Houthis claim failed attacks on Israel

by Jeremy Binnie & Yaakov Lappin

Ansar Allah's video purportedly showing the weapons launched at Israel showed what appeared to be a Zulfiqar ballistic missile. (Ansar Allah)

The Iranian-backed Yemeni group Ansar Allah (Houthis) confirmed on 31 October that it has launched ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at Israel, warning that it would continue to do so for as long as the military operation against Hamas continues.

The spokesman for the group's armed wing said it had launched a large number of ballistic and “winged” missiles earlier that day at various Israeli targets. “This is the third operation in support of our oppressed brothers in Palestine and the armed forces will continue to carry out more qualitive missile and drone attacks until Israel ceases its aggression,” he said, seemingly referring to two earlier attacks that the group did not directly claim at the time.

The group accompanied the statement with a propaganda image of one of the three Toufan ballistic missiles that it unveiled in the parade it held in Sanaa on 21 September. These appeared to be the improved Ghadr variant of Iran's Shahab-3 series, a type capable of reaching Israel from Yemen.

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Rheinmetall inaugurates plant in Romania

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Romania's GDF-103 anti-aircraft guns will be upgraded to the Skynex standard, including the Oerlikon GDF-009 TREO (pictured), primarily by Rheinmetall Air Defence in Zurich, with significant Romanian involvement by Mediaș. (Rheinmetall Air Defence)

Rheinmetall posted on LinkedIn on 16 May that it was inaugurating a defence plantin Mediaș, Romania, the same day.

The German company announced on 1 February that it had acquired a 72.5% majority share in Romanian military vehicle manufacturer Automecanica Mediaș, which has since operated in Romania under the name Rheinmetall Automecanica.

Rheinmetall estimates the annual sales potential of the company at around EUR300 million (USD326 million) and expects orders in the three-digit million-euro range in 2024.

Automecanica Mediaș produces special vehicles, truck build-ons, and trailers for the civilian and military market. It has been co-operating with Rheinmetall since 2022, when the two companies joined forces to operate a maintenance and repair facility for military vehicles in Satu Mare, Romania.

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Ukraine conflict: Germany pays for US HIMARS for Kyiv, Canada provides air-defence funding

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Germany will pay for three US HIMARSs for Ukraine. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius announced during a visit to Washington, DC on 8–9 May that Berlin would pay for US High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARSs) for Ukraine. Germany will pay for three HIMARSs from US stocks.

During Pistorius's visit to Ottawa on 10 May, Canadian Minister of National Defence Bill Blair signed an agreement with his German counterpart to contribute CAD76 million (USD55.6 million) to the Immediate Action on Air Defence (IAAD) initiative. Launched by Germany in April, the initiative pools money and resources from the international community to quickly source and deliver air-defence systems for Ukraine.

The Netherlands is contributing EUR150 million (USD162 million) to the IAAD.

Germany is providing an additional Patriot air-defence system to Ukraine. This is in addition to two already supplied.

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Feature: US Army's race for new howitzers, munitions takes off after modernisation effort scuttled

by Meredith Roaten

In March, the US Army demonstrated its new ERCA capability at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. (Janes/Ashley Roque)

US land forces want an artillery system that is more mobile and more lethal. While cutting-edge technology development failed to produce a production-ready system, the US Army is readjusting its acquisition approach and concepts of operations for artillery.

The army has determined that its Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) Program of Record is not an option for future artillery warfare, Doug Bush, assistant secretary of the army for acquisition, logistics, and technology, announced in March 2024. This decision and more on advanced artillery technology stemmed from a tactical fires study that was completed in 2023 and has not been publicly released, said General James Rainey, commanding general of Army Futures Command (AFC).

ERCA was scheduled to transition to the major capability acquisition pathway after five years of research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E), according to the US Government Accountability Office. The army applied for a waiver for an additional year of RDT&E but was denied by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.

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The Iranian-backed Yemeni group Ansar Allah (Houthis) confirmed on 31 October that it has launched b...

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