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Why Attend FEINDEF 2019 In Spain?

March 19, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

From May 29 until 31 a new arms show is taking place at Madrid’s IFEMA trade show venue. The first installment of the Feria Internacional de la Defensa or FEINDEF 2019 seeks to provide a world class exhibition for companies and visitors alike. The organizers Grupo Metalia collaborated with various partners to ensure local industries are well represented and fresh business opportunities are explored. FEINDEF 2019 is bringing together Spain’s military-industrial sector and the trusted suppliers to its security agencies. To raise its profile even higher, some of the biggest names in European and North American aerospace and military technology will be occupying substantial floor space.

21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) is a media partner entrusted with helping promote FEINDEF 2019. To better understand the importance of FEINDEF 2019, readers should know…

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Did Saddam Hussein Buy 3,000 Chinese Tanks?

March 18, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

Sensing an opportunity to end a drawn out territorial dispute, in September 1980 Iraq’s brutal dictator launched an invasion of Iran. But the effort bogged down in less than a year and nearly a decade of attrition on land, sea, and air followed. With Iranian forces sometimes less than a hundred kilometers from Baghdad, Saddam Hussein spared no expense equipping his army with the latest weapons an oil-rich Arab state could buy. Although a strategic nincompoop with little grasp of tactics, several countries were more than willing to build his war machine, with unfailing generosity shown by the Soviet Union, France, and Brazil.

But at the height of the Iran-Iraq War it may have been Communist China who benefited from a gargantuan arms deal the world has forgotten.

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What Happened During IQDEX 2019?

March 16, 2019

Photo from IQDEX 2017. Via event organizer.

The only notable arms show in Iraq had its eighth installment this week. IQDEX 2019 took place at the Baghdad International Exhibition from March 9 to 12. The yearly event is organized by a private company that launched it in the beginning of this decade. The IQDEX series has grown little over the years and is overshadowed by the region’s ritzier arms industry gatherings such as IDEX (UAE) or SOFEX (Jordan). But IQDEX 2019 did have its share of big name exhibitors with China’s two main military-industrial firms–Norinco and Poly Technologies–commanding so much floor space. The other highlight was the participation of Iraq’s own state-owned military-industrial sector, a sure sign it aspires to become self-sufficient in its war material.

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The IDF Trolled Qassem Soleimani On His Birthday

March 12, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

As the notorious Quds Force operator basks in the limelight after being awarded the “Order of Zolfaqar,” an anachronistic decoration billed as the Islamic Republic’s highest honor for servicemen, another institution hailed the Middle East’s favorite bogeyman. On Monday, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) shared a video clip on its official social media accounts wishing Major General Qassem Soleimani a happy birthday, albeit with tongue firmly in cheek. The clip features a cake and a montage of “well wishers” including Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad extend their greetings too.

Fiery rockets blast out of toy cannons and obliterate the scene in heavy-handed symbolism. After all, Soleimani is responsible for guiding the flow of Iranian weapons to its regional proxies.

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The Singapore Army Is Getting Deadly New Vehicles

March 12, 2019

As part of the city state’s modernization plans for its armed forces three new vehicle types are expected to enter service by the mid-2020s. These are the Next-Gen Armored Fighting Vehicle, a truck mounted self-propelled howitzer, and an armored tracked carrier. Each of these programs are in various stages of completion with the NG AFV scheduled for delivery later this year. The NG AFV is the most advanced infantry fighting vehicle ever developed in Southeast Asia. The Singapore Army wants it to replace their dated M113 Ultra APCs that have inadequate armor and weaponry, the latter being a single 20mm cannon.

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The Drone Index: ASF SSJO Kaman-12

March 11, 2019

Via Iranian media.

Ever since the Trump administration’s exit from the JCPOA last year, Iran has struck a defiant tone and ratcheted its propaganda. Homegrown innovation plays into this strategy, where the Islamic Republic casts itself as a regional giant bedeviled by enemies, and the recent Eghtedar 40 exhibition in Tehran served as the perfect venue for showing off the country’s drone power. A whole section of the indoor venue was occupied by an array of unmanned aircraft with the newest among them hailed by the local press.

This March, with Eghtedar 40 over and done with, Iranian media announced a twin-boom model called the Kaman-12 is entering production.

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China Has A Deadly Missile Launcher Everyone Is Ignoring

March 11, 2019

The wheeled HJ-10 at an Iraqi arms show in 2018. Via IQDEX.

Among the more impressive displays at last month’s IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi, whose reputation as the Middle East’s largest arms show is well-deserved, was an inert missile-carrying tank destroyer from Poly Defence. To use the term “tank destroyer” may be quaint and ill-fitting, but the eight missiles carried on the back of an export-ready VN1 8×8 APC suggests the vehicle is best used for hunting enemy armor. Each of the missiles are non-line of sight (NLOS) HJ-10’s, the longest ranged among the Red Arrow family. But despite a significant Chinese presence at IDEX 2019 news of a sale for this vehicle never materialized.

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This Spanish Company Wants To Sell Drones In The Middle East

March 11, 2019

The Zarek V2 at IDEX 2019. Via SDLE.

To nobody’s surprise, the largest arms show in the Arabian Peninsula drew exhibitors from every corner of the world. A particular niche that saw lots of activity during IDEX 2019, whose maritime component NAVDEX took place at the same venue, was the unmanned aircraft sector. A fresh entrant at Abu Dhabi’s premier military industry event was Star Defense Logistic & Engineering (SDLE) from Spain in its latest bid to snag clients from the region. SDLE already launched a new division to promote its UAVs globally. On display at IDEX/NAVDEX were an “indoor light drone” and its Zarek V2.

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Taiwan Has Bold Plans To Strengthen Its Air Force

March 10, 2019

Stock image of an F-16 Fighting Falcon.

A US lobby group in Taiwan welcomed the country’s plans for buying new multirole fighters for its air force. This followed an announcement by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) that it planned to acquire a specific number of the latest F-16 variant from Lockheed Martin. But confirmation of the impending sale has yet to be released by either the Pentagon or the State Department. The Defense Security Cooperation Organization (DSCA), which is the agency overseeing military sales to allies, hasn’t published any details about F-16 deliveries for the island nation.

The F-16V Block 70/72 is a combat proven model that boasts conformal fuel tanks on its airframe along with an AESA radar, a cockpit with a high resolution display, and a high-speed data bus. Lockheed Martin insists the F-16V is “the world’s most successful fourth-generation fighter.”

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Iran Puts So Much Faith In Its Missiles

March 9, 2019

Via Iranian media.

Within the span of a single month Iran showed the world undeniable proof how its armed forces, mainly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), serve as the ultimate counter-balance against the US-led coalition rallying against it. This past February had an unprecedented volume of propaganda emphasizing the Islamic Republic’s military strength, complete with large-scale exercises and a rare state-sponsored arms show. The build up to the 1979 Revolution’s anniversary saw an unprecedented military exhibition titled Eghtedar 40 in Tehran where different kinds of weapons and equipment manufactured in Iran were put on display. The occasion was also used to unveil new weapons, such as the “Hoveizeh” cruise missile. (Pictured above.)

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The Shah Of Iran Wanted The Strongest Military In Asia

March 4, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

A little more than a half century ago, one valuable US ally was proving to be a thorn on the side of Washington, DC. The Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was restored to power in 1953 and nurtured an intense fondness for the imperial armed forces that propped up his reign. He believed the Artesh, equipped with the most advanced weapons money could buy, had a vital role securing the Persian Gulf and this was proven correct when the Shah ordered his army to put down the Dhofar Rebellion in Oman. The administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson were believers too; if only the Shah stopped demanding new fighter jets and an enormous aid package to pay for them.

By 1966, the great Iran-US arms deal ballooned to a multi-year $100 million line of credit for Phantom jets and Patton tanks, but the Shah wanted more. Out of frustration, and as a rebuke to LBJ, he bought weapons from the Soviets.

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Singapore Wants To Build An Amphibious Assault Ship

March 1, 2019

The largest transports of the RSN are the Endurance-class LPDs like the one pictured above. Via Wikimedia Commons.

The modest naval fleet of the city state will soon undergo a huge upgrade with its plans for an enormous “Joint Multi Mission Ship” (JMMS) whose flight deck supports several helicopters. Details surrounding the program to build one are scarce at the moment but its existence was confirmed by Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen on social media after he posted a detailed infographic for the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) acquisition plans, whose goals look better suited for a regional power. A genuine surprise was a blacked out silhouette for a large transport that had a Chinook helicopter hovering near its bow.

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