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Highlights Of OEWatch For August 2016

August 28, 2016

France Stormningen af Halle

Each month the US Army’s think tank the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) publishes its open source OEWatch magazine. It’s a superb brief featuring excerpts of news about ongoing wars and crises. These snippets gathered from various media outlets are accompanied by informed commentary that’s strong on context and analysis.

The FMSO releases OEWatch, together with its vast library of research papers on geopolitical issues, as free downloads.

The August 2016 issue of OEWatch runs 67 pages. The headline is Philippine Military Plans Shock And Awe In The Sulu Sea with a photo of Filipino marines in action during exercises with their American counterparts.

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Armored Cars: Franz Achleitner PMV Survivor II

August 27, 2016

Austrian Achleitner PMV Survivor II 01

The world of vehicle manufacturing has long been flat. Little wonder how small companies in the unlikeliest places are finding ways to R&D exciting products for the military market. The PMV Survivor II made in Austria is a superb example of this phenomenon. It uses a commercial truck chassis (Mercedes Benz G-class) to support a monocoque hull with superb protection levels for its passengers.

As part of Franz Achleitner GMBH‘s military vehicles line, the PMV Survivor II is the most capable among its siblings, i.e. the beefed up Toyota Land Cruiser called the MMV Survivor and the 12.5 ton armored truck the HMV Survivor I. There are several other models in Achleitner’s roster like the commando specific Speedfighter and different 4×4 logistics vehicles.

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Forever Plus Corp. Outs A New Night Vision Scope

August 27, 2016

Taiwan Forever Plus NVGs 01For those inclined to see the world in shades of gray Taiwan’s Forever Plus Corp. is offering its latest night vision scope. The FPC-NVP300’s looks and performance specs places it at the mid-range in the exacting marketplace for optics, whose merchandise often worth thousands of dollars.

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Saudi Arabia Just Bought A Lot Of Tanks

August 21, 2016

US M1A2S Abrams Saudi Arabia 01

On August 9 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced the proposed sale of 153 “tank structures” to Saudi Arabia worth an estimated $1.15 billion. Should it be completed it represents the largest transfer of American-made armor to the Middle East since 2014, when the DSCA delivered almost $4 billion of vehicles–including 174 M1A1 Abrams battle tanks–for the beleaguered Iraqi army.

This latest transaction with the Saudis is smaller, with just 133 M1A2S MBTs and 20 M88A2 Hercules armored recovery vehicles covered by the reported amount. The DSCA added a grocery list of parts and munitions to go with the tanks manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems.

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Israel Teases Its New Wheeled APC

August 10, 2016

Israel Eitan 8x8 APC 02

Last week the Israeli Ministry of Defense released a short videoclip showing off its latest war machine. Since then the Eitan, an eight by eight APC, has done the rounds in outlets dedicated to “military affairs.” But the most detailed assessment so far of what it can do is from the Israel-based Defense Update, which revealed the Eitan to be a vehicle tailored for the IDF’s needs.

If the Eitan enters production next year it would begin replacing the estimated 3,000 M113 APCs, along with hundreds of tanks modified as troop carriers, deployed by the IDF. The ongoing fixation on wheeled APCs for armies today stems from several advantages: they’re suited for paved roads and dirt tracks, they could be amphibious, they’re spacious, and they can support a lot of weapons.

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Revealed: The Secrets Of The Biggest Arms Show In Israel

August 2, 2016

Israeli ISDEF photo

To be perfectly honest none of this information compromises actual secrets with jaw-dropping gravitas. Next year’s ISDEF is a trade show, the largest of its kind in Israel, meaning it has more to do with swapping business cards and late night cocktails than hair-raising covert ops.

In a region saturated with arms shows, however, ISDEF does stand out for its intense focus on homeland security and counter-terrorism. In just three days hundreds of companies flaunt their wares  with shock and awe marketing, both subtle and unsubtle, to find new customers. What follows is a rundown of what took place during the last ISDEF at the Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center in Tel Aviv. Hopefully this helps anyone planning to attend or even register their company.

The facts presented are borrowed from the excellent literature found in the 2015 Post Show Review available here.

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