August 2023 News Global Defence & Security Industry - Military

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According to a recent post on LinkedIn, Osprea Logistics has dispatched an additional shipment of Mamba MK7 vehicles to an undisclosed country in West Africa. This nation intends to utilize the Mamba MK7 to enhance the protection of its soldiers and security personnel against various threats, including insurgent groups and security challenges.

Rheinmetall has welcomed the signing of a German-Australian letter of cooperation for the planned production of Boxer combat vehicles in Australia for the German Army’s “schwerer Waffenträger Infanterie” (heavy weapon carrier infantry) project, deepening the close cooperation and defence partnership between the two nations in the land domain.

On August 22, 2023, Spain announced a substantial investment of over €2 billion in its ground forces, the Ejército de Tierra, with a specific budget of €208 million earmarked for the maintenance and modernization of its Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to bolster Spain's military capabilities, which also includes the purchase of 348 VCR Dragón 8×8 infantry fighting vehicles and the launch of the €1.95 billion VAC (Vehiculo de Apoyo de Cadenas) program, as reported by Army Recognition on August 23, 2023.

According to a tweet by Mason published on August 27, 2023, the South Korean government has approved the procurement of a fourth batch comprising 150 units of the K2 Black Panther MBTs (Main Battle Tanks). This upcoming batch is expected to introduce significant improvements, potentially encompassing a domestically developed Korean Active Protection System (APS), an advanced transmission system, and a remote weapon station (RWS). It's worth noting that despite the Korean APS's commendable performance, its integration into military operations had been delayed due to concerns such as collateral damage and cost considerations.

The Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has received new Wheeled Armoured Amphibious Platforms (WhAP) for anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir. The WhAP, unveiled at DefExpo India 2014, is an 8×8 vehicle developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Sheeshpal, CO CRPF said: “It is made in India and can run on any terrain, whether it is land, water, marshes or high mountain ranges.”

On August 26, 2023, the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) initiated another round of public bidding for Combat Engineering Vehicles (CEVs) for the Philippine Army. Interestingly, the technical specifications for these CEVs seem almost identical to those of the Sabrah Light Tank, produced by the Israeli defense company Elbit Systems. The Sabrah is based on the ASCOD chassis, designed by General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS), making Elbit Systems a strong contender in the bidding process.

In a significant development of the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) offering more protection, a picture emerged on the Russian social network "VK" on August 24, 2023, revealing that Russia's defense industry has developed a new version of its BM-21/Tornado-G 122mm MLRS for Ukraine battlefield. This new rocket launcher is based on the 6x6 armored vehicle AMN-590951, offering enhanced protection against ballistic and mine threats.

According to an article by Topcor on August 24, 2023, the Russian Ministry of Defense had successfully carried out tests of its Afganit Active Protection System (APS) using the T-14 Armata tank. These tests occurred as the tank entered its final stages before its mass production. The credibility of this information is confirmed by images presented at the Army-2023 event, which displayed the test results at Stand 38 of the Scientific Research Testing Institute of Armored Weapons and Equipment under the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.

Epail Nigeria, a Nigerian defense company, showcased a locally produced light armored vehicle at the 24th edition of the Nigerian Army Combat Support Services Training Week that took place at Abalti barracks, Lagos State, on August 23, 2023. The vehicle appears identical to the Dong Feng CSK-131 Mengshi, a Chinese-made light armored vehicle that the Nigerian army recently inducted into its inventory. The presentation was an opportunity for EPAIL Nigeria to display its capabilities and reflects a growing trend in the Nigerian defense industry to develop technology inspired by internationally recognized designs.

Rheinmetall, on August 25, 2023, announced an expansion of the production of its Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV). The opening of a brand-new manufacturing plant in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary, marks a major milestone in the company's commitment to military production and testing capabilities. This new factory is expected to enable Rheinmetall to double its production of the Lynx vehicle.

Babcock recently completed the conversion of the 50th Armoured Toyota LC300 since production started in September 2022. As an actor in vehicle conversions and producing vehicle platforms for those who operate in hostile climates, Babcock’s engineering facility in the West Midlands has specialised in armoured vehicles for over 40 years.

According to the Faso Times on 24 August 2023, the Burkina Faso army appears to have received Emirati-made Isotrex Phantom mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles. Images circulating on social media also show other vehicles with the inscription "BUFFALO.E10." Tensions between Burkina Faso and ECOWAS continue, as ECOWAS still threatens military intervention against Niger, an openly allied country of Burkina Faso.

On August 25, 2023, according to a tweet from Praisethesteph, the Czech 71st Mechanized Battalion received the first batch of new Titus Multi-Role Armored Vehicles (MRAVs). The delivery includes three KOVS (communication) version vehicles, which will replace the obsolete R5 on the BVP-1 chassis, and one KOVVŠ (command and staff) version, intended to replace the MPP-40.

Mack Defense announced on August 23 that the U.S. Am has ordered an additional 135 Mack Defense M917A3 Heavy Dump Trucks (HDTs). The additional vehicles are part of the previously announced firm-fixed price $296 million contract over seven years that the Army awarded Mack Defense in 2018. For this new order, 60 HDTs are being purchased by the U.S. Army Reserve, 74 are being funded by the presidential budget and one is being purchased by the U.S. Navy. With this tranche, a total of 446 HDTs have been ordered to date.

On August 24th, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense announced its decision to donate IRIS-T A2A air defense missiles to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This initiative will bolster Ukraine's air defense capabilities and follow Germany's previous contribution of IRIS-T missiles.

In the realm of international security, the efficiency of air defense systems stands as a critical consideration. A recent event has just brought a dramatic incident to the forefront: on August 23, 2023, a Wagner Group's Embraer Legacy 600 business jet registered RA-02795 crashed after having possibly been shot down by a so-far-undetermined air defense missile (no doubt that both "black boxes" (Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder), if recovered, will "unfortunately" be declared unusable or deliver unverifiable results. 

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