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Despite Duterte, Foreign Navies Are Courting The Philippines

April 22, 2018

USS Theodore Roosevelt. Via Wikimedia Commons.

As Beijing strengthens its grip on the South China Sea, its newest friend in the ASEAN is actually playing host to the world’s most powerful navies. This month had several visits by warships from three members of the “Quad Alliance”–a coalition led by the US involving Australia, India, and Japan–that seeks to contain China’s emergence as the Asia-Pacific’s strongest state.

The Duterte administration’s fondness for China is hardly a secret but there’s little evidence the Philippines has moved away from the US’ sphere of influence. Shortly after Duterte’s arrival in China for the Boao Forum, where he solicited investment pledges from Chinese businesses, another US Navy aircraft carrier was in Manila Bay.

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Markets And Markets: Military Robots To Have Critical Roles In Future Armies

April 18, 2018

Via Russian Media.

PUNE, INDIA (MnM) – Today, the nature of warfare has changed drastically and technology plays a key role in shaping it. The threats faced by militaries are uncertain, with populated places often being the battlefields, and enemies are innovative, networked, and intelligent. This overpowers the superiority an army may have in terms of conventional warfare capabilities. Technological advancements, however, give countries the capability to counter new enemies. One important advancement is the field of military robots.

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Highlights Of OEWatch For April 2018

April 16, 2018

Each month the US Army’s think tank the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) publishes its open source OEWatch magazine as a free download on the APAN Community Network. The April 2018 issue of OEWatch runs 70 pages long and features a stock image of Vladimir Putin, with his defense minister almost obscured behind him, gazing through a pair of field glasses. Hovering above the Russian leader in bold caps is the title Russia’s Ambitions.

The magazine is divided between seven sections and editorial duties are shared between Tom Wilhelm, Matthew Stein, and Lucas Winter, with further input from a familiar pool of contributors.

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Armored Cars: MODIAR Tufan

April 12, 2018


Another former Soviet republic that’s making serious progress with its local arms industry is Azerbaijan. The oil-rich Caspian state locked in a bitter territorial dispute with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave has spent years carefully expanding its military-industrial complex. The results so far have been modest–small arms and ordnance are produced in state-owned factories–but a recent breakthrough shows Azerbaijan’s confidence in its engineering prowess.

In early 2017 the Ministry of Defense Industry of Azerbaijan (MODIAR) unveiled the first armored vehicle designed and manufactured in the country, the Tufan. Weighing 12 tons unloaded, with a maximum cargo capacity of three tons, the Tufan is built according to the most common specifications for mine-resistant trucks.

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Hacked Again – Scott Schober Explains The Miseries Of Cyber Attacks

April 11, 2018


There is no shortage of cybersecurity titles in the book world. But a somewhat unappreciated volume among the multitude is Scott Schober’s Hacked Again. Beyond the hysterical cover art, where a disgruntled man is letting out a primal scream to convey the trauma of getting hacked, are pages and pages filled with practical ideas for shielding a small business from cyber criminals.

Schober’s choice for his self-published book’s title isn’t just for brevity either. As the CEO of a hardware manufacturer specializing in wireless devices, Schober’s company has suffered multiple breaches that harmed its bottom line. He’s been hacked again so many times himself, he feels an affinity for perps and victims alike. This is what makes Hacked Again so compelling–it offers an unfiltered view of the small-scale threats that can wreak enormous damage on private lives and businesses.

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The Nuclear Missiles Of Pakistan Are Getting Deadlier

April 11, 2018

The Shaheen III IRBM. Via Inter Services Public Relations.

There’s a discernible trend of ballistic missile proliferation across Asia right now. One of the countries expanding its nuclear-capable arsenal is Pakistan, whose domestic missile program has run unchecked for decades. On March 23 the armed forces held a military parade in Islamabad to mark the 78th anniversary of the Lahore Resolution, an event that paved the way for the country’s total independence in 1946.

The highlight of the occasion were the ballistic missiles on their transporter erector launchers (TELs) driving past the country’s leadership.

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The New Air Defenses Of Pakistan Are Made In China

April 11, 2018

The PLA’s HQ-16 during live fire exercises last year. Via China Military Online.

Pakistan has finally addressed the yawning gap in its air defenses with the new medium-range SAMs it bought from China. Last month the armed forces undertook a lavish parade on March 23 outside Islamabad to commemorate Pakistan’s inception while at the same time show off its arsenal. More than ever before, Pakistan is turning away from its tenuous reliance on the US and importing more advanced weapons from other Asian countries.

But the low to medium range air defense system (LOMADS) known as the LY-80, which is designated the HQ-16 by the PLA, spells a lot of trouble for Pakistan’s archnemesis–India!

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Pakistan Also Paraded Its New Rocket Artillery Last Month

April 10, 2018

Via China Military Online.

Not enough attention is paid to the changes in Pakistan’s conventional arsenal. As a major recipient of direct military aid from the US a half century ago, the only Muslim state with nuclear missiles is now turning away from its “legacy” weapons and adopting new hardware from abroad.

Since 2015 the armed forces of Pakistan have used one occasion, the March 23 anniversary for the Lahore Convention in 1940, to regale the public with an elaborate military parade and advertise the institution’s firepower. During this year, however, the army showed off its lethal 300mm multiple rocket launchers supplied by Islamabad’s most generous patron, China.

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Pakistan Showed Off Its New Attack Helicopters Last Month

April 9, 2018

Via Wikimedia Commons.

During a military parade in Islamabad on March 23, an occasion for commemorating the Lahore Resolution of 1940, three T129 gunships flew by the pavilions crowded with guests. Pakistan’s sprawling armed forces maintain a diverse rotor fleet but the presence of T129’s at a public event are the latest proof that its alliance with Turkey is paying off.

The T129 is a variant of the A-129 Mangusta, a European attack helicopter whose production license was shared with Turkey, and is analogous to the AH-64A Apache from the 1990s. The improved twin engine T129 is already deployed with the Turkish army and performed close air support in Afrin, Syria, this year.

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Armored Cars: Otokar Kale

April 5, 2018

Via Otokar.

Turkey’s emergence as a serious player in the global arms market still hasn’t been sufficiently recognized. A recent underdog in the mine-resistant trucks sector came from no less than Otokar, the local automotive giant whose fabled catalog almost doesn’t need an introduction. In 2014 the firm unveiled a new MRAP that wouldn’t be out of place anywhere in the Middle East.

The Kale (pronounced kah-leh) is hardly a departure from contemporaneous MRAP designs and its familiar appearance gives away its origin. The Kale shares the same cab and chassis as the Kaya, a Unimog truck Otokar converted into a troop carrier during the late 2000s.

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The Biggest Arms Show In Malaysia Turns 30 This Year

April 5, 2018

Via DSA Exhibition and Conference.

The latest installment of Defense Services Asia (DSA) will be held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Center (MITEC) in Kuala Lumpur from April 16 until 19. This year’s DSA marks the 30th anniversary of the show and the first time it’s being jointly held with NATSEC Asia, which is dedicated to homeland security. Both were organized as a collaboration between DSA, the Malaysian defense ministry, the Malaysia Defense Industry Council (MDIC), and the Malaysian armed forces.

On the weekend before DSA 2018 opens exhibitors are invited to attend the coordinator’s briefing and given ample time for preparing their stands. A press tour for local media is held at MITEC the following day while an evening reception attended by the Malaysian deputy prime minister and the defense minister is scheduled at the Shangri-La Hotel. 21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) is a media partner for DSA 2018.

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The Armenian Arms Industry Is Flourishing

April 4, 2018

President Sargsyan is shown lightweight UAVs developed by ProMAQ. Via Armenian Ministry of Defense.

One landlocked state in the Caucasus is rapidly developing its armaments sector. Last week marked the beginning of the second ArmHiTec, a rare exhibition to showcase the latest military hardware available in Armenia, whose longstanding confrontation with its neighbor Azerbaijan has turned it into a virtual fortress.

This year’s ArmHiTec held in the YerevanExpo building from March 29 until 31 may not have been on the same scale as similar events from Europe and the Middle East, but it did reveal the priorities of Armenia’s national security crowd–drones, missiles, and optics. 21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) is a media partner for ArmHiTec 2018.

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