Greece to acquire additional Rafale combat aircraft
13 September 2021
by Gareth Jennings
Greece will now receive 24 Rafale combat aircraft from France, with an additional six aircraft announced by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. (Dassault)
Greece is to acquire additional Dassault Rafale combat aircraft, with the country's prime minister saying that a further six will be received in addition to the 18 already ordered.
Speaking at the Thessaloniki International Fair on 11 September, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the procurement.
News of the purchase came approximately two months after the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) received its first Rafale from France during a formal handover ceremony at the Dassault Aviation Flight Test Centre on 21 July. Eight months later, the Greek and French governments signed a EUR1.92 billion (USD2.35 billion) contract for the initial 18 jets.
The first 18 Rafales comprise 12 surplus French Air and Space Force twin- and single-seat aircraft and six new-build aircraft. Mitsotakis did not disclose whether the latest aircraft will be surplus or new-build.
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 with a different sensor package and labelled as the ‘Hafez fire-fighting robot'.
Several more of this type of UGV were displayed without sensors or effectors and one was mocked-up with two small forward-firing rockets or missiles.
A much larger eight-wheeled UGV labelled as the ‘Qasim' was positioned as the centrepiece of the display. This was shown carrying a multicopter unmanned aircraft but was sufficiently large that it could potentially be used to carry weapons, casualties, or supplies.
A smaller tracked robot with flippers to enable it to travel over obstacles was labelled as the ‘Fajr cameraman robot'.
DSEI 2021: British Army demonstrates progress with HED-powered prototypes
21 September 2021
by Peter Felstead
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 protected patrol vehicle and a MAN SV 4×4 6-tonne tactical truck – each featured various commercially available HED systems supplied by UK firm Magtec. The Jackal, for example, has a four-cylinder Cummins diesel instead of the original vehicle's six-cylinder powerpack; a 150 kW electric generator; a 60 kW/hr battery; and four traction motors each rated at 50 kW driving the wheels.
France to cut Sahel force by up to 3,000 in two years
21 September 2021
by Jean-Marc Tanguy
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 Armed Forces Staff. But the reduction could be accelerated after France's presidential election in April 2022, depending on who is elected.
Most of the personnel to be withdrawn will be ground forces, with the presence in Mali effectively reduced from three battalions to one.
The drawdown is now under way, with a source close to French Defence Minister Florence Parly telling Janes that Macron ordered it to be completed by the end of this year.
The three main bases in northern Mali (Timbuktu, Tessalit, and Kidal) are being evacuated and will be transferred to the UN mission in Mali and Malian Armed Forces (FAMa).
In this episode we speak to Adam Hadley on understanding and countering terrorist use of the internet.
Adam Hadley is the CEO of London-based data science consultancy QuantSpark and Founder of the Online Harms Foundation which implements Tech A...