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Iran Just Teased A Mysterious New Radar System

January 20, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

Iranian media claimed a new type of radar is ready for deployment with the country’s air defense forces. This week Fars News revealed the “Khatab al-Anbiya Air Defense Base” held an unpublicized ceremony where a “radar system which has been built and put into action” in the city of Zahedan. Located near the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Zahedan boasts an international airport and rail links stretching across the Balochistan desert. The adoption of another radar system suggests Iran’s military is fortifying national airspace although its deployment to Zahedan is surprising.

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Your Company Will Need Risk Consultants To Survive 2019

January 15, 2019

The year is shaping up to be a contentious one as global politics and financial markets are bracing for turbulence. Businesses and organizations that operate beyond national borders must prepare for whatever shocks might damage their bottom line. It’s now imperative for board rooms to welcome qualified risk consultants whose insights can steer the organization away from trouble. These men and women perform a variety of tasks, from mundane training courses to helping extricate an employee in hot water–if the problem is grave enough.

Here are a few very specific threats to watch out for in 2019.

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What Are The Most Common Armored Vehicles In NATO Armies?

January 12, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

The world’s strongest military alliance boasts having some of the most advanced warfighting technology ever built. At the forefront of this arsenal are legacy fighting vehicles introduced during the Cold War. Their performance characteristics and usefulness have kept them in service even with decades of peace leaving them idle. Advances in manufacturing technology will no doubt prolong their lifespans now that new threats are emerging along the edge of Europe. Here is a rare guide to the different tracked and wheeled armored vehicles that form the backbone of NATO’s power.

Of course, it isn’t surprising how US-made vehicles predominate among NATO armies until today. But there are exceptions.

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Dive Into This Shocking Report On Chinese Drone Power

January 10, 2019

A new analysis by the CSIS’ “China Power” project examines the scale and scope of China’s drone exports. Precise metrics and specifications are given, including an assessment of market share for armed UAV exports, to illustrate how far unmanned systems from the People’s Republic have spread across the globe. Some of the findings are not too controversial (Chinese military drones lag behind in performance) but there are valuable insights for market researchers and policy wonks alike. Titled Is China at the forefront of drone technology? the entire report is paywall-free and is laid out with useful graphics.

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Armored Cars: Excalibur Army T815-7 Patriot

January 8, 2019

Via Excalibur Army.

One of the newest tactical 4×4’s in Central Europe is a joint venture between two Czech companies, Excalibur Army and Tatra. The result is the impressive Patriot based on the”Tatra Force” T815-7 chassis tailored for military trucks that must perform off-road and rugged driving. The Patriot is meant for operators who value firepower, mobility, and protection in high risk environments; it meets all three criteria and still boasts of modular options. But with only a year gone by since being unveiled, with multiple appearances in regional arms shows to raise its profile, the Patriot’s selling points won’t be tested until it reaches an active war zone.

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The Russian T-14 Armata Is Far From Ready

January 7, 2019

Russian media revealed the T-14 Armata main battle tank is scheduled for “state trials” organized by the defense ministry in 2019. This is the latest benchmark for the platform that’s being spun off into a “heavy” APC, an infantry fighting vehicle, and a self-propelled howitzer. The T-14 Armata’s public debut was during Victory Day on May 9, 2015. A company of T-14’s have since appeared in Moscow’s Red Square each year leading columns of T-90A tanks.

But with the exception of a yearly arms show, T-14’s are scarce during the Russian military’s major exercises and even its much hyped tank biathlons. There’s little evidence to go by proving they’re in production at Uralvagonzavod’s gargantuan tank plant.

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NATO Should Be Very Worried About The Iskander-M

January 4, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

Russia’s defense ministry announced this week Iskander-M short-range ballistic missiles are being transferred to the Western Military District, the same region sharing a land border with the vulnerable Baltic states. The Iskander-M or SS-26 is a road mobile conventional missile launcher for targeting enemy command and control infrastructure and was meant to replace the aging SS-23 SRBMs deployed with the army. Each Iskander-M vehicle carries two missiles whose range is kept at less than 500 kilometers by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

But the arrival of another Iskander-M regiment in the Western Military District is a worrisome indicator for Moscow’s eagerness to leave the INF Treaty.

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The Philippines Wants To Buy Weapons From Turkey

December 31, 2018

The T129 attack helicopter. Via Wikimedia Commons.

A memorandum was signed this month at the main headquarters of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) between the defense ministry and Turkey’s arms exports office. No further details were provided by the Department of National Defense (DND) although the state-owned news agency did reveal “transfer of defense technology” was covered by the memo. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) isn’t a serious customer for equipment manufactured in Turkey but the signing at Villamor Air Base on December 18 was attended by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who had earlier told the local press the air force wanted Turkish attack helicopters.

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Subscribe To The 21AAR Telegram Channel

December 28, 2018

Readers who can’t be bothered with clicking the bookmark icon on their web browser are welcome to join the official 21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) Telegram channel. Simply find the link in the app’s search bar and subscribe! Desktop and mobile users alike can use the search function to find the 21AAR channel and then select “Join Channel” at the upper right (desktop) or”Join” (mobile) at the bottom of the screen. Subscribing to 21AAR is recommended for those who either use Telegram on a daily basis or avoid surfing the web for their reading habit.

Telegram is an encrypted chatting app that claims to have active users in the hundreds of millions per month. It’s also a watering hole of sorts for the cryptocurrency scene. But Telegram is a pretty convenient tool for following news and other topics as well.

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The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Have New Rifles

December 27, 2018

Via Mehr News/M. Khodabakhsh.

This month thousands of IRGC personnel took part in the Great Prophet 12 (GP 12) exercises lasting from December 15 until 22. These large-scale drills in and around Qeshm Island received an uncommon amount of coverage from Iranian state media. Although the Revolutionary Guard made sure to emphasize the “defensive” nature of its activities, the GP 12 still served as an advertisement for the organization recognized as the Islamic Republic’s chosen elite.

Another crucial detail from GP 12 is the equipment of the IRGC troops who participated. Photos from Iranian media show them carrying new assault rifles unlike the locally produced Kalashnikov known as the “KL.” It seems the Guards have switched their standard issue rifle for the AK-103, an updated design of the ubiquitous Soviet AKM.

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The Afghan Army Have A Chinese Armored Car

December 26, 2018

On the evening December 24 gunmen launched a spectacular attack on government buildings in Kabul. After eight hours of fighting inside the Ministry of Public Works and a nearby social welfare office it was confirmed 43 people were killed. Footage broadcast by international media showed the military and police had locked down the streets outside the affected buildings. The organization responsible for the attack hasn’t been identified and the Taliban denied its involvement.

But footage from the following morning revealed a Chinese-made armored vehicle used by an army unit. A thorough analysis of its external characteristics reveals it’s a BaoJi SVM Tiger. These protected trucks are designed for internal security roles and have been delivered to several countries.

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Vietnam Is Serious About Exporting Its Military Products

December 23, 2018

Via Vietnamese state media.

A remarkable appearance at IndoDefence 2018 in November were a handful of Vietnamese companies displaying arms and equipment. The largest tri-service military exhibition in Indonesia was dominated by Western firms but there was serious participation from regional ones as well. Despite having a self-sufficient military-industrial sector, Vietnam has never promoted a serious export policy for weapons and other war material. Judging by the small pavilion from IndoDefence 2018, however, this may soon change.

Vietnam’s exposure in Jakarta was divided into five sections. These were for drones and surveillance technology, battlefield communications equipment, offshore patrol craft and bespoke ships, small arms and ammunition, and thermal optics.

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