August 2023 News Global Defence & Security Industry - Military

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According to Sputnik, citing satellite imagery released by Planet Lab on June 30, 2023, it appears that an accelerated production of the new North Korean main battle tank has recently been observed. The Kusong tank plant in North Korea has undergone significant renovations, doubling its size with a new manufacturing hall and additional production structures between October 2022 and June 2023. 

According to an article from Sputnik on August 8, 2023, the Belarusian military is currently conducting a field exercise with the aim of improving their operational coordination between the V-200 Polonez multiple rocket launcher systems (MLRS) and unmanned aerial systems. The current exercise takes place in the Grodno region of Belarus, near the so-called Suwalki Gap, amidst ongoing geopolitical tensions involving Poland, Belarus, and Russia.

Angel Tîlvăr, the Minister of National Defense, conducted an official visit to the Republic of Moldova on Monday, August 7th, at the invitation of his counterpart, Anatolie Nosatîi. On this occasion, Romania delivered a shipment of military equipment, including bulletproof vests, helmets, and off-road vehicles.

The Russian defense industry has successfully completed the design and production of the amphibious armored troop transport BT-3F, specifically designed for Marine units and joint forces. This achievement was announced by the press service of the "Precision Complexes" group, which is part of the state-owned company "Rostec."

After the reception of the last of four Stryker-based 50-kilowatt laser Guardian prototypes by the U.S. Army in September 2023, a new era will start for soldiers who find themselves on the cusp of mastering a cutting-edge form of warfare, as Breaking Defense reports. This milestone ignited a fervent exploration of combat tactics that would meld this groundbreaking directed energy technology with conventional kinetic weaponry. The intricate interplay between power, effectiveness, and dependability became the focal point of intense scrutiny among acquisition officials.

Exercise Iron Cyclone, on Wiltshire’s Salisbury Plain Training Area, has recently reviewed how the British Army delivers training and what to train against – a pilot exercise designed to train the troops differently. It was more relevant, challenging and increased the combined arms competence of the force, a crucial element for success on the modern battlefield. The British Army reports.

Answering a request from Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak last July that the three German Patriot missile systems stationed on Polish territory since January 2023 remain in place “at least until the end of this year”, the German Defence Minister Pistorius said on August 8 that "An extension beyond the end of 2023 is not foreseen", adding that some of Germany's Patriot units were needed for use by NATO's quick reaction response force in 2024, while others had to undergo maintenance.

On August 7, 2023, the Ecuadorian Ministry of National Defense made a significant announcement through its official Twitter account, confirming the delivery of the initial batch of 20 COBRA II tactical wheeled armored vehicles by the Turkish company Otokar to Ecuador. These vehicles are intended to strengthen the capabilities of the Ecuadorian armed forces, enhancing their efforts in countering organized crime and addressing challenges posed by drug cartels.

According to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense, as of August 8, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a new law granting the Russian National Guard, known as Rosgvardia, the authority to arm its personnel with heavy weapons. This decision comes in the wake of growing concerns about internal security threats and follows the Wagner mutiny in June 2023.

On August 3, 2023, Chaiseri Defense, a Thai defense company, has been selected as the winner of a competitive procurement process initiated by the Royal Thai Navy (RTN). The procurement, valued around 448 million baht ($12,918,115), was announced through the Thai Government Procurement System and involves the acquisition of seven 8x8 amphibious armored personnel carriers (AAPCs) to address the operational needs of the RTN.

Lockheed Martin successfully validated designs for all elements of the nation's Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). Through a series of successful and on-schedule Preliminary Design Reviews (PDRs) of all NGI major subsystems, the company demonstrated it has achieved design maturity and reduced risk for critical technologies. NGI is the future of the MDA's Ground-Based Missile Defense (GMD) system to protect the U.S. homeland against intercontinental ballistic missile threats from rogue nations.

From July 24 to 29, the Leclerc tank squadron of the multinational battalion conducted the Eagle Fulger exercise at the Cincu camp, in Romania. It was supported by French and Portuguese infantry sections and supplemented by Romanian elements. The objective was to carry out the first Leclerc firings of the Aigle 5 mandate and to work on combined arms and combined interoperability. The French Army GHQ reports.

On July 30th, 2023, the official news agency of the United Arab Emirates, WAM, announced that the UAE had sent military vehicles and other security equipment to Chad to support anti-terrorism efforts and border protection. The shipment included at least six armored vehicles of the MCAV-20 Cladius model, manufactured by the Emirati company NIMR, with the Chadian and Emirati flags visible on two of these vehicles.

On Monday, August 7, as reported by the Belgian Dutch-speaking newspaper De Standaard, the Dutch-speaking radio VRT and French-speaking radio RTBF, then confirmed by Belga news agency on August 8, 30 ex-Belgian army Leopard 1A5 were shipped from the Belgian firm OIP Land Systems, in Tournai, to Germany (Rheinmetall) before heading to Italy (what company?) to be refurbished and upgraded before being sent to Ukraine in several weeks, if not months. The 30 tanks concerned by the contract, bought at the “advantageously” low price of 37,000 € each (scrap metal price) some fifteen years ago, would have been sold for around 500,000€/piece, the price asked by OIP after refurbishment. The price actually paid and the identity of the buyer are unknown.

ROME, Italy, August 8, 2023 — The Italian Defense Secretariat (SEGREDIFESA) has granted a major contract worth 848.8 million euros to the Iveco - Oto Melara consortium (CIO). The contract, announced by the Italian Terrestrial Armament Directorate (DAT), aims at the mid-life renovation of 90 Ariete C1 main battle tanks. Moreover, an option to extend this renovation to an additional 35 tanks is under consideration.

The 1st Armored Division brought M1A2 Abrams tanks to Australia for the first time to train alongside partners and allies during exercise Talisman Sabre 23. The 1st Armored Division deployed a tank company plus personnel from Fort Bliss, Texas, and 14 tanks from the Army Prepositioned Stocks in Korea to areas in and around Townsville in early July. Maj. Jessica Rovero, 1st Armored Division public affairs, reports.

On August 4, 2023, Lithuania's Ministry of Defense confirmed in an official statement that the country has continuously been providing military support to Ukraine. Throughout the first seven months of 2023, Lithuania has made substantial military contributions to Ukraine. These include Mi-8 helicopters, L-70 anti-aircraft guns and ammunition, M113 armored personnel carriers, as well as extensive quantities of ammunition for firearms and grenade launchers.

Sensor solution provider HENSOLDT has developed a new version of its "Twinvis" passive radar, which is now being launched in a fully integrated shelter variant for military use as "Twinvis Military Sheltered". So far, "Twinvis" has been available as a set-up kit for integration by the customer. A specially established production line at the German HENSOLDT site in Ulm enables the prompt call-off of systems in order to meet the requirements of existing and interested customers at short notice.

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