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Afghan Commandos Have A Cool Automatic Grenade Launcher

September 15, 2019

Via Afghanistan defense ministry.

A social media post from Afghanistan’s defense ministry on September 13, a Friday, revealed a very potent US-made weapon used by the Afghan army’s commandos. According to the ministry Takhar province near the border with Tajikistan was again under government control. An accompanying undated image showed an Afghan commando seated behind a US-made MK47 Striker automatic grenade launcher.

The MK47 was developed by General Dynamics in the previous decade as a lightweight precision grenade launcher. From 2010 onward it saw increasing use by US special forces and, judging by the photo above, it has now reached their brethren in Afghanistan.

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The Indian DRDO Has A Top Attack Missile In The Works

September 13, 2019


Yesterday marked the completion of the latest firing tests for the Defense Research and Development Organization’s (DRDO) man portable anti-tank guided missile. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh delivered his congratulations on social media and revealed the MPATGM struck an inert target resembling a tank. The MPATGM is scheduled for testing throughout the year before its next development phase is announced. Its success is crucial for the Indian Army since the branch suffers from a shortage of anti-armor weapons.

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Is Indonesia Destined To Become A World Power?

September 10, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

Just months after securing his second term in office, President Joko Widodo set forth a bold plan that might reshape the country’s future. On August 26 the Indonesian leader declared a new capital will be established in East Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, to save Jakarta from an awful fate: being swallowed by the sea, among other woes.

For decades Indonesia’s present capital has been plagued by floods as urban sprawl pushed down on the soft clay underneath it. With precious groundwater drained by human consumption, entire swathes of the metropolis are below sea level, threatening millions.

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The Very First DSEI Japan Is Only Months Away!

September 4, 2019

Clarion Defence & Security, being one half of the organizing team behind DSEI Japan 2019, informed its newsletter subscribers on September 3 that it will have an event specific stand at DSEI London’s venue from September 10 until 13. This year’s DSEI maintains its position as the world’s largest military and security exhibition. Its follow up DSEI Japan 2019 is the brand’s first foray in an Asian country and Japan’s first honest-to-goodness arms show taking place at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture from November 18 until 20.

Anyone visiting DSEI London is invited to a DSEI Japan 2019 briefing session provided by Clarion Events staff on September 11, from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. RSVPs can be done here.

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Did China Help North Korea With Its Guided Rockets?

September 3, 2019

Via North Korean media.

The sudden tempo of publicized weapon tests by North Korea this year may not have earned it fresh sanctions but they underscore two inconvenient truths. First, the Korean peninsula remains trapped in an arms race that’s beginning to look unrestricted. Second, Kim Jong Un is obsessed with strengthening his army, an institution impervious to external pressure and veiled threats. Both conditions were in full display on August 24 when the rogue state’s news agencies proclaimed the successful test of another rocket launcher.

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Armored Cars: BMC Amazon

September 1, 2019

Via BMC.

Another potential success story in Turkey’s burgeoning protected vehicles sector is the BMC Amazon, a scaled down MRAP (gross weight is just 14 tons) tailored for high risk missions. The Amazon may not inspire enthusiasm for its generic appearance–indeed it can be mistaken for a competitor–but it does its myriad jobs well enough to deserve some acclaim. All the usual characteristics of similar armored trucks are present in the Amazon such as a monocoque hull and independent 4×4 suspension. But the manufacturer demurs to reveal its protection level, being content with assuring end users it complies with NATO STANAG rankings.

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Cyber Attack Manila 2019 Featured A Lot Of Big Names

August 31, 2019

The two-day conference at the Makati Shangri-La–a top venue for corporate events–drew a huge crowd of visitors and featured serious players in the cybersecurity sector. Cyber Attack Manila 2019 is the latest addition to a regional series organized by the Teh Group whose content is geared toward security professionals in government and the private sector. With events for the infosec niche gaining momentum in the Philippines, CAM 2019 combined a luxury location with a P2P meeting space all wrapped up in a packed schedule. Among the sponsors were local telco ePLDT along with heavyweight exhibitors such as CrowdStrike, DarkTrace, KPMG, and several others.

21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) is a media partner for CAM 2019.

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North Korea Has Got Trump Fooled

August 29, 2019

Via North Korean media.

Within the span of four short months Kim Jong Un has overseen a significant expansion of his country’s missile arsenal. On several occasions the North Korean leader attended public tests for new road mobile weapons whose characteristics mark a departure from previous models. On May 2, for example, many were surprised by reports of launches for a “tactical weapon.”

Before the end of July, North Korean media revealed what looked like a Russian Iskander missile being fired in a coastal area followed by another missile type from a tracked carrier vehicle. (See photo above.) This August had two more tests for large diameter rockets delivered by 8×8 trucks. Read more…

Taiwan Displayed Its Lethal Drone Swarm At TADTE 2019

August 24, 2019

Via TADTE 2019.

A welcome surprise at the Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition 2019 (TADTE 2019), which shared its floor space with Drone Taiwan 2019, was a single 10×10 semi-trailer carrying the launchers for small autonomous UAVs. Taiwanese media described them as “anti-radiation drones” and their intended purpose was far from secret. News agency Radio Taiwan International even ran a 3D animated clip depicting an aircraft carrier and its escorts being struck by the drones. Elsewhere online, comparisons were immediately made with the IAI Harop or Harpy, the notorious “kamikaze drone” that has earned itself a fearsome reputation.

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Iran Weaponized Its Favorite Military Pickup Truck

August 24, 2019

Via Iranian Media.

With the US and its Middle East nemesis avoiding direct confrontation for now, Iranian media have stepped up coverage of local military “achievements.” For critics of the Islamic Republic it’s easy to dismiss these as shallow propaganda churned out by a rogue state. However, paying closer scrutiny to the portrayal of Iranian-made equipment and weapons does provide valuable insight on how its armed forces are modernizing. In mid-August, for example, a 6×6 MRAP was unveiled called the “Raad” along with the Aras 2 pictured above.

The latter is the newest variant of the Aras pickup truck used by the Artesth and the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC).

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The Maritime Empire That Vanished Without A Trace

August 23, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that European, rather than Asian, scholars rediscovered a long forgotten empire that once flourished in Sumatra for hundreds of years. Its very existence proved present day Indonesia had a deeper and more colorful past than assumed. Sumatra itself is recognized as the core of a unique civilization that harmonized Hindu and Buddhist culture before Islam began spreading across the island and into the nearby Malay Peninsula in the 15th century. Often framed as a “polity” occupied by Austronesians*, the Srivijaya Empire was established along the banks of the broad Musi River where it received ships traveling through the narrow Malacca Strait.

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Highlights Of OEWatch For August 2019

August 20, 2019

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 latest issue runs 67 pages filled with snippets and commentary from the stable of analysts under the editorial triumvirate of Tom Wilhelm, Karen Kaya, and Thomas Tolare.

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