country in 2013.


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Australia, Singapore enhance joint amphibious assault capabilities at Exercise ‘Trident'

by Ridzwan Rahmat

The Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Adelaide seen here with Republic of Singapore Navy's lead Endurance-class LPD. Both vessels took part in a joint amphibious assault operation at Exercise ‘Trident' in September 2022. (Royal Australian Navy)

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) have validated their ability to conduct large-scale joint amphibious assault operations.

This capability was demonstrated at the 2022 iteration of Exercise ‘Trident', which is taking place at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland, Australia, between 23 September and 3 October. Exercise ‘Trident' is the largest bilateral military training activity between the two countries, and it has been held since 2013.

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) has deployed a Canberra-class amphibious assault ship to the exercise for the first time. The vessel, HMAS Adelaide (L01), is embarked with the LCM-1E landing craft as its primary ship-to-shore connector for the amphibious assault training activity.

Adelaide


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Hyundai Rotem, Kongsberg to collaborate on unmanned turrets for next-generation vehicles

by Jon Grevatt

Hyundai Rotem is developing a next-generation wheeled armoured vehicle (left) and main battle tank (right). Scale models of both platforms were displayed at the DX Korea 2022 exhibition. (Janes/Jon Grevatt)

Hyundai Rotem and Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace have partnered to develop unmanned turrets for next-generation military vehicles being developed by the South Korean company.

Hyundai Rotem said on 28 September that the memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by the two firms at the DX Korea 2022 defence exhibition in Goyang, which concluded on 25 September.

The agreement provides an opportunity for the companies to co-operate on developing unmanned turrets for next-generation vehicles, as well as “unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) protection systems”.

Kongsberg declined to comment on the agreement, and Hyundai Rotem had not responded to a request for more information, at the time of publication.

However, Janes understands that the co-operation will focus on Hyundai Rotem's development of its next-generation wheeled armoured vehicle (NGWAV) and next-generation main battle tank (NGMBT).

Scale models of both platforms were displayed at the DX Korea 2022 exhibition.


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India to equip Arjun Mk 1A MBTs with advanced targeting system

by Kapil Kajal

India's MoD said that the Arjun Mk 1A integrates 72 new features over the Mk 1 model to ensure mobility in all terrains and day-and-night target engagement. (Indian PIB)

India's state-run Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) is equipping the Indian Army's new Arjun Mk 1A main battle tank (MBT) with an electro-optical (EO) fire-control system. A source from Tonbo Imaging told Janes that the company is manufacturing the system in partnership with BEL's unit in Chennai, India.

“Tonbo Imaging is partnered with BEL, Chennai, to meet [BEL's] demand for fire-control systems. Hence, BEL awarded us a contract to manufacture and deliver the [electro-optical fire-control system] for Arjun Mk 1A MBTs,” the source added.

According to the source, the contract features the delivery of the Elpeos fire-control product.

The source also confirmed that Tonbo Imaging will deliver the Elpeos to BEL for integration onto the Arjun Mk 1A MBTs. Tonbo Imaging describes the Elpeos as an EO sight for remote-controlled weapon stations (RCWSs). The Elpeos system has an integrated multisensor and is designed for precision targeting.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defence/latest/france-completes-mali-withdrawal

The French military announced on 15 August that it has completed its withdrawal from Mali, saying th...

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