France receives first Servals

by Nicholas Fiorenza

France's Ministry of Armed Forces received its first four Serval VBMR-L light multirole armoured vehicles on 5 May. (DGA)

France's Ministry of Armed Forces received its first four Serval Véhicule Blindé Multi-Rôle Léger (VBMR-L) 4×4 light multirole armoured vehicles on 5 May. The Direction générale de l'Armement (DGA), the French defence procurement agency, ordered 364 Servals from Nexter and Texelis at the end of 2020.

The DGA reported on its website on 5 May that the first four vehicles were delivered to the 51e Régiment d'Infanterie's (51st Infantry Regiment's) joint combat preparation support centre in Mourmelon, northern France.


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Ukraine conflict: Russia launches new offensive in southern Donbas

by Thomas Bullock

Russia began a new offensive in southern Donbas on 19 May. (Janes)

Russia has begun a new offensive likely aimed at closing an encirclement around the city of Severodonetsk in western Luhansk. The city is currently Ukraine's most easterly position in the Donbas and is effectively surrounded on three sides by Russian forces. Its only supply lines to the rest of Ukraine are two roads: the T1302 in the south and the T0513 in the north. The unfolding Russian offensive is likely aimed at securing these roads – Russian forces captured a portion of the T1302 on 24 May – isolating the Ukrainian forces in the Severodonetsk area.

Russia's offensive began on 19 May when a force spearheaded by Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) advanced some 15 km west from the recently captured town of Popasna around 80 km northeast of Donetsk, according to pro-Kremlin media.


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Czech Republic to receive Leopard 2 tanks from Germany

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Germany will supply Leopard 2A4 tanks to the Czech Republic. (Bundeswehr/Detmar Modes)

Germany will supply Leopard 2A4 tanks to the Czech Republic, the two countries' ministries of defence (MoDs) announced on 18 May. The German MoD, in a press release, described the donation as backfill in support of the Czech Republic supplying heavy equipment to Ukraine.

However, the Czech MoD told Janes on 23 May, “The German decision to provide 15 tanks is a sign of appreciation to all the efforts of the Czech Republic to provide as much military equipment as possible to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. However, it is not tied to any specific Czech deliveries.”

The German MoD said that Germany would pay for the tanks from industry stock, and the Bundeswehr would train Czech crews. Germany will also provide ammunition and spare parts for the tanks.


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Slovenia signs Boxer contract

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Slovenian Boxers will be based on the Lithuanian version (pictured), which is equipped with a Rafael Samson Mk II RWS. (Lithuanian MoD)

Slovenia, represented by the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR), signed a contract with Rheinmetall-Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) consortium Artec to purchase 45 Boxer armoured vehicles in four variants worth a total of EUR281.5 million (USD296.3 million), the consortium and its two constituent companies announced in a joint press release on 17 May.

The Slovenian Ministry of Defence (MoD) originally announced the decision to procure Boxer through OCCAR in February 2018 for its Central Battalion Battle Groups.

OCCAR said on its website on 12 May that the Slovenian Boxers will be based on the Lithuanian Boxer design, including the Rafael Samson Mk II remote weapon station (RWS). Rheinmetall told Janes on 18 May that there would only be minimal adaptations to the Boxers to Slovenian requirements thanks to the vehicles' modularity. OCCAR expects the first Boxer deliveries from KMW through Artec in 2023 and the consortium said they would be completed in 2026.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/france-receives-first-servals

France's Ministry of Armed Forces received its first four Serval Véhicule Blindé Multi-Rôle Léger (V...

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