Ukraine conflict: Russian mine-laying system makes combat debut

by Miko Vranic

An ISDM Zemledeliye battery in use during the quadrennial strategic-level Zapad-2021 exercise in September. (Russian MoD)

Russian forces have been observed using the ISDM Zemledeliye mine-laying system in Ukraine, marking the system's combat debut.

Video circulating on social media since 27 March shows two vehicles launch a full salvo of 50 mine-loaded rockets each, the footage was purportedly taken in Kharkiv Oblast.

The ISDM – inzhenernoi sistem distantsionnogo minirovaniya or engineer system for remote mining – was specifically developed for the Russian Armed Forces' Engineer Troops within the R&D ‘Zemeldeliye-I' framework, and part of a December 2013 contract agreed between the Russian MoD and NPO Splav. Based in the Russian city of Tula, NPO Splav is a prominent developer and manufacturer of multiple launch rocket systems.

The system was first unveiled during the 2020 May Day Parade in Moscow and a preliminary batch is thought to have been delivered to the Engineer Troops earlier in the same year.

A complete system comprises a launch vehicle with 50 122 mm rockets that are loaded with scatterable anti-personnel or anti-tank mines, and a transloader vehicle fitted with a reloading crane on its rear


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Royal Thai Navy unveils FK-3 air-defence system

by Kapil Kajal

The FK-3 air-defence system, an example pictured above in service with the Serbian Armed Forces, was unveiled by the Royal Thai Navy's Air and Coastal Defence Command. The FK-3 is the export variant of China's HQ-22 medium- to long-range semi-active radar homing/radio command guidance air-defence system. (Serbian MoD)

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has unveiled its Chinese-made FK-3 air-defence system during a visit by Commander-in-Chief Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengphaet to the Air and Coastal Defense Command (ACDC) stationed in Chonburi province.

In a social media post shared by the RTN, the service was seen displaying the weapon to Adm Chomchoengphaet. The FK-3 is manufactured by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation Limited (CASIC).

The FK-3 is the export variant of the CASIC's HQ-22 medium- to long-range semi-active radar homing/radio command guidance air-defence system. It retains the domestic version's top speed of Mach 6, although its maximum range of 100 km is significantly shorter than the Chinese HQ-22's maximum range of 170 km.

The FK-3 was inducted into the RTN in 2022 and serves as an offensive combat missile and an air-defence shield.

According to Janes Intelligence Review,


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Sweden orders 20 more Mjölner CV90 mortar variants

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The FMV and BAE Systems have signed a contract for 20 more Grkpbv 90 mortar systems for the Swedish Army. (BAE Systems)

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) and BAE Systems announced on 27 January that they had signed a contract modification for 20 more Granatkastarpansarbandvagn 90 (Grkpbv 90) self-propelled mortars for the Swedish Army. The FMV valued the contract at approximately SEK293.5 million (USD28 million) and expects deliveries to take place in 2025.

The contract was awarded to BAE Systems' Swedish joint venture Utveckling, which combines BAE Systems' Hägglunds and Bofors manufacturing capabilities, with production to take place at BAE Systems Hägglunds in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden.

The Swedish Armed Forces already operate 40 Grkpbv 90 systems delivered in 2019–21 under a previous contract, and another 20 were ordered in February 2022 for delivery in 2023–25. The FMV also ordered the integration of the Swedish Army's new LSS Mark command support system into all 60 Grkpbv 90s in 2023–25.

The Grkpbv 90 provides Swedish mechanised battalions with indirect fire support.


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IAV 2023: Elbit presents Crossbow turreted mortar

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Elbit presented the Crossbow 120 mm turreted mortar system at IAV 2023. (Elbit Systems)

Elbit Systems presented the Crossbow 120 mm turreted mortar at Defence IQ's International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2023 conference being held in London from 23 to 26 January.

The weapon can be installed in a mission module with minimal protrusion, can be easily operated by a single crew member, and is fuzed for fully automatic operation, according to Elbit.

It can fire the company's range of mortar rounds, including those with an extended range and precision guidance. It has a range of 10 km and a rate of fire exceeding 12 rds/min, achieving 16 rounds for the first minute, an Elbit representative told Janes on 23 January. Crossbow is designed to be fired on the move and to shoot and scoot with a multiple round simultaneous impact (MRSI) capability.

A second Elbit representative said it was developed over the last three years based on Elbit's experience in ammunition, fuzes, fire control, and command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) integration. It is scheduled to enter service in 2024 with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which financed its development.


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Russian forces have been observed using the ISDM Zemledeliye mine-laying system in Ukraine, marking ...

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