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Armored Cars: Dongfeng EQ2091XFB

March 30, 2020

The EQ2019XFB undergoing tests in high altitude geography. It’s armed with a remote controlled 14.5mm machine gun.

Since 2010 there has been a gradual surge in Chinese military equipment production far beyond the domestic market’s needs. Wheeled armored vehicles are no exception to this trend and state-owned manufacturers such as Dongfeng pursued fully localized development for its next generation of mobile platforms. There isn’t much of an origin story for the EQ2091XFB other than it came to be at some point between 2015 and 2016. Its product designation subscribes to the Mengshi-series’ nomenclature. The reader is no doubt familiar with Dongfeng’s successful imitation of the AM General HMMWV called the EQ2050.

The EQ2091XFB surpasses its predecessors in every conceivable metric and, for a model that hasn’t gone mainstream with the PLA yet, it’s available for export.

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Who Can Sell Killer Drones To The Indian Army?

March 29, 2020

The IAI Harop, one of the better known loitering UAVs, has a naval variant.

A new Request for Information (RFI) published by the Indian Army is soliciting entries from manufacturers who wish to supply at least a hundred “loiter munition systems.” The ideal model described by the RFI is man portable with a flight range of 15 kilometers and can stay airborne for half an hour. Loitering munitions are a type of short and medium endurance unmanned aircraft armed with small warheads. Sometimes described as “kamikaze drones” they have enjoyed a surge in demand for the past handful of years with militaries eager to equip soldiers with a cost-effective precision weapon.

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This Deadly Iranian Pickup Truck Is Entering Mass-Production

March 28, 2020

At least three variants of the Aras 2 are captured behind the VIPs. Via Iranian media.

With Iran’s dreaded Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) now engaged in proxy warfare against the US military its arsenal is being adapted for the mission, albeit in ways that have gone unnoticed. A subtle yet worrying development emerged last year, months before the death of Lt. Gen. Soleimani triggered retaliation attacks on US forces in Iraq, when the IRGC’s leadership and Iranian media highlighted progress in new combat vehicles.  At the forefront of the well-orchestrated campaign is an innocuous pickup truck assembled with parts supplied by China.

Since August 2019 the Aras 2 has enjoyed unprecedented coverage that revealed more than it should. Apparently, the IRGC and perhaps the Artesh believe a single pickup truck model can fulfill all their needs.

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The Emirati Rabdan Fighting Vehicle Is One Of A Kind

March 26, 2020

Via Native Fury 2020.

The Emirates’ superbly equipped ground forces almost outshone their guests–the I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF)–at this year’s Native Fury 2020 joint exercises. A minor highlight of the proceedings, which spanned almost two weeks in March, was the participation by the Rabdan wheeled armored fighting vehicle. Able to transport a squad of soldiers over any terrain and fight alongside them with its impressive weapon suite, the Rabdan is a unique innovation from a Gulf state that has made no secret that it wants an outsized role in global affairs.

Footage from Native Fury 2020, where US marines fought alongside their Emirati allies in simulated urban combat and mock beach landings, showed the Rabdan proving its mettle in different scenarios.

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This Indian Combat Vehicle Impressed No One

March 22, 2020


A minor surprise that preceded DEFEXPO 2020, which is India’s largest biennial arms show, was the Ordnance Factory Board’s (OFB) reveal for its Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) to meet the Indian Army’s requirement. The OFB shared a video clip on its social media channels highlighting the FICV’s features. These span an enlarged hull equipped with hydrojet propellers that allow it to swim across bodies of water. The turret is armed with a 30mm cannon and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. A rectangular module on the turret’s side is supposed to carry two anti-tank missiles.

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North Korea Flexed Its Superb Rocket Artillery

March 8, 2020

Via North Korean media.

As the chances of rekindling high level diplomacy with the Trump administration disappears Kim Jong Un once again presided over an event his propaganda machine referred to as a “firepower strike drill.” Just days after North Korea’s corpulent leader watched his army unleash an artillery barrage on an islet another exercise took place on March 2 featuring large caliber rockets. Images published by North Korean media revealed the weapon systems involved were the new extreme-range guided rockets dubbed the “KN-25” and the “M1991” that has 22 tubes for 240mm rockets mounted on a 6×6 truck.

The M1991 is comparable to the Soviet BM-27 Uragan although it carries additional munitions.

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Highlights Of OEWatch For February 2020

February 28, 2020

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. OEWatch’s February issue runs 73 pages in the usual five section format and editorial duties are shared among Tom Wilhelm, Karen Kaya, and designer Thomas Tolare with input by a large pool of contributing writers.

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Armored Cars: Mahindra ALSV

February 19, 2020

Via Mahindra Emirates Vehicle Armouring.

After nearly two years of development the latest tactical 4×4 from Mahindra looks like it was tailored for the Middle East’s trouble spots. The Indian mega-corporation’s armored vehicle plant in the UAE oversaw the whole project whose official launch came in November 2019. Since then the Armored Light Specialist Vehicle or ALSV has joined a diverse catalog of protected trucks and is approved for export. Judging by its looks the ALSV is supposed to compete with models such as the formidable Oshkosh JLTV and the Nimr Ajban, with either having years of strong exports behind them.

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Small Arms Production Is Flourishing In India

February 19, 2020

Via SSS Defence.

DEFEXPO 2020 surpassed expectations with the scale and variety of products exhibited at the show, which took place from February 5 until 8 in Lucknow, and cemented India’s status as a destination for high tech manufacturing. A modest but impressive display at DEFEXPO 2020 came from ammunition manufacturer SSS Defence whose selection of new firearms garnered a lot of visibility. The product line it revealed at the show included a selection of sniper rifles and a modular carbine chambered for 7.62x39mm, the same ammunition used for the AK-47 and its derivatives.

India’s military and police have long been familiar with Kalashnikov rifles since these are sometimes preferred over standard issue small arms in trouble spots like Kashmir. But for decades Bulgarian and other Eastern bloc Kalashnikovs were imported and now SSS Defence has gone the distance with a novel local product.

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The UAE Is Collecting Battlefield Rockets

February 17, 2020

The Jobaria MCRL, highlighted in purple, can be armed with 122mm and 300mm rockets. Via UAE media.

On February 9 the rulers of the Emirates attended a military parade to mark the years since it joined a regional coalition against the Houthis in 2015. The actual war in Yemen remains a stalemate with an uncertain outcome but Abu Dhabi maximized its opportunities when it cultivated local allies and honed its logistical muscle. During this recent occasion, however, the focus was on the enlisted men who served in the campaign. The blatant advertising of the military’s current arsenal was obvious too. A crucial reveal at the event was the Emirati ground forces’ battlefield rocket systems.

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The Israeli Eitan Enters Service In 2021

February 14, 2020

Via Ministry of Defense.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) can expect to receive brand new Eitan 8×8 armored personnel carriers next year in at least three configurations. A statement shared across the social media channels run by the Ministry of Defense (MoD) revealed the next-generation infantry transports are being assembled by the Armored Vehicles Directorate and have the Iron Fist active protection system. Iron Fist, which is manufactured by Elbit Systems, is a hard kill detection and interception device that launches a tiny rocket at an approaching projectile. With the IDF at constant risk of engaging militants in Gaza and the border with Lebanon, where Hezbollah remains entrenched, having vehicular countermeasures is paramount.

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It Looks Like Iran Is Making Its Own Hellfire Missiles

February 9, 2020

Via Iranian media.

A sudden appearance of a missile-armed helicopter at an event for the Iranian air force (IRIAF) may have outed the branch’s newest weapon. A demonstration by a flight of Bell 214 helicopters included a variant (pictured above) armed with missiles whose paint scheme resembled the AGM-114 Hellfire. This suggests Iran’s military-industrial sector, being a part of the national economy that thrives despite sanctions, has copied the system. The Hellfire originated in the 1980s to complement the new generation of US Army attack helicopters. It has since gained a peerless reputation for being adaptable–even vehicles can mount its launchers–and very lethal against any target.

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