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Russian Manufacturing Technology Is Slowly Being Localized

September 23, 2020

Via Kalashnikov Group.

Two weeks ago the manufacturing enterprise Kalashnikov Group released a video clip on its Youtube channel to promote a CNC machine with “5-axis milling.” The new hardware combines direct energy deposition or “DED” and additive processes to form complex metal shapes in real time. It wasn’t specified if the “machining center” where these computerized tools are being installed will be the Izhevsk plant, also known as the main production facility for Kalashnikov Group’s small arms including its brand new AK-200 series. Besides weapons the company has expanded its portfolio to different verticals such as vehicle parts and watercraft.

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Turkey Just Tested Its Fearsome New Combat Drone

September 19, 2020

Via TAI.

This month saw the Undersecretariat of Defense Industries (SSB) promote a short video clip on its social media accounts for a new twin-boom medium altitude drone that can strike ground targets. The model is the largest airframe in Turkish Aerospace Industries’ (TAI) unmanned aircraft portfolio and is known as the Anka-Aksungur, which is powered by twin propeller engines mounted on the wings rather than the fuselage. The footage released by the SSB showed the Aksungur laden with unguided small diameter bombs and dropping these on a patch of ground marked in white. A week later another video clip shared by TAI, also known by its Turkish acronym “TUSAS,” showed the Aksungur carrying six air-to-ground missiles.

With a maximum takeoff weight of 7.2 tons, the Aksungur is the heaviest attack drone in Europe and the Middle East at the moment.

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These Iranian Fast Attack Craft Have Never Been Seen Before

September 2, 2020

Via Iranian media.

In late May the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) conducted an impressive handover ceremony for its latest watercraft. Iranian media were quick to spin the occasion as an achievement for the national shipbuilding industry’s “missile boats.” But the reality of the May 28 handover was a far cry from what the local news claimed. With the exception of a few submersibles for special forces the watercraft arrayed along a pier in Bandar Abbas on May 28, a Thursday, were mostly speedboats meant for coastal policing. What Iranian media left out were four mysterious twin hull fast attack craft that were photographed at the same event. (See above.)

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Highlights Of OEWatch For August 2020

August 31, 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 August issue runs 92 pages divided among five sections spanning Eurasia, the Indo-Pacific, MENA, Africa, and Latin America. 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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Japan Will Spend A Fortune On Stealth Jets

August 26, 2020

Via Wikimedia Commons.

This July the US government began the process of arranging a massive arms deal with Japan worth $23.11 billion for F-35A’s and F-35B’s. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) published an announcement on July 9 specifying the amount covers 105 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, with 63 being F-35A’s and another 42 F-35B vertical takeoff or STOVL’s meant for naval flight decks. The DSCA emphasized how the sale of fifth-generation aircraft to Japan enhances its security and is a viable replacement for the JASDF’s aging F-4E Phantoms–51 of these Cold War vintage twin engine fighters are believed to remain in service.

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Singaporean Leopard 2 Tanks Are Equipped For Urban Warfare

August 13, 2020

Via MINDEF.

Photos shared on social media a week before the annual National Day celebration revealed the ultra-modern arsenal of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). Leading the National Day Parade’s mobile column on August 9 were the army’s Leopard 2SG’s followed by its smaller tracked and wheeled counterparts. Although the prosperous city state’s Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) is remarkably transparent about its activities through a network of online accounts, a lot remains unknown about the Leopard 2SG. With less than a hundred of these 65 ton main battle tanks in service the firepower advantage they provide remains formidable.

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Highlights Of OEWatch For July 2020

July 31, 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 July issue runs 93 pages divided among five sections spanning Eurasia, the Indo-Pacific, MENA, Africa, and Latin America. 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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The PLA Are Rapidly Adopting This Truck Howitzer

July 22, 2020

Via Chinese state media.

With Beijing committed to a tougher foreign policy ever since it emerged from its struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the PLA’s rapid modernization continues uninterrupted. A small but significant transformation for the ground forces is the new PCL-181 truck howitzer, which is also available for export as the “SH15,” that Chinese media claims is meant to replace the aging 152mm and 130mm towed howitzers still in service in some commands. Given its organizational size, the PLA does maintain significant inventories of aging weapons but the sheer output of state-owned military industries can change this within a few years. Equipping entire brigades with a truck howitzer mounting a 155mm gun is a firepower boost too great to ignore.

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Turkey Is Giving The M60 Patton Its Best Upgrade Yet

July 15, 2020

Via Turkish media.

Six decades (or 62 years, to be exact) after its production started the M60 Patton continues to evolve in service with one NATO ally. Turkey maintains huge inventories of M48 and M60A1/A3 tanks and keeps many operational alongside the army’s German-made Leopards. This week the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSB) publicized its efforts to enhance the M60T, a variant of the Patton tank with extensive upgrades. The highlight of the M60T is having the Pulat active protection system (APS) installed on six points around the hull giving 360 degree coverage against missiles and projectiles.

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Turkish Naval Weapons Are Rapidly Advancing

July 14, 2020

Via SSB.

On July 1 the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSB) and local manufacturer Roketsan successfully tested the ATMACA anti-ship missile from a stationary launcher on a coastal site. The SSB later promoted the event as a milestone where the ATMACA traveled a distance of more than 200 kilometers before hitting a mock target at sea. Roketsan, which is responsible for all domestically made precision weapons, promotes the ATMACA as a multi-platform weapon suited for small and large naval vessels. Because of its geography and role within the NATO alliance Turkey has little need for a surface fleet other than territorial defense. But the current programs for naval modernization suggest the branch has bigger goals in the decade to come.

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Highlights Of OEWatch For June 2020

June 30, 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 June issue runs 83 pages divided among five sections spanning Eurasia, the Indo-Pacific, MENA, Africa, and Latin America. 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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Knowing The Difference Between Chinese Type 99 And Type 96 Tanks

June 29, 2020

The Type 99. Via Chinese state media.

With China and India almost going to war two weeks ago after a deadly border skirmish there has been an uptick of media depicting the former’s military strength. But the dazzling variety of Chinese military equipment can still leave readers confused. For example, just as the PLA sent additional mechanized units to the Tibetan plateau the accompanying propaganda reveals the contrasts in the ground forces’ inventory. When it comes to battle tanks not one but three models are suited for combat operations in high altitudes. The two most likely to be used in a full-blown conflict are the Type 99/99A and the Type 96/96A.

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