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Armored Cars: Osprea Mamba Mk7-X

March 8, 2021
Via Osprea.

The latest iteration of the battle tested Mamba Mk7, now rebranded as the Mamba Mk7-X, packs a 408 horsepower Deutz diesel engine and numerous improvements. This was possible with the addition of so many parts sourced from the United States. The larger engines, which leaves a towering bonnet above an equally massive grille, allows for so many performance tweaks. Its maximum road speed now reaches 120 kilometers per hour and gross vehicle weight reaches 16.8 tons. Ballistic protection reaches an impressive STANAG 3 or strong enough to resist machine guns. Boarding the vehicle is limited to a pair of swing doors for the cab and a single door at the back for the passengers.

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Indonesian Small Arms Are Primed For Export

March 7, 2021
Via PT Pindad.

Indonesia’s special forces branch known as KOPASSUS trained with the SS2-V5 A1 carbine in late January as part of their kit modernization. The new small arm is an upgraded SS2 with new furniture and a combination of a side folding and retractable stock. Front and back flip sights are mounted on a length of rail above the receiver and extends the full length of the barrel assembly. The original SS2-V5, itself a shortened version of the TNI’s standard assault rifle the SS2, had a side folding metal stock and a carrying handle doubling as a sight like on the AR-15.

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Kazakhstan Is Switching To Turkish Armor

March 1, 2021
Via Kazakhstan MOD.

A video clip of a driving test for a new wheeled APC was released last week via the defense ministry’s official news portal. Shown in the clip was a single 8×8 vehicle navigating rugged terrain and firing on mock targets. It turns out this was a Turkish-made Otokar ARMA supplied to the Kazakhstan military in its latest effort to modernize its ground forces who are still reliant on Russian-made vehicles.

The Otokar ARMA is one of two competing modular wheeled APC models in Turkey. Its closest rival is the equally impressive FNSS PARS, which is renowned for its flawless suspension system and interior layout, whose operators include Malaysia, Oman, and the UAE.

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Iran Has A Lot Of New Combat Drones

February 4, 2021
Via Iranian media.

A stalemate now hangs over the Middle East pitting a defiant Islamic Republic against a loose coalition involving the US, Gulf monarchies, and Israel. With diplomacy rendered useless these past several years Iran’s military industries have accelerated their output of new weapon systems for all domains. The results so far are inarguable. A much publicized showcase of unmanned aircraft in January served as a stark reminder how formidable the Artesh and Revolutionary Guards’ (IRGC) drone arsenal is.

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South Korean Armor Can Change Ground Warfare

February 2, 2021
Via Hanwha Defense.

A new infantry fighting vehicle developed by Hanwha Defense is competing against a German rival for one of the biggest land system contracts in the Asia-Pacific. Under the Land 400 program, which is supposed to equip the Australian Army with wheeled and tracked infantry transports, the Phase 3 requirement for 450 IFVs will be decided by 2022 and the rivals are the AS21 Redback (pictured above) and the Rheinmetall KF41 Lynx. In January this year Hanwha Defense Australia received the hull of its Redback mounting a turret enhanced with defensive features by Israeli manufacturers Elbit Systems and Plasan.

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The PLA Have A Mine Clearing Humvee

January 19, 2021
Via Chinese media.

Recent footage of PLA exercises in northeast China served as a reminder how cohesive and well-equipped the branch operates in a territorial theater. Considering the extent of its borders, the People’s Republic does have three regions where it must be ready to deploy for a potential ground war. These include the long and forbidding border shared with India; the almost inaccessible terrain on the frontiers of Myanmar and Vietnam as well as the economically vital southern provinces; and there’s the ever present contingency of intervening in the Korean peninsula for geopolitical reasons.

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The Indonesian Military Is Getting A New Lightweight 4×4

January 18, 2021
Via PT Pindad.

A batch of Maung light tactical vehicles were officially handed over by state-owned PT Pindad to the armed forces last week. The 4×4 was first revealed in 2020 performing driving tests on unpaved roads. On January 13 the defense minister and the heads of the TNI’s branches were present to receive the new vehicle. With its minimal armor protection and removable doors the Maung is meant to fulfill the TNI’s need for a dependable transport that suits Indonesia’s climate and geography.

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South Korea Is Already Selling This Mystery Missile

January 15, 2021
Via Hanwha Defense.

One of the last big arms shows in 2020 before the global pandemic cancelled these events (with few exceptions) was a huge draw for South Korean exhibitors. India’s biennial DEFEXPO in February proved an immense undertaking by any measure and the companies inside the venue left nothing to chance when it came to displaying their products. For South Korea’s Hanwha Defense, whose K9 self-propelled howitzer is manufactured in India as the K9 Vajra, a spacious pavilion was erected for showing off its catalog and a static display of the Biho “hybrid” air defense system.

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The Afghan Army Keeps Its Old Armor Working

December 29, 2020
Via Afghanistan Ministry of Defense.

Recent photos shared by Afghanistan’s defense ministry on social media brought to light an important, if ignored, aspect of the embattled country’s armed forces–its tanks and mechanized transports. Apparently, some tanks dating to the Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989) remain in service and now form an armored battalion as part of the 111 Regiment stationed outside Kabul. The photo released by the MoD showed one T-62 medium tank flanked by two T-55 medium tanks. The exact number of tanks operated by the Afghan National Army (ANA) today is unknown. At 171,000 strong the army is reliant on various armored trucks supplied by different partners for its mission.

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Iran Has A New Battle Rifle For Its Soldiers

December 25, 2020
Via Iranian media.

Thanks to images published by a news agency affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) the extent of small arms mass-production in Iran is now better understood. Apparently, the Islamic Republic’s state-owned factories can now boast making the greatest variety of infantry weapons in the Middle East. This isn’t limited to just rifles and pistols either. When a high-ranking member of the Iranian navy visited an armaments factory in late September he was shown an enviable catalog that included every conceivable small arm, from miniguns to portable anti-tank rocket launchers. A specific standout was an AR-pattern carbine that, upon closer inspection, is a new firearm that’s never been seen before.

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Turkey Is Slowly Building Its Air Defenses

December 24, 2020
Via Aselsan/Roketsan/SSB.

New promotional footage of a successful interception by the Hisar-A medium-range SAM was published in mid-December. The SSB, which oversees all military technology and procurement, provided few details about the test but promoted the short video clip on its social media accounts. The Hisar-A is a fully localized joint venture between Aselsan, a state-owned company specializing in electronics, and the ordnance manufacturer Roketsan. The new SAM system that’s been in the works for the better part of a decade is expected to enter service in 2021. But with so many Turkish military projects running into delays it’s best to remain prudent and see how the Hisar-A is further enhanced.

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Iran Can Make Its Own Sidewinders

December 20, 2020
Via Iranian media.

Four decades after Iran and the United States become sworn enemies a strange symbiosis in military technology is still taking place between them. A publicized visit by a navy admiral to a state-owned small arms factory in September brought to light another recent innovation of the Islamic Republic. As shown by the photo above a new missile put on display for the VIP is an almost exact replica of the AIM-9 Sidewinder; the historic air-to-air missile that has seen continuous use for more than half a century.

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