October 2023 News Global Defence & Security Industry - Military

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The AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition takes place in Washington, DC from 9-11 October, with this year’s motto set as “Be All You Can Be”. The American Rheinmetall family of companies along with key partners from Rheinmetall’s global enterprise will be on-site, showcasing some of their most recent activities, achievements and innovative solutions aimed at providing the U.S. Army with the critical, next-generation technologies it needs.

The U.S. Army has taken a significant step forward in modernizing its transportation capabilities. On October 3, 2023, the U.S. Army announced that the 569th Combat Engineer Company-Armored, 4th Engineer Battalion, has become the first unit to be equipped with the state-of-the-art M870A4 Semitrailer, Lowbed, Construction Equipment Transporters (SCLETs). These transporters are designed to carry an impressive load of up to 40 tons, encompassing construction equipment and other substantial payloads.

On September 29, 2023, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corporation, secured a substantial contract from the US Army to expand its production of 155mm M1128 artillery shells. The contract is valued at $218 million and is part of a broader $974 million multiyear contract awarded jointly to General Dynamics and American Ordnance, based in Middletown, Iowa. Under this contract, both companies will compete for orders related to loading, assembling, and packing processes for the M1128 artillery shells, as announced by the Department of Defense.

The Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) has seen major advances in range, increasing from 70 km initially to 150 km. Lockheed Martin recently demonstrated the capabilities of its Extended Range GMLRS (ER GMLRS) during a flight test at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The missile was launched from the US Army's HIMARS launcher. According to Jay Price, vice president of precision fires at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, this test showed a nearly two-fold increase in range while retaining the renowned accuracy of GMLRS.

On October 4, 2023, the Drone Industry Development Conference took place in Mianyang, Sichuan, a city known as China's "City of Technology." The event attracted nearly 100 domestic companies specializing in drone research, development, and production. These companies showcased over 300 drone exhibits with applications across various sectors, including meteorological monitoring, geological exploration, and the military.

In a steadfast demonstration of solidarity with Ukraine, the United States has consistently extended substantial military aid, particularly following Russia's unexpected invasion in February 2022. This support symbolizes the world's collective stance against Russia's unwarranted acts of aggression. With an investment exceeding $44.5 billion in security assistance since January 2021, this report details the complete list of military equipment and combat vehicles provided by the United States to Ukraine up to September 21, 2023.

The Army Recognition editorial team details the potential advantages that the German Taurus air-launched cruise missile could offer to Ukrainian forces. Despite Germany's decision to not deliver the missile's delivery due to compatibility concerns with equipment from France and the UK, the missile's technical prowess and combat capabilities remain undeniable. Additionally, Germany's reservations stem from fears that the missile might be used against strategic targets like the Kerch Bridge, connecting Russia to the annexed Crimean peninsula.

Raytheon, an RTX business, has achieved significant technical and performance milestones with the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) during Contractor Verification Testing at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range. These tests, which met defined objectives, showcased the radar's design and performance against both real and simulated threats.

The Government on October 10 adopted a proposal for an additional amending budget containing a new support package to Ukraine. The package, which is the fourteenth of its kind, includes artillery shells, spare parts, infantry equipment, communication equipment and Combat Vehicle 90 ammunition, worth around SEK 1.7 billion. Russia’s war in Ukraine continues mercilessly and Ukraine has requested support in the form of ammunition, spare parts, infantry equipment, etc., and also a modern combat aircraft system.

As reported by La Prenza Latina on October 5, 2023, in a significant development, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced the early commencement of mass production of the Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile also nicknamed Satan 2, NATO code-named SS-X-30. This announcement came during his speech at the Valdai Debate Club in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. The Sarmat missile, often referred to as Russia's next-generation Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), has undergone extensive testing throughout 2022, indicating Russia's commitment to maintaining its strategic capabilities, as this missile is designed to carry 10-15 individually guided nuclear warheads.

Rheinmetall has booked a major order for 155mm artillery ammunition following a second call-off under an existing framework order with the German government. The latter has contracted with the Düsseldorf-based tech group to supply the Ukrainian armed forces with tens of thousands of L15 rounds as well as conventional 155mm Assegai shells for the German military. The order is worth a figure in the lower three-digit million-euro range. Delivery is scheduled to take place in 2024.

Fort Campbell is testing some of the Army’s newest weapons that have the potential to redefine the capabilities of U.S. infantry forces. Last month, soldiers began field testing the Sig Sauer XM7 Rifle and XM250 Automatic Rifle before they respectively replace the M4/M4A1 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. Kayla Cosby reports.

The Royal Thai Army is on the path to modernizing its artillery systems. On November 28, 2020, the army announced it would purchase 12 LG1 Mk III 105mm towed light guns at a cost of 834,400,000 baht ($26,722,194 or 22,677,763 euros). The contract was awarded to United Defense Technology (UDT) Thailand, the distributor of KNDS (Nexter) Company, France, the manufacturer of the LG1 Mk III. The first batch of six guns was delivered in January 2023, followed by the remaining six in early August 2023.

As reported by Defense News on October 3, 2023, Canada is presently deploying 15 of its Leopard 2A4 tanks on an overseas mission for the first time in over a decade. Expected to arrive in Latvia in mid-November, this deployment is part of NATO's effort to reinforce its presence in Eastern Europe since the start of the war. However, the future of Canada's armored fleet remains uncertain, with questions arising on whether to maintain or replace aging tanks.

Galvion, a world leader in power and data management solutions and innovative head protection systems, will be demonstrating their “Charge on the Move” vehicle-mounted soldier power solution,in response to emerging requirements to provide power and battery charging to dismounted troops while they are being transported in vehicles. This announcement coincides with AUSA, taking place in Washington DC, 9-11 October 2023.

As recently tweeted by AirPower 2.0, Lockheed Martin has been awarded a substantial contract worth $52 million by the United States Air Force. This contract involves the delivery of three AN/TPS-77 long-range air surveillance radars to Lithuania, along with comprehensive training, essential spare parts, and interim contractor support. The anticipated completion date for the delivery of these radar systems is early 2027, which aligns with Lockheed Martin's busy radar production schedule, as the company's facilities serve both US and foreign customers, and accommodate various radar types.

The Slovenian company Strix has introduced the world's first stealth and waterproof electric e-motorbike, tailor-made for military and armed forces. This innovative piece of machinery has been recently chosen by Slovenia to be incorporated into the Slovenian Special Forces, marking a significant shift in the military's approach to transportation.

At the Foro Ejército Empresas, a defence industry forum held in Toledo (Spain) from 4-5 October 2023, the Spanish company Indra showcased the LANDEF electronic ground combat suite, a command and control system designed to carry out intelligence and electronic support missions in which the enemy's electromagnetic activity is tracked and counteracted, thereby limiting the movements of aircraft, ships and armored vehicles and degrading the adversary's defences.

Greece is set to strengthen its defense capabilities by acquiring Spike electro-optically anti-tank missiles from Israel, according to an announcement from the Israeli Defense Ministry. Manufactured by Israeli state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the missiles will be deployed along the Evros land border and on the eastern Aegean islands adjacent to Turkey.

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