October 2023 News Global Defence & Security Industry - Military

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As reported by Sophie Pearse of the Australian MoD, Lockheed Martin Australia has been announced as the strategic partner for Defence’s multi-million-dollar Joint Air Battle Management System (JABMS), which will deliver the core command-and-control architecture for the Australian Defence Force’s growing Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) capability. The announcement marks the start of a new phase for Australia’s IAMD capability.

On October 12, 2023, the British Army's Armored Test and Development Unit (ATDU) conducted tests of the new Challenger 3 transmission on the Challenger 2 Megatron Main Battle Tank. These trials were revealed on the official ATDU Twitter account, signifying a major advancement in the development of next-generation engine capabilities for the British Army.

On October 12, 2023, in Brussels, several European countries decided to sign a memorandum concerning the European SkyShield system. In the context of increasing geopolitical tensions, notably due to the war in Ukraine and recent strikes on Israel, the European SkyShield Initiative (ESSI) is gaining momentum. Led by Germany, this initiative aims to create an integrated air defense system for Europe, including ballistic missile defense capabilities.

On October 10, 2023, the Spanish government took a significant step toward modernizing its military by deciding to procure a locally-produced version of the PULS artillery systems for its High Mobility Rocket System (SILAM) program. This decision follows the Spanish Council of Ministers' approval of a €714 million contract and is in line with Spain's wider defense objectives and commitments to NATO.

The Marines and Sailors of the U.S. 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (SOC) are participating in a Marine Air-Ground Task Force training exercise as part of the Kuwait Bi-Lateral Exercise 3.0, enhancing operational readiness and partnerships while deployed to the Middle East region, Oct. 8-22, 2023. Capt. Angelica WhitePEO Land Systems, reports.

The governments of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark have launched the Nordic Ammunition Initiative to provide artillery shells to Ukraine. According to a statement from Norway's Ministry of Defence on October 11, 2023, the three nations will collectively contribute approximately 600 million NOK (about 52 million euros) to this initiative. Ukraine is expected to receive the ammunition in 2023.

On October 11, the Finnish President gave the green light to the government's plan to send a 19th batch of military aid to Ukraine, valued at approximately €95 million. For security and operational reasons, Finland typically refrains from disclosing the specifics and delivery timeline of its military aid packages, to ensure they reach their intended destination securely.

On October 11, 2023, Rolls-Royce delivered the first batch of its MTU 8V 199 PowerPacks to General Dynamics for US Army's M10 Booker armored fighting vehicle program, marking a significant step for Rolls-Royce's Power Systems business. It's the first time an MTU serial production engine has been used in a US Army land defense program in over four decades. During the low-rate initial production phase (LRIP), Rolls-Royce is set to provide up to 96 PowerPacks, with the potential for additional units as the program moves into serial production.

The United States Department of Defense announced on October 11, 2023, one more security aid package for Ukraine. This marks the 48th tranche of equipment to be supplied to Ukraine from the DoD's inventories since August 2021. The package aims to enhance Ukraine's air defense systems, anti-tank weapons, and other essential equipment to counter Russia's ongoing military aggression. This was further detailed in an article on Army Recognition dated October 12, 2023.

On October 11, 2023, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced the approval of several contracts to modernize the Polish Armed Forces. The contracts were announced in Nowa Dęba and include the acquisition of MS-20 Daglezja-S armored vehicle-launched bridges, Zawilec command vehicles, motor vehicles for Marine Missile Units, and an annex for the supply of 120 mm ammunition for RAK self-propelled wheeled gun-mortars. At this stage, neither the financial amounts nor the number of vehicles have been disclosed.

Jerusalem, Israel, October 11, 2023 - The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) are ramping up preparations for a possible ground offensive against Gaza, signaling a significant escalation in the ongoing conflict. The IDF has mobilized a staggering 360,000 reservists, organizing them into at least 35 battalions spread across four divisions.

On October 11, 2023, the United States announced its intention to enhance the capabilities of the Ukrainian Air Force to better defend against Russian hostilities, according to Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. The initiative was revealed following the 16th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Brussels and is part of a broader effort involving multiple coalitions to strengthen Ukraine's military power.

On August 14, 2023, the Norwegian company Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace secured a major contract with the International Fund for Ukraine for the delivery of advanced Unmanned Aerial Countermeasures Systems (C-UAS) to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The systems, valued at 65 million euros, are designed to counter a wide range of drone threats and will be a crucial addition to Ukraine's defense capabilities. It seems that the first system will be delivered to Ukraine soon.


The Lithuanian military has finalized a deal to purchase MP7 submachine guns from the German manufacturer Heckler & Koch. The procurement division of the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense announced the contract award on the European procurement platform TED, dated October 2, 2023. The deal, valued at 1.56 million euros, involves the delivery of an undisclosed number of firearms. Heckler & Koch was the sole bidder in the tender process, and the contract is set to last for 72 months.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) tankers, as part of Operation UNIFIER, are actively engaged in instructing soldiers from the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the proper utilization and operation of the Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tank in combat scenarios. Operation UNIFIER is a CAF initiative designed to bolster the capabilities of the Ukrainian Security Forces.

On October 11, 2023, the United Kingdom, in collaboration with various European nations, announced a defense aid package for Ukraine, valued at over $122 million. The initiative aims to enhance Ukraine's military capabilities in areas such as mine clearance, vehicle maintenance, and defense fortification.

In a bid to improve the security of border regions, mixed Jewish-Arab towns, and West Bank settlements, Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir announced the purchase of 10,000 assault rifles for the civil security teams. The announcement was made on October 10, 2023, following reports that some civilian security teams were left unarmed during a recent attack by Hamas militants in southern Israel.

In an unexpected offensive carried out on October 7, 2023, the Palestinian militant organization Hamas took control of a significant number of Israeli military assets, including Merkava main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers. Several images confirming these captures were disseminated on social media directly by Hamas.

On October 10, 2023, the Chief of Staff of the Norwegian Army, Lars Lervik, revealed during an interview with Breaking Defense at the AUSA 2023 event that Norway has chosen to forgo the acquisition of 18 German-made Leopard 2A8 main battle tanks. Instead, the country has opted to bolster its air defense and long-range fire capabilities.

According to the German Ministry of Defense on October 10, 2023, additional military equipment and defensive systems will be provided to Ukraine in the coming weeks. This support comes in the form of 10 Leopard 1A5 main battle tanks (MBTs), 15 undisclosed protected transport vehicles, and nearly 20 unspecified protected medical vehicles. The nation is also set to deliver a range of air defense systems to safeguard vital Ukrainian infrastructure, including the provision of three Gepard anti-aircraft systems, along with new Patriot, IRIS-T SLM, and SLS air defense systems. All of these deliveries form part of a broader second winter assistance package worth an estimated €1 billion.

The conflict between Israel and Palestinian extremist groups has intensified, with significant losses on both sides. This complex conflict also involves other regional actors, notably Hezbollah in Lebanon. Anti-tank missiles were reportedly fired from southern Lebanon targeting Israeli armored vehicles. In response, an observation post located in Lebanon was hit using an attack helicopter.

Plasan North America (PNA) on July 17 announced its selection as a subcontractor for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle A2 (JLTV) program by AM General. The company will supply the armored hulls to AM General for the second phase of JLTV in the USA, as well as the overall protection and survivability solutions for Hanwha’s Redback AS21 IFV for the Australian Army LAND 400 Phase 3 Program. The JLTV platform is another example of a vehicle that takes advantage of Plasan’s “kitted hull” armor technology.

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