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.
US Army to receive four Mid-Range Capability battery prototypes, fielding set for 2023
15 August 2022
by Ashley Roque
Image showing US Army detailing what each MRC prototype battery will include. The service plans to begin fielding the weapon in 2023. (US Army)
Lockheed Martin is poised to deliver four initial Mid-Range Capability (MRC) weapon system batteries to the US Army by the end of 2022. If all goes as planned the service could field the new weapon prototype, paired with Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) and Tomahawk missiles, to soldiers by late September 2023, according to the company and service.
The army's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) tasked Lockheed Martin with building this mid-range prototype in late 2020, at present called the ‘Typhon', which includes launchers, missiles, and a battery operations centre.
The idea was to create a capability to strike targets somewhere between the 500 and 1,800 km range, or greater than the future Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) but shorter than a Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) system. To do this, army programme officials joined forces with the navy to leverage existing capabilities such as the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System (Mk 41 VLS), and the Tomahawk and SM-6 missiles.
USMC CH-53E marks first transport of JLTV to ship and back to shore
12 August 2022
by Gillian Rich
A US Marine CH-53E Super Stallion carries a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to USS
(ESB 5) in the Philippine Sea.
(Lance Cpl. Christopher England)
The US Marine Corps (USMC) used a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter to transport a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to a ship and back to shore for the first time.
Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit logistics combat element and Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31, along with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (Reinforced), transported the JLTV from a beach at a training area in Okinawa, Japan, approximately 13 n miles, to USS
(ESB 5). The CH-53E performed two lifts at the beach landing zone and two lifts aboard
before transporting the vehicle back to the beach, Captain Pawel Puczko, director of communication strategy at the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, told
“The CH-53 and Helicopter Support Team provide a pretty unique capability to get those systems to otherwise inaccessible locations,” said Captain Tyler Hopping, CH-53E pilot with VMM-262 (reinforced), in a statement.
US Army outfitting Infantry Squad Vehicle with 20 kW laser, DE M-SHORAD deliveries forthcoming
11 August 2022
by Ashley Roque
US Army infantry soldiers secure their rucks in the cargo netting on the roof of the ISV after it was airdropped at Fort Bragg during operational testing. The service announced it will outfit the ISV with a 20 kW-class laser to down unmanned aerial systems. (US Department of Defense)
The US Army is integrating a 20 kW-class laser weapon system into its new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) to help soldiers down smaller unmanned aerial systems (UASs), according to the director of the service's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office Lieutenant General Neil Thurgood.
The three-star general spoke at the Space and Missile Defense symposium on 10 August about a host of programmes under his purview including directed energy initiatives. At the event, he announced that senior service leaders recently approved the development of an Army Multi-Purpose High Energy Laser (AMP-HEL) prototype that they want completed by the end of September 2023.
Tentative plans involve outfitting General Motors (GM) Defense's ISV with a pallatised 20 kW-class laser weapon system to enable soldiers to down Group 1 and 2 UAS, Lt Gen Thurgood added.
In this episode of The World of Intelligence we speak with Neil Spencer on the value of OSINT in the commercial sector.
Neil Spencer is the Director of Strategy and Partnerships for LifeRaft. He has more than twenty years of security indust...