Ukraine conflict: Zelensky's tour of major European countries yield more weapons for Kyiv

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Germany's new EUR2.7 billion military support package for Ukraine includes four IRIS-T SLM systems with a total of 12 launchers. (Diehl)

Major European countries pledged more military support for Ukraine during a tour by President Volodymr Zelensky of their capitals on 14 and 15 May.

During a joint press conference with Zelensky in Berlin on 14 May, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a new military equipment support package worth a total of EUR2.7 billion (USD2.9 billion) for more Leopard 1 tanks, Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), and IRIS-T air-defence systems. Scholz cited as examples of the “modern and effective weapons with which [Ukrainians] can defend yourselves with” that Germany is delivering as Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks, Marder IFVs, IRIS-T and Patriot air-defence systems, Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzers (SPHs), multiple rocket launchers, and “much ammunition”.

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DSA 2024: Malaysian Army's 6×6 self-propelled howitzer procurement faces delay

by Kapil Kajal

KNDS France proposed its 6×6 CAESAR 155 mm/52 calibre SPH – a mock-up of which is displayed above from the DSA 2024 exhibition – to the Malaysian Army. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

The Malaysian Army has expressed its willingness to initiate the 6×6 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) procurement programme – which is facing delays since it was announced in 2010 – in 2024 at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2024 exhibition held at Kuala Lumpur from 6 to 9 May.

The Malaysian Army's 6×6 SPH procurement programme is “important” for the service as determined by “our doctrine”, General Tan Sri Dato' Muhammad Hafizuddeain bin Jantan, chief of the Malaysian Army, told Janes at the exhibition.

“But we [the Malaysian Army] are still waiting for the government approval to procure the systems. We are in the final stage of talks with the government to procure the SPHs and the government may approve the procurement by the end of 2024,” Gen Jantan said.


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Nigerian military receives first locally produced Mengshi vehicles

by Jeremy Binnie

EPAIL has delivered 20 light tactical armoured vehicles to the Nigerian military. (Ministry of Defence Nigeria)

The Nigerian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 9 May that 20 locally produced armoured personnel carriers (APCs) were handed over in a ceremony attended by Chief of Defence Staff General Christopher Gwabin Musa at Mogadishu Barracks in Abuja the previous day.

It did not name the APCs or their manufacturer, saying only that the vehicles are an improved version with better weapons and communications systems. However, it released photographs showing light armoured vehicles that looked like the Mengshi made by Chinese company Dongfeng, but with the badge of the Nigerian company Equipment and Protective Applications International Limited (EPAIL).

The Nigerian Army has operated Mengshis since at least November 2021, when a consignment was seen at Lagos' port.

EPAIL announced the handover the following day. “We had the privilege of delivering 20 cutting-edge Light Tactical Armoured Vehicles (LTAVs) to the Defence Headquarters, representing a pivotal moment in our nation's fight against insecurity,” it said in a Facebook post. “By producing these LTAVs domestically, we contribute to Nigeria's journey towards self-sufficiency.”

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DSA 2024: Nurol Makina showcases NMS 4×4 armoured vehicle

by Kapil Kajal

The NMS 4×4, displayed at the DSA 2024 exhibition, features a V-shaped monocoque body. The vehicle has the capacity to carry 11 personnel. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

Turkish company Nurol Makina showcased its NMS 4×4 armoured vehicle at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2024 exhibition held in Kuala Lumpur from 6 to 9 May.

A Nurol Makina spokesperson told Janes at the show that the company has partnered with Malaysian firm Nadicorp Holdings to offer the NMS 4×4 to the Malaysian Army.

“There are no orders for this system as of now but we [Nurol Makina] are expecting an order from the Malaysian Army soon,” the spokesperson said.

The vehicle was seen undergoing trials with the Malaysian Army in December 2023.

According to company specifications, the NMS 4×4 features a V-shaped monocoque body and has the capacity to carry 11 personnel.

The vehicle is equipped with a run-flat tyre system, remote-controlled weapon station, left- and right-hand adopted gun loops, rectifier, built-in radio infrastructure, gunpowder smoke evacuation fans, and mine-resistant ambush-protected-level ballistic protection.

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