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40 Years Later, The Real Iran-US War Is Imminent

June 21, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

The destruction of an RQ-4A BAMS-D Global Hawk on June 20, a Thursday, and the subsequent claim by Iran that its air defenses shot down the ISR drone, proved a sufficient cassus belli for unilateral US airstrikes on the Islamic Republic. The New York Times and The Washington Post confirmed this with scoops on imminent retaliatory actions by ships and aircraft near the Persian Gulf but these were called off on Thursday night. There are no further reports on the arrival of US military assets in the Middle East nor are there formal announcements regarding attacks against Iran.

These events come just a week after the US blamed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for crippling two oil tankers–the Japan-owned Kokuka Courageous and the Norway-owned Front Altair–near the Strait of Hormuz. The tanker attacks occurred two months and five days since the Trump administration labeled the IRGC a terrorist group.

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Armored Cars: Tata Motors LAMV

June 20, 2019

Via Tata Motors.

One of the most promising modular trucks ever developed by an Indian company was the Light Armored Multipurpose Vehicle or LAMV. It was unveiled by Tata Motors in DefExpo 2014 to garner public interest and improve its chances at winning the defense ministry’s tender for a protected 4×4. Several years later and the LAMV, despite its attractiveness, hasn’t entered production nor is there any demand from overseas. It’s a shame considering the effort that went into the original variant.

Influenced by the concept of a lightweight mine-resistant truck, a model exemplified by the Oshkosh JLTV, the LAMV benefited from input by British companies such as Supacat and Morgan Advanced Materials.

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Seven Reasons Why You Must Read Empire Of The Winds

June 18, 2019

Globe-spanning maritime trade did not begin with European forays into Asia. Via Wikimedia Commons.

One of the year’s remarkable non-fiction titles strikes a mortal blow to outdated but enduring cliches about Southeast Asia. More than a collection of tourist spots and stereotypes, author Philip Bowring manages to cast the incongruous archipelago between the Indian and Pacific oceans as a vital cog in world civilization. His thesis in Empire of the Winds isn’t about any particular empire, in fact, but of a maritime expanse that flourished for a thousand years (and longer) before Europeans arrived.

Bowring calls it Nusantaria, a yet-unrecognized supranational entity commanding vital sea lanes in ancient times and the present day, but its present form subscribes to the 10-country ASEAN bloc. Rather than conjure a mythological past for his subject, Bowring’s portrayal of Nusantaria is rigorous and at times severe. The sources exposed by his bibliography are encyclopedic in scope and this is what makes Empire of the Winds a must-read for anyone who ponders Asia’s future.

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The Singapore Army Really Hyped Its New Hunter AFV

June 15, 2019

Via MINDEF.

When the Singapore Army marked its 50th birthday on June 11 the occasion served as the public debut for the branch’s upcoming battle taxi. The Ministry of Defense made no secret of its plans to field locally made vehicles for the army’s modernization. Foremost was a tracked fighting vehicle that could move a section of infantry and fight beside them. This is a different requirement from the Terrex wheeled APC, which is built on an Timoney chassis and is amphibious–the Terrex is supposed to move soldiers in and out of combat. The Hunter Armored Fighting Vehicle that appeared in Singei Gedong Camp on Tuesday is equipped to move and fight in any environment.

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Pay Very Close Attention To This Iranian Missile

June 14, 2019

Via Iranian media.

With US-Iran ties falling apart the specter of a regional war looms anew over the Middle East. This makes it worthwhile to examine the possible military technology the belligerents may use against each other in an actual conflict. Since the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the JCPOA framework a year ago, the Islamic Republic has regularly publicized its arsenal with the help of local media. Indeed, the past six months offered an abundance of proof that Iran’s ability to mass-produce advanced weapons is thriving despite sanctions.

In late January, for example, a rare exhibition for its domestic military equipment was held in Tehran. Among the shocking surprises were the complete selection of drones displayed at the indoor venue…and their weapons.

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DSE Vietnam 2019 Is Booking Exhibitors Right Now

June 13, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

A brand new arms show is taking place in Hanoi from October 2 until 4 this year. The very first installment of DSE Vietnam is organized by Expo Services Pte Ltd, a regional events company, in collaboration with EIFEC and the Department of Armed Equipment and Warehousing. Additional support is provided by the host country’s Ministry of National Defense and Ministry of Public Security. The show marks a watershed of sorts for companies eager to win contracts supplying the Vietnam People’s Army and its branches, whose annual budget will keep growing until the mid-2020s.

Suppliers of export approved military and security products for all domains (air, border, cyber, land, maritime) are welcome to register now and reserve their exhibition stand. DSE Vietnam 2019 is also looking for presenters and sponsors who want greater visibility in a packed venue.

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Did Saudi Arabia Buy Chinese Nuclear Missiles–Again?

June 10, 2019

The country’s ailing monarch, King Salman. Via Wikimedia Commons.

A longform scoop published by CNN on June 5 claimed the oil-rich kingdom was in the process of acquiring Chinese missile technology. This intelligence was provided by at least three unnamed sources connected to Congressional Committees in Washington, DC. The origins of the revelation, according to CNN, were chance encounters in the Middle East between staff affiliated with Democratic members of at least one committee and a “foreign counterpart.” But no concrete evidence has surfaced proving Saudi Arabia acquired nuclear-capable missiles from abroad.

The report from CNN did connect its topic with recent satellite photos of a suspicious facility in Saudi Arabia whose alleged purpose is assembling rocket boosters.

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Armored Cars: Oshkosh M-ATV

June 8, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

Few armored vehicles have achieved the success of Oshkosh’ bestselling MRAP-All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV). The result of a fast-tracked effort to supply US forces in Afghanistan with a new protected truck, as soon as the first contract was announced in 2009 the M-ATV enjoyed overwhelming demand. By 2010 Oshkosh boasted having 8,079 M-ATV’s in its order book with a thousand delivered by December 2009.

The impetus behind the M-ATV was the challenging geography of Afghanistan where few paved roads and mountain trails gave “traditional” MRAPs a hard time, especially those patterned after South African models better suited to dusty plains and savannah. Built on Oshkosh’ LMTV cargo truck chassis and scaling just 12.5 tons, the M-ATV redefined how mine-resistant vehicles are built.

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Every Chinese Infantry Platoon Have This Recoilless Rocket Launcher

June 2, 2019

Via China Military Online.

The English-language news website run by China’s PLA recently shared photos of soldiers belonging to the “73rd Group Army” training with anti-tank weapons. Seen above are PF-98 rocket launchers whose 120mm high explosive projectiles are able to strike within a maximum distance of 400 meters. The PF-98 is the second largest portable recoilless anti-tank weapon in the world after the enormous Russian-made RPG-28 that’s armed with a 125mm tandem warhead.

Unlike most unguided rocket launchers today the PF-98 is reloadable with the canister holding its rocket plugged into its breech. PF-98’s are assigned to each PLA infantry unit at the platoon level where trained gunners carry it on their backs using a strap. A lightweight folding tripod comes with each launcher but in the photo the soldiers are using a collapsible monopod.

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The Dragoon 2 Is Like The M113 APC On Wheels!

May 30, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

Since it entered service with the US Army in 1960 the M113 and its variants have earned their fair share of praise and scorn. Praise for its adaptability to any environment; scorn for its aluminum armor that fares poorly against high explosive projectiles and anything bigger than a hand grenade. But the M113A2/A3 hasn’t been fully retired yet, with the last batch rolling out of factories in November 2012–this requires a bit of explaining.

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More Details Emerge About The Aras Pickup Truck

May 30, 2019

Via Iranian media.

The Iranian military–both the Artesh and the Revolutionary Guard–employ the Aras pickup truck in large numbers for different roles. The Army Day parade last April 18 saw these vehicles decorated with flags and tarpaulin posters on their beds as they led immense convoys bearing military equipment. After the publication of a comparative analysis between the Aras and similar models from around the world this week a reader submitted a rare Defense Industries Organization (DIO) product leaflet to @21aar_show, the official Twitter account for this website. At last, a detailed enumeration of the Aras’ characteristics can now be shared.

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The Iranian Military Have A Favorite Pickup Truck

May 26, 2019

These Aras pickup trucks and the anti-aircraft guns behind them are 100% made in Iran. Via Iranian media.

The Army Day parade in Tehran last April 18 spared nothing when it came to pomp and scale. From impeccable columns of marching infantry to trailers laden with missiles, the occasion was ideal for scrutinizing Iran’s regular armed forces, also known as the the Artesh, and its varied arsenal collected over the decades. As Iranian military parades go, this year’s brought a lot of old equipment mixed with a few pleasant surprises. A real eyecatcher were the numerous pickup trucks festooned with banners.

The model known as Aras (pictured above) has mysterious origins and it’s unclear which Iranian carmaker is responsible for manufacturing it. Checking the official catalog of the Defense Industries Organization (DIO) brings no useful details to light.

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