Estonia orders Nurol Makina NMS 4×4 vehicles and Otokar Arma 6×6 APCs

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The ECDI has ordered Nurol Makina NMS 4×4 (right) and Otokar Arma 6×6 (left) armoured vehicles for the Estonian Defence Forces. (ECDI)

Estonia ordered Nurol Makina NMS 4×4 armoured vehicles and Otokar Arma 6×6 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) on 18 October, the Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI) announced in a press release the same day.

The ECDI signed contracts worth EUR200 million (USD212 million) with the two Turkish companies for 230 vehicles, plus documentation, training, special tools, equipment, and spare parts. Otokar said in a press release on 18 October that the Arma contract was worth EUR130 million.

The Estonian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on its website that the NMS and Arma vehicles would equip the Estonian Defence Forces' (EDF's) 2nd Infantry Brigade, with the 1st Infantry Brigade also receiving the NMS.

The contracts are valid for 10 years and allow for the procurement of additional armoured vehicles and spare parts and for requests for maintenance, repair, and development of the vehicles.

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Future Artillery 2024: PzH 2000 system improvements proposed

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Proposed new capabilities for the PzH 2000 could extend its life to 2040–50. (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann)

System improvements to the Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 were proposed at Defence iQ's Future Artillery 2024 conference held in Paris from 21 to 23 May to extend the lifetime of the self-propelled howitzer (SPH) to 2040–50.

Proposed new capabilities made possible by the PzH 2000's modularity include an advanced 155 mm gun firing ammunition with a range of 100 km and beyond. A related option would be an automatic charge loader, in addition to 30 ready-to-fire rounds.

Other proposed system improvements would protect the PzH 2000. This includes lightweight roof protection of the SPH against unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as a remote-controlled weapon system.

Optronics on the roof and a vision system for the driver would improve situational awareness.

There have been no fatalities among crews of the PzH 2000s donated to Ukraine, which have been effective against Russian Lancet loitering munitions, it was claimed at Future Artillery 2024.

For more information on the PzH 2000, please seePanzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 – 155 mm/52 calibre .

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Future Artillery 2024: Switzerland modernises artillery

by Nicholas Fiorenza

KNDS Deutschland and GDELS presented the artillery gun module on the Piranha HMC at Defence iQ's Future Artillery 2024 conference. (GDELS)

Janes learnt about Swiss efforts to modernise its artillery at Defence iQ's Future Artillery 2024 conference being held in Paris from 21 to 23 May.

Switzerland is rebuilding its armed forces that were drawn down after the end of the Cold War, followed by the reduction of defence spending from 1.52% to 0.68% of GDP. For Swiss fires capabilities, this resulted in the reduction in the number of artillery battalions from 16 to four and the disbandment of fortress artillery, and for the air force, the phasing out of air-to-ground munitions.

To reverse this decline, Swiss defence spending will be increased to 2% of GDP, with the still-to-be-decided timeframe starting either in 2030 or 2035. As a first step, Switzerland plans to modernise its operational fires, among other capabilities, increasing its artillery range from 20 km to 50 km, and as a second step, to 300 km, combined with munitions delivered by the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) it is procuring.

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Eastern Libyan faction parades new Russian-designed armoured vehicles

by Jeremy Binnie

Vehicles that look like both the VPK-Ural and Streit Group Condor SUT featured in the LAAF parade on 17 May. (Libyan Arab Armed Forces)

The Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) in eastern Libya is now operating what look like Russian VPK-Ural 4×4 armoured vehicles, photographs of a parade on 17 May revealed.

Held near Benghazi's Benina International Airport, the parade marked the 10th anniversary of Operation ‘Al-Karamah', a victory over Islamist forces in 2014. The LAAF released numerous photographs of the event, some of which showed 15 armoured vehicles that appeared to be double-cab pickup variants of the VPK-Ural fitted with protected weapon stations and armed with 12.7 mm W85 heavy machine guns.

Russia's Military Industrial Company (VPK) unveiled the VPK-Ural in 2019, saying it uses a Ural truck chassis, has a V-shaped hull to improve protection against mines, weighs 14.5 tonnes, and can carry 12 troops when configured as a personnel carrier.

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