Ukraine conflict: EU countries pledge small arms, anti-tank weapons to Ukraine

by Amael Kotlarski

The Ukrainian military is set to receive further NLAW anti-tank weapons, having initially been equipped with systems by the UK. (Gaelle Girbes/Getty Images)

European Union (EU) members have announced a range of military assistance packages to support Ukraine, with a range of small arms and light weapons (SALW) included.

A mix of anti-tank weapons are set to be supplied by several countries. Luxembourg has pledged 100 Next-Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons (NLAWs), which will bolster the 2,000 sent by the UK in January.

The Panzerfaust 3 anti-tank weapon has been offered by Germany, the Netherlands, and likely Italy as well. The Netherlands has stated that it will send 50 launchers and 400 rounds of ammunition, while Germany has announced it would be sending 1,000 systems alongside 500 Stinger manportable air-defence missiles.

Although not confirmed as the Panzerfaust 3, the 1,000 anti-tank weapons pledged by Italy are likely to be of this type, coincidentally the Italian Ministry of Defence announced an order for new DM12 rounds on 25 February. Italy has also said it will supply 500 Stinger missiles.

Ukraine is set to receive a large number of single-shot, disposable anti-tank weapons. On 28 February, the Swedish government announced it would be sending 5,000 84 mm AT4 anti-tank weapons, while Norway said it would provide 2,000 66 mm M72 Light Anti-tank Weapons (LAWs).

Denmark and Finland also pledged to send 2,700 and 1,500 anti-tank weapons respectively. Although neither country specified the type of weapons, Janes believes these could include the M72EC from Denmark and M72A2/A5 from Finland. Denmark could also send AT4s, and Finland, the Armor-Piercing Infantry Light Arm System (APILAS), which the country has been slowly replacing with NLAWs. The APILAS fires a much larger and heavier 112 mm munition.

Belgium has pledged 200 anti-tank weapons, which could either be M72 LAWs, 90 mm RGW 90s, or a mix of both.

Small arms and associated ammunition have also been promised. Belgium has said it will send over 5,000 assault rifles, with at least 2,000 being older FN FNC types that the country is replacing with more modern FN SCAR rifles.

Portugal has announced that it will supply an undisclosed number of 7.62 mm G3 type rifles – locally produced as the m/963.

Among the small arms promised by Italy are heavy and medium machine guns, plus ammunition. These are likely to include the 12.7 mm M2 heavy machine gun and the 7.62 MG42/59.

The Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia have also announced that they will be sending small arms and ammunition that are likely to be drawn from stocks of Cold War-era weaponry that are chambered for Soviet calibres, which are predominantly used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The UK and the US have also pledged to send additional weapons, which are likely to include NLAWs and Javelin systems to replace those fired or lost during the fighting. Denmark has offered components for Stinger systems.

Yemeni rebels unveil new missiles in largest parade to date

by Jeremy Binnie

One of the Falaq ballistic missiles that were displayed during the parade. (Ansar Allah)

The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (Houthis) unveiled several new weapon systems, many of them seemingly of Iranian origin, during a parade in Sanaa on 21 September.

Three ballistic missiles labelled as the Falaq were displayed that looked similar to a version of Iran's Qiam liquid-fuel ballistic missile that has fins on its re-entry vehicle. The ballistic missiles that Ansar Allah refers to as the Burkan-2H and Zulfiqar have earlier been identified as Qiams that have been modified to extend their range, although both have fins at the base of their rocket motors, unlike the original Iranian missile.

The parade included three other new missile types that all appeared to be members of Iran's Fateh-110 family of solid-propellant tactical ballistic missiles. Ansar Allah's Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a video that gave specifications for the Karar similar to those attributed to the standard Fateh-110: a length of 9 m, a diameter of 60 cm, a range of 300 km, and a payload of 500 kg.

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Raytheon/Northrop Grumman team selected for HACM hypersonic weapon

by Richard Scott & Daniel Wasserbly

Raytheon released this computer rendering to illustrate its HACM concept. (Raytheon)

A team of Raytheon and Northrop Grumman has been selected by the US Air Force (USAF) to develop and prototype the service's scramjet-powered Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM).

Raytheon Missiles & Defense was awarded a USD985 million contract by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Armament Directorate on 22 September 2022, beating competition from Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The company's 54-month contract, which builds on work previously completed under the US/Australia Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE) bilateral project arrangement, covers HACM weapon system design, development, and initial delivery.

According to the USAF, HACM is a tactical hypersonic weapon, suitable for launch from fighter and bomber aircraft, that can strike high-value targets in contested environments from stand-off distances. It said it “plans to deliver a[n] HACM capability with operational utility by fiscal year (FY) 2027”.

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Update – ADEX 2022: Latest member of QFAB series adds laser guidance

by Huw Williams

The QFAB-250 LG features a laser-guidance system as part of its applique kit. (Janes/Huw Williams)

The Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence Industry unveiled the latest member of its QFAB (also known as GFAB) series of general-purpose bombs at the ADEX 2022 exhibition in Baku on 6 September.

According to ministry officials, the new bomb – designated QFAB-250 LG – was developed in collaboration with Turkey's Aselsan.

The QFAB-250 LG is intended to provide enhanced accuracy over the standard QFAB bombs through an applique kit that includes a laser-guidance system and control surfaces. The guidance system is fitted to the nose of the bomb, and control surfaces in the nose and rear.

Information released by the ministry claims a circular error probable of up to 10 m, and the ability to drop the bomb from a maximum altitude of 12,000 m (39,370 ft) and a speed of up to Mach 0.9 (1,100 km/h).

The addition of the guidance kit adds 20 kg to the 250 kg of the standard bomb. The QFAB-250 LG maintains the use of high-explosive fragmentation, and it measures 3,300 mm in length and 325 mm in diameter.

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