October 2023 News Global Defence & Security Industry - Military

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The recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Kratos Defense & Security Solutions' Technical Directions Inc. (TDI) unit and Boeing marks a significant advancement in the development of long-range munitions for land and maritime surface attacks. This collaboration will focus on the incorporation of TDI's J85 turbine engine into Boeing's Motorized Joint Direct Attack Munition (P-JDAM), a system designed to provide greater range and efficiency in munitions delivery.

On December 19, 2022, the Dutch Defence Materiel Organization (DMO), now known as COMMIT (Material and IT Command), granted Defenture a contract for the supply of 41 Air Transportable Tactical Vehicles (ATTVs). These vehicles, referred to as Defenture GRF (commonly known as VECTOR within the Dutch Ministry of Defence), are designated for use by the 11 Air Mobile Brigade (11 Luchtmobiele Brigade / 11LMB). On October 13, 2023, Defenture delivered the initial test vehicle to COMMIT. This vehicle will undergo comprehensive testing and receive all necessary communication equipment before being handed over to the 11 Air Mobile Brigade.

As reported by the Taipei Times on October 15, 2023, in a recent report presented to the Legislative Yuan, the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense issued a warning regarding the threat posed by China's DF-100 medium-range supersonic cruise missile to Taiwan's national security. During the ministry's budget report at the Legislative Yuan's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, defense officials highlighted China's increased capabilities in rocket artillery systems, hypersonic ballistic missiles, and long-range supersonic cruise missiles. These advanced weapons are expected to play a role in supporting the People's Liberation Army's operations aimed at Taiwan.

The British Army's Ajax program, once considered the most significant armored vehicle project in the UK for more than two decades, has faced its share of challenges. The latest update suggests the program is progressing slowly, but serious questions remain.

On October 13, 2023, significant developments within the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) came to the forefront as two new vehicle variants based on the versatile Mengshi platform were spotted. These two distinct additions, a 4x4 reconnaissance vehicle, and a 6x6 armored ambulance, have emerged within the PLA ranks, signaling China's ongoing commitment to enhancing its military capabilities while using a unified platform based on its Mengshi vehicle.

Recent recommendations from the French Senate have highlighted the pressing issue of delayed deliveries of the Griffon SAN and Serval SAN medical armored vehicles (SAN stands for Sanitary), which are essential components of the medical support capabilities of the French Army Health Service (SSA). These delays have sparked debate about the SSA's preparedness to respond effectively to high-intensity conflicts and the need for innovative approaches to medical support in the field.

As part of an initiative to strengthen its defense capabilities, Australian Defense Force (ADF) gunners are preparing for training in the United States as the country prepares to deploy its new M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). The development is part of wider efforts to strengthen Australia's defense and security measures and foster international cooperation.

As reported by Russian social media on October 12, 2023, the 6th Battalion of the 6th Regiment of the 3rd Division of the 2nd Army of the Thai Ground Forces has taken delivery of a batch of 12 Chinese VT-4 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), manufactured by China's North Industries Corporation (Norinco).

As the Israeli military assembles its forces in anticipation of a potential large-scale incursion into the Gaza Strip, soldiers are getting ready to confront a challenging urban landscape filled with intricate tunnels, explosive hazards, and sniper positions. Within this complex environment, the D9R armored bulldozer, originally crafted by Caterpillar and fondly referred to as 'Doobi' or 'Teddy Bear,' is poised to assume a vital role, especially in countering the tunnels utilized by Hamas.

According to Global Conflicts on October 16, 2023, the Israel Defense Forces deployed additional reinforcements to Road 232, consisting of heavily armored Namer APCs, all equipped with Trophy Active Protection Systems (APS). They will be utilized to facilitate the movement of ground forces into Gaza. Road 232, an Israeli highway, runs parallel to the blockaded Gaza Strip and appears to have evolved into the new de facto frontier between territory controlled by Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that launched a surprise attack on October 7, 2023.

According to a statement published by the Dutch MoD (Ministry of Defense) on October 13, 2023, The Netherlands is supplying additional Patriot air defense missiles to Ukraine. The cabinet acknowledges the country's need to defend critical infrastructure. This was announced on October 13, 2023, to the House of Representatives by Duch Minister of Defense Kajsa Ollongren, on behalf of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

On October 12, 2023, the German Federal Ministry of Defense (MoD) granted approval to Israel's request for the use of two of his Heron TP unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the continuing conflict with Hamas militants. Germany currently leases five of these drones, already stationed in Israel, which have been employed for various purposes, including the training of German soldiers on Israeli soil.

On October 13, 2023, the Russian state corporation, Rostec, reported the early delivery of a new batch of ISDM Zemledeliye mobile-laying system to the Russian armed forces. This system is capable of quickly covering an extensive area, with a firing range spanning from 5 to 15 kilometers. It deploys 122mm caliber missiles, each equipped with warheads containing either anti-tank or anti-personnel mines.

Lithuania is ramping up its efforts to support Ukraine by preparing a new package of military aid. The Lithuanian Minister of National Defense, Arvydas Anušauskas, announced this initiative during the NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels, held from October 11 to 12. For the first time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was also present at the event.

In response to HAMAS attacks against Israel, the United States has significantly ramped up its military assistance to Israel. Within hours of the initial attacks by Hamas, the U.S. began mobilizing warships and aircraft to the region. The United States is also providing Israel with a range of weapons and ammunition. A second U.S. carrier strike group, led by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, is set to depart from Norfolk, Virginia, adding to the already present USS Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group near Israel.

The U.S. Army is taking steps to enhance its capabilities against small drones, deploying anti-drone systems to individual platoons, Sam Skove reports in Defense One. The Army's Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office (JCO) is leading these efforts, addressing drones ranging from 250 grams to over 1,000 pounds. Major General Sean Gainey, the director of JCO, stated that two divisions — the 82nd Airborne and 1st Cavalry — have already been equipped with counter-UAS capability, and the plan is to extend this to platoon level, providing handheld and electronic warfare capabilities. Soldiers from various Army specialties will be assigned to operate these systems.

In Opex360, Laurent Lagneau writes that, in light of the lessons learned from the war in Ukraine, the French Army has made strengthening, or even developing, its deep strike capability a priority. The Military Programming Law 2024-2030 is set to provide the means for this, with the announced replacement of its remaining nine MLRS (Lance-Roquettes Unitaires, LRU) with the goal of acquiring at least 13 systems by 2030, and another 13 by 2035.

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