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SSPEX Iraq Is Happening In December

September 22, 2018

Via Wikimedia Commons.

A new military-security exhibition is scheduled to take place from December 4 until 6 at the Baghdad International Fair. SSPEX Iraq is organized by Business Glory for International Fairs and Conferences and seeks to bring together the various government ministries tasked with Iraq’s reconstruction. Companies that wish to register should get in touch and sponsorship are available in silver, gold, and platinum packages.

The indoor venue for SSPEX Iraq measures 5,000 square meters and there are 50 large spaces available to exhibitors. The Ministry of Industry & Minerals, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of Communications are all scheduled to participate. 21st Century Asian Arms Race (21AAR) is a media partner for SSPEX Iraq.

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China And Serbia Are Building A Military Alliance

September 22, 2018

A Pakistani Burraq combat UAV. It’s a locally assembled variant of a Chinese model.

An arms deal between Beijing and Belgrade is currently in the works for the transfer of combat drone technology. This was announced on the heels of a state visit to China by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic this week. Details of the transaction were shared by Serbia’s deputy defense minister and reported by Chinese state media. But the original news article has since disappeared from the PLA’s own propaganda website.

Although the value and timetable of the deal wasn’t revealed, for Serbia’s military to acquire combat drones should be noticed by Washington, DC and Brussels. To this day, the landlocked Balkan country is neither a member of the EU nor NATO.

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Corporate Espionage Risks In Southeast Asia Are Intense

September 22, 2018

Via Wikimedia Commons.

If the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were measured as a single economic bloc it would rank fifth largest in the world for nominal GDP. This isn’t a small feat for a diverse region where every possible form of government–be it absolutist monarchy or a city state–can be found. But doing business in Southeast Asia isn’t as easy as some sparkling ads suggest.

There’s a sinister gray zone in the private sector of each major ASEAN economy. Crime is rife and the forms it takes will give any executive a lot of sleepless nights. Here are the industries at greatest risk from corporate espionage.

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Taiwan Is Arming Up Big Time

September 21, 2018

Via Wikimedia Commons.

The embattled island nation is moving ahead with its plans for modernizing territorial defenses and activated two critical weapon systems in the past two months. Last week, Taipei’s defense ministry announced the Sky Bow III anti-ballistic missile defense system (pictured above) was ready to enter service. In August, an air-launched cruise missile was declared “operational” after a year-long testing period.

These two developments are the latest proof Taiwan’s military capabilities are expanding at a time when its relations with China have soured. Since entering office in 2016, President Tsai Ing-wen refuses to acknowledge the “1992 consensus” that endorses the principle of “One China.”

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Spanish Leopard 2 Tanks Are Getting A Minor Upgrade

September 20, 2018

Via Wikimedia Commons.

The Spanish Army still maintains one of the larger armored fleets in Western Europe, with 300 “Leopardo 2E” or Leopard 2A4/A6 main battle tanks and more than a thousand armored personnel carriers. As part of a NATO mission to the Baltics, six Leopardo 2E’s are receiving reprogramming systems for their ballistic calculators. These will be supplied by Star Defence Logistics & Engineering (SDLE). The addition of a reprogramming system on a ballistic calculator allows an MBT crew to simulate trajectories for their 120mm gun’s ammunition. In a press release shared by the contractor the upgrade program worth EU 240,000 is indisputable proof of their “commitment to innovation.”

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Armored Cars: North Korean Protected 4×4

September 18, 2018

Is the absence of thicker door windows a design flaw? Wheeled combat vehicles today usually have multilayered laminated glass inserts bolted on their doors to stop large caliber rounds.

On September 9 a splendid military parade was held in the North Korean capital to commemorate the nation’s founding 70 years ago. While news agencies heralded the absence of ballistic missiles during the spectacle there wasn’t much attention paid to the vehicles that rolled past Kim Jong Un and his generals. One particular model that wasn’t scrutinized at all is an armored 4×4 used to inspect the infantry squares before they marched.

For decades North Korea’s parades imitated their Soviet forebears where the army’s highest ranking general addressed the soldiers standing at attention. This used to be done on a UAZ jeep. But this year North Korea deployed a unique light truck whose proportions are better suited for combat.

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Russia Is Seriously Rebuilding The Syrian Arab Army

September 18, 2018

Via Wikimedia Commons.

As the Syrian Civil War ebbs the risk of a bigger conflict between Damascus and its neighbors increases. One reason for this upsetting trend is Moscow’s unfailing assistance to its client no matter what. For Pesach Malovany, a researcher specializing in Arab armies, there’s enough evidence proving Russia is keen on reviving each branch of the Syrian military.

Malovany’s essay The Syrian Phoenix Is Arising was published in Israel Defense on September 17. It examines how subtle leadership changes and reorganizations imposed on depleted ground units are part of a serious effort to get Assad’s war machine back on its feet.

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Go Read This Deep Analysis Of Iranian Air Defenses

September 16, 2018

Via Wikimedia Commons.

This week the author behind the Iran Geomil blog published a detailed analysis of the Islamic Republic’s overlapping ground-based air defenses. According to “Amir,” who goes by the Twitter handle @AmirThePersian1, the country is very well-protected from air attacks although shortcomings exist. Amir reached this conclusion by using geospatial markers and open sources on specific missile systems that allowed him to illustrate the extent of air defenses over Iran’s major cities.

Amir’s work includes nine maps and six segments that try to explain how Iran’s anti-air defenses function. The author doesn’t claim any links to the country’s government or military but his research is useful for enthusiasts and researchers alike.

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The PLA Loves Its Easy To Use Truck Howitzers

September 15, 2018

A PCL-09 during a live fire exercise in Tibet this month. Via China Military Online.

It remains contentious whether China’s army operates a larger number of howitzers than Russia’s. But what does set the PLA ground forces apart is the dazzling variety of small and large caliber guns and munitions it maintains to pulverize at long distances. In recent years, however, one specific model seems to be enjoying widespread adoption. The vehicle identified as the PCL-09 is a 6×6 truck with a modified bed for supporting a 122mm howitzer on a pivoting carriage. The PCL-09 isn’t the only 122mm howitzer used by the PLA but it might become the most ubiquitous.

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Highlights Of OEWatch For September 2018

September 14, 2018

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. The September 2018 issue runs 71 pages and subscribes to the format of previous outings. On the cover is a stock image of an Iraqi commando and the bold text COUNTER TERRORISM. The editorial trio of Tom Wilhelm, Matthew Stein, and Lucas Winter are still in charge with help from contributors.

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Iran Just Bombarded Kurdish Rebels With Missiles

September 11, 2018

Via IRGC/Iranian media.

This weekend saw a rare show of force by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. On September 8, a Saturday, a salvo of missiles were launched from the country’s northwest against targets in Iraqi Kurdistan. The action was confirmed by the IRGC a day later and then reported by state media. The missiles struck a compound belonging to a Kurdish militant group.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) are a local insurgency whose leadership have sought refuge in Iraq to avoid Tehran’s domestic security apparatus. For the past year, however, tit-for-tat ambushes and assassinations marked a serious escalation of the long-running conflict between the KDPI and the Islamic Republic.

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Armored Cars: Milkor 4×4

September 7, 2018

Via Milkor SA.

The newest mine-resistant truck to come out of South Africa is from the same company behind the world’s most successful multi-shot grenade launcher. In recent years Milkor established a handful of verticals for air, land, and maritime products. The “Milkor 4×4” is the company’s first attempt at assembling a bespoke vehicle for international customers.

The Milkor 4×4 is immediately recognizable for its monocoque hull bereft of side doors. To enter the vehicle, crew and passengers climb a hydraulic ramp at the back that comes with folding steps. The cab offers seating for the driver and co-driver and there’s room enough for eight dismounts behind them.

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