October 2023 News Global Defence & Security Industry - Military

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At AUSA 2023, Association of United States Army Conference and Exhibition, Rheinmetall Defense's American division showcased a groundbreaking robotic counter-UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems C-UAS) solution. This innovation is built upon the Ripsaw M5 UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle), a product of the American firm Textron Systems, and is equipped with the Skyranger 30, touted as the globe's most sophisticated C-UAS turret.

In an unprecedented move, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) coordinated a large-scale repatriation to bring back hundreds of Israeli citizens from Europe. The operation comes as Israel faces a growing conflict with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The repatriation was carried out in collaboration with the Israeli Foreign Ministry and involved C-130 and C-130J heavy transport aircraft.

Allison Transmission will outfit the next generation of amphibious armored vehicles (VBA) for IDV's San Marco maritime brigade with Allison Specialty Series transmissions. The Land Armament Directorate with Iveco Defence Vehicles (IDV), a brand of Iveco N.V. (IGV) specializing in defense and civil protection vehicles, will supply the Italian Navy with 36 VBAs equipped with Allison transmissions.

Plasan is showcasing how its unique All Terrain electric Mission Module (ATeMM) enables Battlefield Circulation of Electricity (BCoE), allowing for survivability and lethality payloads as well as soldier-worn battery charging at the tactical edge, just to name a few operational scenarios. Plasan unveiled its cutting-edge ATeMM at Eurosatory 2020.

On October 10, General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) announced on its Twitter page the introduction of the TRX SHORAD at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Expo. This unmanned vehicle is an anti-drone solution based on GDLS’ TRX robotic platform. It is equipped with a weapons station with a 30mm automatic cannon and Stinger surface-to-air missile launchers. This article aims to provide a detailed overview of the TRX SHORAD, its capabilities, and its potential role in modern warfare.

Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract to develop and deliver up to four 300 kW-class laser weapon systems to the U.S. Army’s Indirect Fire Protection Capability-High Energy Laser (IFPC-HEL) prototype program. The IFPC-HEL system complements other layered defense components to protect soldiers from stressing threats, unmanned aerial systems, rocket, artillery and mortars, along with rotary and fixed-wing aircraft.

At the AUSA 2023 event, the Association of United States Army Conference & Exhibition that takes place in Washington D.C. from the 9 to 11 October 2023, General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) displayed the M10 Booker, a vehicle set to enhance the firepower and lethality of the Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT). Equipped with a 105mm gun, it's designed to target fortifications, gun placements, trenches, and also offers defense against enemy armored units.

Tuesday, October 10, marks the fourth day of the war between Israel and Hamas. The previous night, the IDF conducted an unprecedented attack in Gaza. IDF Spokesperson RAdm. Daniel Hagari stated that the IDF has shifted to a different counterattack method and is striking in waves. Tens of IAF aircraft have struck aerially every 4 hours over the past 36 hours.

The current attack exposes the limitations of the Iron Dome system, which has been in service for 12 years and boasts a success rate of 90%. The system was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of rockets fired in a short span, renewing debates about its cost-effectiveness. Each Iron Dome interceptor missile costs thousands of dollars, making it an expensive option for countering rockets that cost only a few hundred dollars.

On October 10, 2023, the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, signed a contract valued at approximately 3.5 billion Swedish kronor (equivalent to roughly €301 million) with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW). This contract signifies a substantial effort aimed at modernizing the Swedish tank fleet, specifically focusing on upgrading 44 Stridsvagn 122 (Strv 122) Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) acquired in the early 2000s, transforming them into a new tank known as Stridsvagen 123A. Jonas Lotsne, Head of FMV Army Materiel, has stated that the primary goal of this initiative is to extend the operational lifespan of these tanks.

On September 6, 2023, the U.S. Navy SEALs conducted a special operation called "Polar Dagger" at Eareckson Air Station on Shemya Island, Alaska. The operation aimed to demonstrate the operational reach of U.S. forces, defend critical infrastructure, enhance awareness across all operational domains, and deepen the understanding of activities in the Arctic region.

As reported by InfoDefensa on October 10, 2023, the Spanish Army has planned to augment its fleet of armored ambulances through a 6.8 million euro investment, inclusive of taxes. This investment aims to procure an unspecified quantity of Urovesa Vamtac ST5 vehicles configured as armored ambulances, with the delivery scheduled for completion by December 15th.

Finland is allocating an additional EUR 92 million to support Ukraine and countries affected by Russian aggression, the country's Foreign Ministry said on Monday, 9 October, Finland’s support to Ukraine, channelled through the World Bank Group, will be used to strengthen basic public services, repair critical infrastructure, promote policy reforms and lay the foundation for Ukraine’s reconstruction and recovery. Part of the support will be used to help the least-developed countries affected by the Russian invasion and by other global crises.

If hostilities between the Israeli army and the HAMAS military group intensify following military actions coming from Lebanon, through Hezbollah which is a Lebanese Shia Islamist political party and militant group supported by Iran, Israel could face significant missile threats. Hezbollah is armed with Fatheh-110 and Scud ballistic missiles donated by Iran.

Following a series of attacks carried out by Hamas militants, Israel has officially requested advanced missile interceptors, precision-guided munitions, and artillery shells from the U.S. Department of Defense, a U.S. government source confirmed on October 9, 2023. Israel has thus asked the U.S. for supplies to replenish its Iron Dome system in light of the conflict with Hamas.

In a recent announcement on October 9, 2023, Rheinmetall disclosed the successful test firing of 155-millimeter projectiles from a modified M109 Self-Propelled Howitzer equipped with a Rheinmetall L52 155mm, 52-caliber cannon. The test was a collaborative effort with BAE Systems and was conducted at Camp Ripley, Minnesota. This modification, known as the M109-52, serves as a significant upgrade to the existing 39-caliber cannon, offering enhanced range capabilities essential for large-scale combat operations.

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced its intention to proceed with the acquisition of new amphibious tracked All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) for the Dutch Marines, as part of the Future Littoral All-Terrain Mobility Band Vagn (FLATM BV) program. This decision comes after collaborative efforts with Sweden in a joint procurement initiative did not materialize, leading to delays in the FLATM BV program.

Several images circulating on the internet, notably on Rheinmetall's website, show that this German company is producing obsolete tank ammunition like the DM33. A legitimate question arises: why would such a high-level company suddenly start producing this type of ammunition? The answer is quite simple: Ukraine still finds it useful and is demanding a lot of it.

As reported by Warnerd on October 9, 2023, in response to the recent incursion by HAMAS fighters into Israeli territory on October 7, 2023, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) deployed a convoy of Merkava Mark IV tanks to the Gaza Strip. Among these battle tanks, one specific armored vehicle has attracted the attention of military observers - the heavy armored personnel carrier known as "Ofek" based on a Merkava Mark II tank. This vehicle plays a crucial role within the IDF, serving as an armored command and control vehicle, contributing significantly to the coordination and direction of military operations.

Rheinmetall is taking the mobile counter-UAS fight to the next level at this year’s Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting. Rheinmetall is showcasing the exceptionally lethal, precise and versatile Skyranger 30, the world’s most advanced c-UAS turret, with the combined speed, mobility, and unmanned capability of Textron Systems’ Ripsaw M5 robotic combat vehicle (RCV).

On October 9, 2023, the Spanish Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, accompanied by Secretary of State for Defense Amparo Valcarce and Chief of the Army Staff General Amador Enseñat, visited the Santa Bárbara Sistemas (GDELS-SBS) factory in Alcalá de Guadaíra, Seville, to oversee the VCR 8x8 Dragón program's advancements, which is a critical initiative aimed at modernizing the Spanish Army.

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