Moldova receives EU-funded military equipment

by Olivia Savage

Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell formally handing over the first batch of EU-funded military assistance to Moldova on 31 May. (European Commission)

The Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldova has received its first batch of European Union (EU)-funded military equipment as part of the European Peace Facility (EPF), the EU announced on 31 May.

Over a 36-month period, Moldova will receive EUR40 million (USD42.87 million) worth of non-lethal military equipment in the areas pertaining to air surveillance, mobility and transportation, logistics, command-and-control (C2), and cyber defence.

According to a previous EU announcement, the military assistance includes unmanned aerial systems (UASs), radios, explosive ordnance disposal suits, and medical equipment such as field hospitals, ambulances, and pickup trucks.

The support package is part of an ‘Assistance Measure' ratified by the EU Council in December 2021 under the EPF, designed to enhance the operational effectiveness of the armed forces and accelerate their compliance with EU standards and interoperability. The e-Governance Academy for cyber and the Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI) are the primary benefactors.

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Partner 2023: MTI rolls out new member of Pasars-16 family

by Christopher Petrov

The Pasars-16 has received four Rada radars and is armed with one 40 mm cannon, two types of surface-to-air missiles, and a pair of anti-tank guided missiles. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

Serbia's Military Technical Institute (MTI) has developed a new version of the Pasars-16 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun and missile system.

The new variant was debuted at the Partner 2023 defence exhibition in Belgrade and features Rada's RPS-42 radar, otherwise known as the Multi-Mission Hemispheric Radar.

Pasars-16 carries an array of weaponry. It is equipped with a single-barrel 40 mm L/70 Bofors autocannon believed to feature an electro-optical system for targeting. MTI is also developing programmable airburst munitions to improve the efficiency of the autocannon against small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and quadcopters. The system is also equipped with a UAV jamming suite, above which is positioned a small Doppler radar that can be used to detect the speed of rounds exiting the cannon. This data can then be fed into the fire-control system to correct the aiming of the L/70.

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Partner 2023: Serbia rolls out new self-propelled anti-aircraft gun and missile system

by Christopher Petrov

Reminiscent of an earlier trend in SPAAG design, the Harpas system utilises a M-84 main battle tank hull combined with a turret equipped with anti-aircraft weaponry. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

Serbia's Military Technical Institute (MTI) unveiled its Harpas self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) and missile system at the Partner 2023 defence exhibition in Belgrade.

Harpas utilises a modern radar connected to a pair of 40 mm L/70 Bofors anti-aircraft cannons, which feature on other recent anti-aircraft systems including the in-service Pasars-16.

MTI is also developing its own programmable airburst munitions, which will improve the cannons' ability to shoot down small unmanned aerial vehicles. As a secondary role, the cannons can be used against ground targets.

Harpas is also equipped with two missile pods – one mounted on each side of the turret – housing locally developed RLN-TK and RLN-RF surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), the former of which is guided by a thermal seeker and the latter by radio frequency. For target detection, the system is equipped with what appears to be a Danish Weibel Xenta radar.

An MTI representative told Janes

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Iran shows Russian defence minister missiles it denies supplying to Yemen

by Jeremy Binnie

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu is shown a ‘351 land-attack cruise missile' at Iran's IRGC Aerospace Force museum in Tehran. (Russian Ministry of Defence)

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed that missiles previously only displayed by Yemen's Houthi rebels are Iranian, when it released photographs of Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu inspecting them during a visit to Tehran on 20 September. The missiles were also seen in footage broadcast by the Sputnik news agency.

The weapons included the cruise missile that Ansar Allah calls the Quds, which Shoigu was shown at the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force's museum in Tehran. The missile has not previously been seen in Iran despite extensive local media coverage of the museum.

Referred to as the ‘351 land-attack cruise missile' by the US military, the Quds has been used to attack targets in Saudi Arabia several times as well as Abu Dhabi on 17 January 2022.

Shoigu was also shown a type of loitering surface-to-air missile (SAM) the US military calls the ‘358 SAM' and the Houthis have displayed as the Saqr-1.

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