EU, NATO nations aim to carry military mobility to higher levels in Europe

by Brooks Tigner

National governments, the EU, and NATO are considering how to expand their individual and joint military mobility (MM) efforts across Europe during the next decade, with a broad emphasis on speeding up procedures for transit movement across national borders.

The Dutch Ministry of Defence has worked with civil authorities to create three multimodal corridors of infrastructure for military movements across the Netherlands: road (photo of CV90 infantry fighting vehicles moving by highway), rail, and inland waterways. (Dutch MoD)

The Dutch Ministry of Defence has worked with civil authorities to create three multimodal corridors of infrastructure for military movements across the Netherlands: road (photo of CV90 infantry fighting vehicles moving by highway), rail, and inland waterways. (Dutch MoD)

“We want a well-functioning hub-and-spoke model in Europe where the spokes would be its main multi-use routes and corridors and its hubs would be logistics centres for host nation transit support of military movements,” said Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld.

She and other officials proffered their views during a 6 May symposium on MM hosted at the European Defence Agency (EDA) in Brussels.


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IAV 2022: FN and Thales demonstrate RWS rocket capability

by Andrew Galer

FN Herstal has been working with Thales Belgium to demonstrate a guided rocket capability that could be added to the FN deFNder Remote Weapon Station (RWS) system.

Speaking at the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) conference being held in London from 24 to 27 January, an FN spokesperson noted that proof of concept tests were initially conducted with Thales France in 2020 using a 68 mm unguided rocket, before they joined with Thales Belgium to use a 70 mm guided rocket in test firings in March 2021. This was understood to have used the Thales FZ275 and incorporated a semi-active laser seeker; the tests were reported to have achieved an accuracy of 1 m at a range of up to 7 km.

The rockets are launched from pods of two but, depending on customer requirements, could have a second pod added and are intended to complement the existing 12.7 mm machine gun and modular deFNder RWS. This will add precision and range from 2 km up to 7 km and therefore well beyond the machine gun's effective range.


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NATO bolsters enhanced air policing mission

by Gareth Jennings

Two of the F-16s that Denmark is contributing to NATO's enhanced air policing mission. (NATO Allied Air Command)

NATO has bolstered its enhanced air policing (eAP) mission, with nations providing additional aircraft as concerns over Russian military action in Ukraine grow.

The alliance announced on 26 January that US Air Force (USAF) Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles and Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons were being dispatched to Estonia and Lithuania respectively to supplement the current Baltic Air Policing mission.

“[USAF] F-15s have landed at Amari Air Base, Estonia, [on 26 Janaury] and [RDAF] F-16s will arrive at Siauliai Air Base, Lithuania, [on 27 January] to bolster the forces already deployed under the long-established NATO Air Policing mission,” NATO Allied Air Command said. “Danish F-16s will arrive in Siauliai to work alongside the Polish F-16s that deployed there on 1 December 2021 to conduct Baltic Air Policing. The US F-15s landed at Amari to integrate with the current detachment of Belgian F-16s; both detachments will execute the enhanced Air Policing mission.”


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Russian Navy announces multiple exercises

by Tony Roper

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) announced on 21 January that it had received direct notification from the Russian Navy that the service intends to carry out live artillery and missile firing to the southwest of Ireland at the beginning of February.

“There will be a need to issue a notice to commercial pilots to warn them of this issue and there will be a closure of airspace,” it stated.

While exact details were not specified by the IAA, it indicated that the area was 240 km off the County Cork coast and was relatively small. Information of the notification leaked on social media shows that the area will extend up to 11,000 m in altitude (approximately 33,000 feet).

The area is in international airspace and is therefore not a penetration of any sovereign-controlled areas.

The IAA announcement follows a Russian Military of Defence (MoD) announcement on 20 January that, “In accordance with the training plan for the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for 2022, a series of exercises will be held in January–February in the areas of responsibility of all fleets of the Russian Navy.”


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