Malian military receives new vehicles

by Erwan de Cherisey

Mali has joined Uganda as the only known operators of the Norinco VN2C. (Norinco)

The Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) received several dozen new armoured and unprotected vehicles in a ceremony held at the Kati military camp on 3 December.

Photographs and television coverage of the event showed the deliveries included six Norinco VN2C 6×6 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), making Mali the second known export customer for the type after Uganda.

Unveiled by Norinco in 2016, the VN2C is an improved variant of the VN2, itself a derivative of the Chinese company's widely used WZ551 armoured personnel carrier (APC), with increased protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Norinco says it has a gross vehicle weight of 19 tonnes, a 402 hp diesel engine, and armour that provides STANAG 4569 Level 3a/3b protection.

The FAMa vehicles appeared to be fitted with a low-profile turret armed with an autocannon, although this was not possible to confirm as their weapons were covered during the ceremony.

The Ugandan VN2C acquisition was revealed when two were seen in a video that President Yoweri Museveni released on 20 November showing him visiting the Kalama Armoured Warfare Training School.


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CIO to supply further VBM vehicles to Italian Army

by Olivia Savage

The Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium has won a contract to supply vehicles to Italian Army. Pictured is the VBM Command Post Tactical Unit vehicle. (Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium )

The Iveco – Oto Melara Consortium (CIO) signed a contract with the Italian Secretary of Defence Land Armaments Directorate on 30 December 2021 to supply 14 Mortar Carrier Veicolo blindato medio (VBMs), 26 Command Post VBMs (13 Tactical Unit and 13 Command Unit versions), and six 10×10 rescue and recovery vehicles.

The CIO Consortium is an equal partnership between Iveco Defence Vehicles and Leonardo.

The contract forms part of an ongoing delivery of (Phase 2) medium armoured vehicles to the Italian Army's Second Medium Brigade, including an upgraded ‘PLUS' version for the VBM platform, in addition to long-term integrated logistics support for all of the platforms.


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US Army preparing to test future Long-Range Cannon prototype

by Ashley Roque

The US Army is planning to begin a two-year test series with a new Long-Range Cannon (LRC) prototype at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California beginning in October 2023, according to a Federal Register notice and the service.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posted the document on 6 January, detailing test plans and the potential impact on marine mammals. However, the document erroneously stated that this testing plan was for a future iteration of the army's Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) weapon. Instead, this document refers to a science and technology initiative formally called Strategic Long-Range Cannon that is now dubbed LRC, an army official told Janes on 18 January.

Service leaders have been interested in developing an LRC that can launch less expensive munitions out towards the 1,609 km (1,000 miles) range to hit anti-access/area denial targets such as fixed-infrastructure sites, long-range radars, command-and-control locations, hardened silos and bunkers, and communications nodes. The army has begun producing various weapon parts such as the gun tube and the carriage, while the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conducted a feasibility study that has not yet been released to the public.


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Australian, New Zealand defence forces launch Tonga relief operations

by Jon Grevatt & Ridzwan Rahmat

The Royal Australian Navy's landing helicopter dock ship HMAS Adelaide pictured departing Sydney in support of disaster relief efforts in Tonga. (Commonwealth of Australia)

Australia and New Zealand have dispatched vessels and surveillance aircraft to assist with recovery and relief efforts in Tonga, which was hit by a tsunami caused by an underwater volcano eruption in the South Pacific on 15 January.

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) told Janes on 18 January that Australian Defence Force (ADF) assets to have been deployed in surveillance operations include a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and a C-130J transport aircraft.

A DoD spokesperson said that the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is also preparing to launch an aid mission supported by its Canberra-class landing helicopter dock (LHD) ship HMAS Adelaide.

The spokesperson said, “At the moment, we are surveying the damage. HMAS Adelaide is on its way from Sydney to Brisbane with the aim to launch an aid mission for Tonga. But at this moment we don't yet know the full extent and scope of what that aid will be.”


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/malian-military-receives-new-vehicles

The Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) received several dozen new armoured and unprotected vehicles in a cer...

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