October 2023 News Global Defence & Security Industry - Military

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As reported on October 24, 2023, the Slovak Ministry of Defense officially received two MANTIS (Modular, Automatic, and Network-capable Targeting and Interception System) air defense systems from Germany during a ceremony held at the 11th Air Force Brigade of the Slovak Armed Forces in Nitra. These advanced systems are set to strengthen the protection of Slovakia's eastern border with Ukraine, which is currently maintained by the Slovak Armed Forces.

As reported by Hanwha Aerospace Europe on October 24, 2023, a ceremony took place in South Korea for the delivery of a new batch of 18 K9PL 155mm self-propelled howitzers to Poland. This delivery adhered to the agreed-upon schedule and saw the integration of these howitzers into the Polish army's operational capabilities. Notably, Hanwha Aerospace has increased its production capacity to ensure the timely delivery of these self-propelled howitzers, even surpassing the original deadlines.

As reported by Armenpress on October 24, 2023, France has announced its support for Armenia's efforts to enhance its air defense capabilities through the sale of three Ground Master 200 (GM200) radar systems and an agreement for the future delivery of Mistral anti-air missiles. This collaboration also includes French support for training Armenia's ground defense forces, establishing a robust air defense system, and assistance in the ongoing process of military reform and modernization.

The tech enterprise Rheinmetall and Ukraine’s state-owned Ukrainian Defense Industry JSC (UDI, the former Ukroboronprom) have set up a joint venture company in Kyiv. Denys Shmyhal, Ukraine’s Prime Minister, made the announcement on the occasion of the German-Ukrainian Business Forum in Berlin, which was also attended by the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Rheinmetall Ukrainian Defense Industry LLC has already been operating since 18 October 2023. It is jointly owned by Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH, with a 51% stake, and UDI, which holds the remaining 49%.

On October 19, 2023, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced its intention to issue a Request for Prototype Proposals (RPP) for the development of an electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (eLRV). The forthcoming RPP will be issued with the primary objective of enhancing the capabilities of the US Army's Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs). This request could lead to a contract covering 1,485 units, with an approximate value of $672,000,000.

Ukraine is set to launch mass production of a new type of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), called "Vidsich." This drone has been developed by the company First Contact, which has been active in the drone sector since 2014. Designed to target Russian positions, it is capable of carrying a payload weighing between 2 and 3 kilograms over a distance of up to 40 kilometers, all under the control of an operator.

Over the past year, a specialized platoon within the U.S. Marine Corps has been rigorously testing a state-of-the-art, all-electric motorcycle designed to revolutionize how the Marines conduct ground reconnaissance. The 1st Platoon of Bravo Company, part of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, is set to incorporate eight new Zero MMX battery-powered bikes into its arsenal. These motorcycles will be field-tested overseas next year during a shipboard deployment with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). Gidget Fuentes, USNI News, reports.

A groundbreaking AI technology collaboration between Shield AI, an American defense technology company building the world’s best AI pilot, and Sentient Vision Systems (Sentient), an Australia-based leader in AI-enabled real-time situational awareness to deliver a next-generation wide area motion imagery (WAMI) solution has been given the green light with a LTA (Long Term Agreement) to supply Sentient’s ViDAR solution on the V-BAT VTOL UAS.

On October 17, the German Bundeswehr's Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) initiated a tender process via the European TED platform. The goal is to procure a "next-generation reconnaissance vehicle," also referred to as "SpähFz NG." This new armored vehicle is expected to provide high tactical mobility, advanced communication systems, and navigation equipment. It should also be capable of mounting a 25mm cannon.

On October 22, Tasnim News reported that Iranian military specialists have successfully modified a domestically-produced surface-to-air missile for compatibility with the 'Karrar' jet-powered drone. Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifard, Commander of the Iranian Army's Air Defense Force, announced on Sunday that the Karrar drone is now equipped with a heat-seeking air-to-air missile that has a reach of 8 kilometers.

Taiwan is in the process of constructing 12 new indigenous Tien-Kung III or Sky Bow III (TK III) land-based surface-to-air missile sites by the end of 2026. This development is intended to address the perceived threat posed by China's ballistic missile systems, as per a Ministry of National Defense (MND) report released on October 20 and echoed by Novia Huang and Joseph Yeh.

According to Israel Defense on October 22, 2023, Plasan, an Israeli defense company, has taken several measures to assist the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) during the war against Hamas militants that began on October 7, 2023, as part of an emergency mobilization initiative aimed at facilitating the IDF's combat and rescue operations. These measures include the prompt transfer of all armored vehicles that the company had at its disposal, an increased production rate of Sandcat Tigris vehicles, and the re-establishment of a personal protection production line for ballistic plates.

UK military personnel from all three services have taken part in a major joint exercise in Southeast Asia last week, strengthening ties with military partners. Taking place 7,000 miles from the UK in Malaysia, the three-week exercise saw joint activity including combat air simulations, jungle warfare training, beach landings and coordinated naval gunfire support.

On October 20, 2023, images of the Cuban BTR-100 8x8 combat reconnaissance vehicle surfaced on Russian social media platforms, shedding light on an unconventional armored vehicle that combines the chassis of the Soviet-era BTR-60 armored personnel carrier (APC) with the turret of a T-55 tank. The concept of the BTR-100, also designated as BTR-60-100, which traces its origins back to the late 1990s, emerged when the Cuban Army sought to explore the idea of a "wheeled tank" or a reconnaissance vehicle equipped with a potent 90-105 mm cannon, similar to the Italian Centauro B1 or the French AMX-10RC.

In a significant move reflecting the escalating tensions in the Middle East, U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, announced late this evening that the U.S. Army will be deploying a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery along with multiple Patriot Surface-to-Air Missile batteries to the region. This decision comes in the wake of a series of attacks by pro-Iranian militias across the Middle East and the observed escalation in Israel.

Tallinn, Estonia, October 21, 2023 - The Estonian Centre for Defense Investment (ECDI) has finalized a significant contract with Otokar, a leading land systems manufacturer from Turkey. The deal, valued at approximately €130 million, encompasses the provision of ARMA 6x6 Armored Personnel Carriers, inclusive of maintenance equipment and training services. Deliveries are slated to commence in the latter half of 2024 and conclude by 2025.

As reported by the Brazilian Ministry of Defense on October 18, 2023, the Brazilian Army purchased 30 M577 A2 armored command vehicles from the United States Army. The delivery of these vehicles occurred on October 6th through the Foreign Military Sales program. The Command of the 5th Military Region was responsible for the unloading and transportation of the vehicles, which were subsequently transported to the 5th Regional Maintenance Park in Curitiba. There, they will undergo a modernization process to align them with the standards of the Brazilian Armed Forces.

According to the Israeli Ministry of Defense on October 19, 2023, the United States recently delivered the initial shipment of US-made David light armored vehicles, which is part of a Foreign Military Sale (FMS). This FMS was awarded on April 6, 2023, to the American company MDT Armor, for a total value of $21,913,585. For the first time in decades, a US cargo plane has delivered armored vehicles to Israel during a period of ongoing conflict. These armored vehicles are intended to replace vehicles within the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) damaged during the war against Hamas militants that began on October 7, 2023.

According to the Belgian website A l’Avant-Garde, the Luxembourgish army tweeted images of its new sniper capabilities on social media in April and September of 2023. This marked the first time they showcased this capability, which had its origins in the conceptualization phase that commenced back in 2020. In August of that year, a public procurement process was initiated to acquire two precision rifles. The initial equipment deliveries occurred in 2021, and the first batch of sniper trainees underwent specialized training in 2022.

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