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Turkey And Pakistan Have Multiple Arms Deals In the Works

May 23, 2017

A growing military-technological alliance between Islamabad and Ankara reached a new benchmark this month. In what amounts to a marketing coup, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is now finalizing a deal with Pakistan for a batch of its T129 ATAK gunships.

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Inside The Chinese Arms Package To The Philippines

May 19, 2017

One of Asia’s largest defense contractors might be finalizing a hefty arms deal with the Philippines. Though details remains scarce it was reported that during the One Belt One Road summit in Beijing members of Poly Technologies, a military-industrial conglomerate, discussed the matter with President Duterte, who’s made it a personal mission to establish a lasting alliance with Beijing.

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Armored Cars: Nurol Makina NMS

May 17, 2017

Having decades of manufacturing expertise under its belt, Nurol Makina used the recent IDEF 2017 to debut its latest attempt at cornering the tactical vehicles market. It’s a surprise move that reinforces Turkey’s reputation as a clearing house for armored vehicles of whatever variety.

The brand new NMS was unveiled with much fanfare to the press in a commodious exhibit crowded with other armored trucks. But the NMS is different–because it’s meant to fulfill the role once occupied by Humvees and Land Rovers.

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The Drone Index: Harbin BZK-005

May 16, 2017

It’s isn’t hyperbole to acknowledge China’s stature as Asia’s reigning drone power. For perspective, consider how its neighbors, including India, Japan, and Russia, are hard-pressed at deploying UAVs on the same scale and level of sophistication.

The mysterious BZK-005 is a perfect example of Beijing’s commitment to governing its airspace. It’s one of the largest unmanned reconnaissance aircraft flown outside the US even if its true capabilities are still guesstimates at best. The BZK-005 is recognizable for its large air frame and swept wings. A prominent nose blister houses its navigational software and avionics. Underneath is a familiar optronic “eyeball” gimbal. The unspecified propeller engine is located between the tail sections.

The BZK-005 follows a conventional twin-boom layout and is identified as a MALE UAV whose characteristics are–for lack of a better word–extraordinary. It’s worth contemplating whether its origins can be traced to cutting-edge research or, like another Chinese drone, the shadowy influence of an understated technology partner.

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Turkey Is Ready To Export Chinese Ballistic Missiles

May 12, 2017

Roketsan put on a lavish display at IDEF 2017. Its usual assembly of dumb and smart ordnance did have a rare inclusion, however: the Khan, or Bora Kaan, tactical ballistic missile.

The Khan/Kaan is the most advanced battlefield asset developed by a Turkish manufacturer so far. But it’s also a bit of a question mark. It’s deployed by an 8×8 transporter mounting two cells containing one 610mm missile each. Earlier in 2017 Roketsan brought the Khan to Abu Dhabi for the IDEX arms show. Its growing exposure suggests a dedicated effort at finding a buyer insecure enough to acquire a critical product that Roketsan doesn’t even advertise on its own website.

But how did Turkey end up with a ballistic missile of its own?

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The Moscow V-Day Parade Skipped The Flyover

May 11, 2017

You can ignore the short read and watch it [again] upstairs.

Keeping tab on annual military parades is the most convenient way to learn about a country’s armed forces. Besides, as a showcase of old school nationalism and a not-so-subtle boost for a leader’s ego, they compel their organizers and participants to rock out with their cocks out.

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The Biggest Arms Show In Turkey Starts This Week

May 9, 2017

Every two years the cream of Turkey’s military-industrial complex, along with multitudinous foreign companies, congregate in Tüyap Fair Convention and Congress Center for IDEF. It’s the largest multi-service (land, air, sea, and space) arms show of its kind in the region and a showcase for a country’s rising manufacturing sector.

IDEF’s origins date to 1993 as a project of the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation (TAFF) and the Ministry of National Defense for attracting suppliers and joint ventures. Almost 25 years later Turkey is a bright light in the global defense industry and its homegrown champions are poised for high profile exports to new markets.

21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) is a media partner for IDEF 2017, which runs from May 9 until 12.

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Highlights Of OEWatch For May 2017

May 8, 2017

Each month the US Army’s think tank the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) publishes its open source OEWatch magazine as a free download.

The May 2017 issue of OEWatch is the shortest in recent memory and runs just 46 pages. The cover story is New Generation Media & Militias: Russia’s Search & Rescue In Syria, which is the title of the Special Essay on page 44.

The latest OEWatch is divided into six parts with an accompanying Special Essay. Editorial duties are shared between Tom Wilhelm, Karen Kaya, Keith French, and Lucas Winter with a familiar pool of contributing analysts.

May’s OEWatch begins with the Middle East, North Africa section serving up its usual entries on conflict and insecurity across the Arab world. There’s a lengthy discussion of Russia’s influence over Syria, Egypt, and Libya and whether this trio represents Moscow’s new regional footprint. The same subject resurfaces on page 10 about Russia’s growing attractiveness for North African states.

Iran occupies the bulk of the MENA entries. Two are focused on its technological breakthroughs like ballistic missile precision guidance (page 7) and a nanotechnology joint venture with China (page 8).

The Africa section is just as robust with a catalog of ills blighting the continent. The Latin America section is equally predictable as it combs through crime and political issues. There is, however, an entry about Brazil’s armored vehicle production and its upcoming wheeled 6×6 APC on page 25.

The Asia-Pacific section is rich on China-centric material. Pages 30 to 31 have serious treats for Beijing watchers, offering detailed entries about the PLA’s informatization doctrine and a review of India’s own literature about a looming war with China.

The Central Asia, Caucasus section is starved of valuable content, with just two pages whose writing ties the region back to Russia. Of course, OEWatch’s Russia section is filled to the brim but this time its coverage spans “Russia, Ukraine, Europe”–its new heading.

The section launches with a short essay about Russia’s “perspective” on modern conflict. The author’s conclusion on page 35 is quite grim: Russia sees itself as a nemesis of the West in a “world war” scenario. The existence of a counter-terrorism training facility in Chechnya merits some attention on page 36. A brief entry on page 39 sheds a little light on the shady practice of Russian draft dodging. According to the author, it’s now feasible to buy a certificate online proving completion of military service.

The Special Essay in this issue is a short affair written by Lucas Winter. It discusses how the downing of a Russian bomber over Syria in late 2015 and its consequences on the ground was portrayed in local pro-regime media.OEWatch often runs several dozen stories in a single issue. Readers should download copies to find what’s most relevant to their curiosity.


Armored Cars: Ashok Leyland Colt LTV

May 7, 2017

The original PVP in French use. It’s marketed by Renault as the Dagger but is better known as the Panhard PVP.

The Colt was a short-lived attempt by a giant of India’s automobile industry to corner the tactical vehicle market. Unveiled at an arms show in 2012, the Colt LTV was a licensed version of a proven French model from none other than Panhard, which is now a brand under the Renault umbrella.

Despite the premium appeal of French technology in South Asia, the Colt didn’t make as large an impact as intended. Ashok Leyland’s efforts at cornering lucrative tenders never led to the sought after contracts from the military. This is remarkable since the Indian Army are very fond users of jeeps–and the Colt is a jeep in new clothing.

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The Drone Index: KAI RQ-101 Night Intruder

May 6, 2017

As a world leader in electronics it isn’t surprising to learn how South Korea nurtures outsized ambitions for its domestic UAVs. But just like the rest of its manufacturing and industrial base it took decades until drones became claimed an indispensable role in the country’s security landscape.

The RQ-101 is the largest UAV from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and a stepping stone for future development of long-range and attack drones. The RQ-101 is a twin-boom model recognizable for the propeller guard that straddles either wing, looming above its airframe. The RQ-101’s conventional appearance reflects its role as an airborne intelligence system for surveilling territory and terrain.

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Saudi Arabia Plans To Launch Its Own Arms Industry

May 3, 2017

King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud’s reign began in 2015. A lifelong conservative and stalwart of his kingdom’s Islamist values, Salman is credited as a superb administrator who transformed Riyadh into a metropolis. But he’s rumored to be suffering from cognitive impairment as a consequence of old age. The king’s son Prince Muhammad is regarded a surrogate and heir apparent.

Saudi Arabia is carrying out a subtle program to build a domestic arms industry. During King Salman’s visit to China in March the resulting multibillion dollar deals included the transfer of armed UAV production. This will allow Saudi Arabia to operate its own fleet of attack drones and enhance its fledgling aerospace sector.

Yet recent statements by Saudi officials, even without further substantiation, indicate a serious effort to establish a military-industrial complex within the kingdom. After all, even with anemic global oil prices and a tightening state budget, the Saudis aren’t short of funds.

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The Philippines Has Given Up On The South China Sea

May 2, 2017

Via Chinese MND.

Manila and Beijing are carrying out an elaborate transaction to secure the latter’s claim over the entire South China Sea. Since assuming office President Duterte has repeatedly made comments excusing China’s actions over the body of water as he seeks better commercial ties with the Philippines’ largest trade partner.

The recent ASEAN Summit from April 28 to 29 was the latest venue where this pattern played out. An important communique drafted by Manila didn’t mention island building activities or the July 2016 ruling by the Hague that invalidated China’s historical claims over the contested waters.

Even before meeting ASEAN heads of state Duterte told local journalists it was pointless to criticize China about the maritime dispute with its neighbors. “Who can pressure China? [The] US?” the President said.

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