August 2023 News Global Defence & Security Industry - Military

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The MGCS program, or Main Ground Combat System, addresses the expected future of combat tanks in Europe. It is an ambitious project aimed at developing a futuristic tank equipped with advanced technologies in artificial intelligence, mobility, and the ability to integrate drones or robots. France and Germany are the main actors in this program, but Italy could also play a key role soon.

According to TASS on August 22, 2023, sources within the military-industrial complex confirmed that the T-14 Armata tank will finally enter into its finalization phase, which is the process of completing or perfecting the development, design, and production of a vehicle to render it prepared for operational deployment. This phase will integrate the learnings from its involvement in combat operations as part of Russia's battlegroup South. However, the source didn't specify the precise nature of these planned alterations.

On August 23, 2023, infantrymen from the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, part of the 3rd Brigade (Grey Wolf), 1st Cavalry Division, participated in an intensive training exercise in the Arizona desert. The exercise was conducted to evaluate the new Lightweight Command Launch Unit (LW CLU) sight system for the Javelin missile. Designed to explore the enhanced capabilities of the new optics, this exercise marked a significant step in modernizing the equipment and increasing the lethality of Infantry troops on the battlefield.

The Luxembourg Directorate of Defence has taken a step in modernizing its armed forces by ordering 80 Eagle V 4x4 vehicles from GDELS on October 25, 2022. Their production has started. This move aligns with the country's commitment to enhance its operational capacities and conduct all types of military reconnaissance missions.

Ukraine has successfully acquired a shipment of SCALP (Système de croisière conventionnel autonome à longue portée, Autonomous long-range conventional cruise system) air-launched cruise missiles from France, as confirmed by Vadym Omelchenko, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Paris, on August 22, 2023. Contrary to what many media outlets have reported, this is not the first delivery of SCALP missiles: they have already been used by the Ukrainians, with some even being captured and displayed by the Russians at the Army 2023 expo in Moscow.

AeroVironment is set to acquire Tomahawk Robotics, a leading provider of AI-driven robotic control systems. This acquisition will pave the way for a more seamless integration of both companies' technologies, resulting in improved compatibility and connectivity of unmanned systems through a unified platform featuring similar control capabilities. This advancement will empower military personnel to effectively employ a range of interconnected robotic solutions on the battlefield, while also facilitating the exchange of information across different domains using a single shared controller.

On August 22, 2023, the Spanish government greenlit the acquisition of the Vehículo de Apoyo de Cadenas (VAC) for the Land Army. The Defense Ministry has been authorized to initiate a contract valued at nearly 2 billion EUR (precisely: 1,953,719,008 EUR) for the development of a new multipurpose tracked armored vehicle. This new addition is set to replace the M133 TOA. The initial phase of the program will see the procurement of 394 units in various configurations.

More than 600 soldiers from the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Philippines and U.S. conducted an air assault near Rizal, the Philippines, during Exercise Alon as part of Indo-Pacific Endeavour. Using a combination of air, sea, and land actions, with support from the U.S. Marine Corps, the exercise began on August 20 with the insertion of ground combat elements via MV-22B Osprey from Marine Rotational Force - Darwin, launched from HMAS Canberra.

The U.S. Army took its next step in bolstering its top modernization priority with a successful launch of the Tomahawk cruise missile from its mid-range capability prototype system on June 27, showcasing the potential of its newest, ground-based missile launcher. Joe Lacdan, U.S. Army News Service, reports.

British soldiers on the battlefield will benefit from enhanced connectivity, following the award of an £89 million five-year contract that has been awarded to BAE Systems to design and manufacture a deployable tactical Wide Area Network (WAN) known as ‘Trinity’. The network will provide troops with a highly secure and state-of-the-art battlefield internet capability.

On August 13, 2023, during the recent military parade commemorating the 109th anniversary of the Teoloyucan Treaties, the Mexican Army drew attention by showcasing its technological development: the Saraf Balam 1 targeting system mounted on armored vehicles. This innovation, stemming from the efforts of the General Directorate of Military Industry, brings new dimensions in terms of protection and operational efficiency.

On August 22, 2023, a Facebook post by LHSN confirmed the sighting of the first Leopard 2A7HU tank within Hungarian borders. The sighting took place at the Lajta Rest Area in Mosonmagyaróvár, a town located in the Győr-Moson-Sopron County of northwestern Hungary, near the Austrian and Slovakian borders. The spotted convoy also included a Bergepanzer 3 Büffel based on the Leopard 2 main battle tank chassis.

During the "Army-2023" event, Russia unveiled an upgraded version of the BTR-82A armored personnel carrier (APC), referred to by some sources as the BTR-82A "U". This updated model aims to provide enhanced ballistic and anti-mine protection, catering to the needs of general-purpose units in the Ground Forces, Marine Infantry units, and specialized units engaged in tasks such as personnel transportation, engagement of similar enemy assets, countering airborne and surface targets, and ensuring the safety of onboard combat crews.

On August 21, 2023, Morocco signed an agreement to acquire the TOW anti-tank missiles from the United States, as confirmed by the US Department of Defense. These missiles, which have previously been mounted on Bradley vehicles, are scheduled to be delivered to the North African nation next year. The details regarding the inclusion of the Bradley vehicles in this deal remain undisclosed.

On August 21, 2023, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) announced a significant investment in advanced weapons systems. The goal of this investment is to enhance Australia's ability to target adversaries from greater distances, ensuring the nation's security and sovereignty.

The U.S. Air Forces Europe and Africa are learning lessons from the Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine to develop strategies, capabilities and tactics needed to better defend the NATO nations, Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker told the Defense Writers' Group on August 18. Hecker, speaking from his headquarters at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, also discussed the situation in Africa. Jim Garamone, U.S. DoD, reports.

According to an article by IDRW on August 19, 2023, a Philippines delegation has made visits to multiple defense establishments in India, with a pronounced interest in artillery systems. The ATAGS 155mm towed artillery gun provided by Kalyani Strategic Systems, an affiliate of Bharat Forge, is currently under evaluation by Philippine officials to determine if it meets their defense needs.

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