October 2023 News Global Defence & Security Industry - Military

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On October 27, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that U.S. Ordnance, McCarran, Nevada, was awarded a $16,364,451 firm-fixed-price contract for M2A2 .50 caliber machine guns. Work will be performed in McCarran, Nevada, with an estimated completion date of May 1, 2024. Fiscal 2023 Foreign Military Sales (Jordan) funds in the amount of $16,364,451 were obligated at the time of the award. Army Contracting Command, Newark, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

At the ADEX 2023 Aerospace and Defense Exhibition in in South Korea, Hanwha Aerospace unveiled a new development of a tracked armored vehicle, the K-NIFV (Korean New Infantry Fighting Vehicle). This new IFV project comes as a response to the South Korean army's need to replace the K21 IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle), which has been in service with the South Korean army since 2009.

According to Atul Chandra in Mobility Outlook, Bharat Forge Limited (BFL), a flagship company of the Kalyani Group with a total worth of $3 billion, is expanding its collaboration with Kalyani Strategic Systems Limited (KSSL) and South African firm Paramount Group. This extended partnership focuses on the development and production of 4x4 and 6x6 Infantry Combat Vehicles (ICVs) for global customers. Paramount Group, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, aims to strengthen global armored vehicle development and production, targeting export markets through a manufacturing hub in India in partnership with BFL.

Seoul, South Korea, October 30, 2023 - At the ADEX 2023 Aerospace and Defense exhibition, Hanwha Aerospace showcased a range of cutting-edge Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) solutions, including the highly anticipated Unmanned Combat Vehicle-Light (UCV-L) and the Arion-SMET robotic system. This innovative vehicle is a product of Hanwha Aerospace's collaboration with the Korean government's Agency for Defense Development.

According to the Times of India on October 30, 2023, India plans to deploy its indigenous long-range air defense system (LR-SAM) by 2028-2029. Developed under Project Kusha by the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the system is designed to detect and neutralize various threats, including stealth fighters, aircraft, drones, cruise missiles, and precision-guided munitions, with a range extending up to 350 km.

For the first time, the Egyptian Army displayed the K9 Thunder 155 mm self-propelled howitzer during a military parade. Alongside the K9 Thunder, the parade also featured the K10 ammunition resupply vehicle. This South Korean-made artillery system has been designated as K9A1EGY for use by the Egyptian forces. This marks the first time that the South Korean K9 155mm howitzer entered into service with a country in the Middle East. 

At ADEX 2023, Hanwha Aerospace showcased its newest generation of the Multiple Rocket Launcher System (MRLS) named Chunmoo, marking it as the latest rocket launcher in its class. Currently, in service with the South Korean military, the Chunmoo has also been chosen by the Polish Army. During ADEX, the South Korean army presented the Chunmoo on the static display in the outside area.

At the ADEX 2023 Aerospace and Defense Exhibition in Seoul, Hanwha Aerospace unveiled its cutting-edge aerospace technologies, spotlighting the Nuri space launch vehicle and its series of communication satellites. Hanwha Aerospace is now poised to introduce innovative communication solutions for the defense sector, bridging land, sea, and air platforms.

Hyundai Rotem, known for its ground weapon systems such as the K2 tanks, has taken a significant step forward with the introduction of a versatile autonomous vehicle at ADEX 2023. Named the HR-Sherpa, this vehicle is an unmanned electric platform capable of carrying out various missions, ranging from surveillance to logistical support.

On October 27, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced that the United States will pursue a modern variant of the B61 nuclear gravity bomb, designated the B61-13, pending Congressional authorization and appropriation. The fielding of the B61-13 is not in response to any specific current event; it reflects an ongoing assessment of a changing security environment.

Seoul, South Korea - In a significant advancement in military technology, the South Korean defense company Hanwha has introduced the AS-21 Redback, one of the most modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) in the current military market. This state-of-the-art machine represents a leap forward in armored warfare, combining cutting-edge technology with formidable firepower.

According to the Wall Street Journal, in an article published on October 24, 2023, Saudi Arabia intercepted one of the missiles launched towards Israel by the Houthi rebels from Yemen. While initial reports stated that the United States intercepted five missiles aimed at Israel, the USS Carney, a guided missile cruiser operating in the Red Sea, shot down four of these missiles fired by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

According to the New York Post on October 25, 2023, Israel has opted to delay its imminent ground offensive in Gaza to facilitate the deployment of missile defense systems by the United States. This decision is driven by concerns about potential Iran-backed attacks targeting American troops stationed in the Middle East.

As reported by PressTV on October 25, 2023, Israeli forces, utilizing drones and artillery units, have conducted a series of strikes in southern Lebanon as a response to Hezbollah's actions targeting Israeli assets. These hostilities included an attack on an Israeli Merkava tank by Hezbollah, who used their Tharallah Twin Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) specifically designed to counter the Trophy Active Protection System (APS) mounted on Israeli Merkava tanks.

Israel's advanced rocket interception system based on lasers, known as "Iron Beam," is ready for real-world tests in the southern region of the country. Developed as an evolution of Israel's defense arsenal, Iron Beam uses high-powered lasers to disable incoming rockets, missiles, and drones at a fraction of the cost of existing systems like the Iron Dome.

As reported by Jim Garamone, U.S. DoD News, U.S. efforts in the Middle East remain focused on supporting Israel's defense needs as the nation battles Hamas terrorists in Gaza, deterring other actors who seek to use the Hamas war on Israel as a pretext to expand the conflict and to ensure force protection for U.S. forces serving in the region, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said on October 26.

According to InfoDefensa on October 24, 2023, the Spanish Ministry of Defense recently disclosed by error the contract for the acquisition of the High Mobility Rocket Launcher System (SILAM) for the Spanish Army. Although the contract was later withdrawn, it provided valuable details about the program. According to the contract, valued at approximately €700 million, Spain plans to acquire 16 PULS rocket launchers, along with an initial ammunition package boasting a range of up to 300 km.

In a series of strategic military actions, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have carried out raids in the Gaza Strip, which could be a preparation for a larger ground operation. A second raid was conducted during the night of October 27, 2023, involving a coordinated effort of Merkava 4 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), infantry units, engineer troops, and combat helicopters.

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