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India Denies Selling BrahMos Missiles To Vietnam

August 23, 2017

The Southeast Asian country might be the first genuine customer for the lethal cruise missile. But this is denied by India after reports circulated online that the BrahMos–a supersonic weapon system developed by India and Russia–was delivered to Vietnam. Last week, the Economic Times quoted an “external affairs ministry spokesperson” named Raveesh Kumar who debunked news of the BrahMos sale, calling it “incorrect.”

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Armored Cars: OFB Mine Protected Vehicle Aditya

August 19, 2017

The Mine Protected Vehicle made by India’s Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is one of the least known armored cars in use today. Its design is based on the proven South African Casspir, the forerunner of current generation MRAPs. On the other hand, the MPV, which is also called the Aditya, was tailored for South Asia’s terrain and the needs of India’s security forces.

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Indian And Chinese Troops Fought Each Other Over A Lake

August 18, 2017

With relations between Beijing and Delhi deteriorating at a rapid clip ever since the ridiculous scuffle in Doklam it seems a shooting war is about to erupt at any moment. But both sides have still exercised restraint, confining their vitriol to bad press and coded threats.

Yet in another remote part of the Sino-Indian frontier this week, matters seem to have gotten violent again.

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Asia Is On The Brink Of Two Devastating Wars This Month

August 15, 2017

Modern war in the 21st century is a rare phenomenon confined to small theaters. But this decade has brought the grim specter of Great Power confrontation back inside our living rooms. As 2017 approaches its last quarter it’s worth examining two standoffs that threaten world peace and put millions of lives at risk.

It’s easy to think of Syria as the epicenter for a mortal struggle between traditional rivals; the US and its alliance system against Russia’s national interests. Yet at its worst the long conflict tearing apart the Levant has been an exercise in restraint. It’s now apparent the Chinese periphery is the greatest fault line there is. In the last few months the Korean peninsula and an inaccessible borderland are both forcing China to act in ways it hasn’t for at least 25 years–as a belligerent and a ruthless keeper of the peace.

So what can the rest of humanity expect in a world where Asian problems have a serious impact on everything else?

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Russia Is Giving Its Air Force The Su-57 In 2018

August 13, 2017

Russia will soon join the very exclusive stealth club with the imminent arrival of its own fifth-generation fighter, the Su-57. This week news agency Tass quoted an air force general who revealed the first planes will be delivered in 2018. According to Colonel General Victor Bondarev the PAK FA now has the “serial name” Su-57 and pilot training for it begins once it’s adopted by the air force.

How many Su-57’s will be built wasn’t revealed but a few years ago Russian officials boasted up to 200 single seat stealth fighters could boost the air force by 2020. This isn’t happening anymore. To mark the Su-57’s arrival Tass published an interactive web page explaining its capabilities.

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The Philippine-American Military Alliance Is In Full Bloom

August 12, 2017

Via Agence France-Presse.

Even if the Duterte administration has turned its back on Washington, DC the quagmire in Marawi accomplished the unthinkable–reviving one of Asia’s oldest military alliances.

Although the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) bore the brunt of the fighting to retake Marawi from local ISIS-linked terrorists, material support from regional partners–Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore have all pitched in–and the US have been more than generous. The US in particular donated new weapons for the Philippine Marine Corps, provided vital ISR capabilities such as drones and spy planes, and replenished the Philippine Army’s munitions.

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Highlights Of OEWatch For August 2017

August 9, 2017

The newest issue of OEWatch is preoccupied with Russian technology again with the headline Russian Anti-Access and Area Denial. August runs 60 pages and is divided between six sections. For the first time ever, the editorial team put the Russia, Ukraine section ahead of the rest, thereby supplanting the familiar Middle East, North Africa section. OEWatch is available as a free download from the APAN Community Network.

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Armored Cars: Nimr JAIS

August 8, 2017

The JAIS is the most successful wheeled APC ever developed by a Gulf Arab state. It’s a kind of achievement resulting from savvy technology transfer rather than bleeding edge innovation. The JAIS is a multirole MRAP based on an earlier prototype developed by BAE Systems and Denel–from South Africa–called the RG35.

But the production license of the BAE-Denel project was acquired by the UAE’s burgeoning government investment arm in 2015 and given to Nimr, a subsidiary of the Emirates Defence Industries Company that’s partly owned by the powerful Tawazun Group.

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Most Asian Countries Have Better IFVs Than The US Army

August 8, 2017

The US Army is fed up with its venerable infantry fighting vehicle. After 34 years of untiring service the M2 Bradley is being readied for obsolescence and ultimately, replacement. This can’t come too soon as modern war keeps getting deadlier for armored vehicles–the battlefields of Northern Iraq and Syria attest to this.

But when the US Army launched its Ground Combat Vehicle or GCV program in 2012 the resulting prototype pitched by BAE Systems weighed a monstrous 70 tons. The ridiculous mass together with its ugly angles meant the first try at a GCV was a disaster waiting to happen. No wonder it was cancelled in 2014, joining the same trash heap as the wasteful Future Combat System or FCS program from 1999 to 2009.

Despite the success of the wheeled Stryker, which eclipsed the semi-retired M2 Bradley by 2008, the preference for a tracked chassis and serious armor protection reigns supreme in the Pentagon’s vision for near future conflict. In 2017 the US Army relaunched its quest for a Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) without providing specifics. The only criteria was a basic design that can be tailored for any mission. Tangible results, i.e. two working prototypes, are expected by 2022.

Unfortunately, the rest of the world has beaten the US to the punch. Here are a dozen examples–from East Asia to Western Europe–of what the US Army’ NGCV should aspire to become without a scary price tag. To give credit where it’s due, most vehicle specifications were sourced from Military-Today.

The Pentagon better hurry because the technology gap it once relied on isn’t there anymore.

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China Commissioned A Giant Supply Ship This Week

August 6, 2017

This is obviously a carrier. The new class of supply ship keeps flat tops juiced and victualed at sea.

The PLAN is closer than ever to organizing its first carrier strike group. On August 1 the South China Morning Post broke the news of a 45,000 ton supply and replenishment ship’s commissioning. This might not look like a big deal–the Chinese navy operates numerous vessels of the type–but what matters is the context.

Details surrounding the ship’s induction to the navy were scarce. According to the Morning Post’s reporters, the only proof of its status as a commissioned vessel was its hull number, 965. Verified information about its technology, layout, and crew is not available.

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Turkmenistan Just Advertised Its Counter-Terrorism Muscle

August 5, 2017

Turkmenistan’s flamboyant leader once again lifted the veil on his country’s armed might on August 1 with a video clip of military exercises. While the content was lampooned for its portrayal of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who appeared in battle dress to test several weapons, the rest of the footage provided indisputable proof that Turkmenistan is obsessed with thwarting terrorists.

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Indonesia Is Buying 11 Su-35 Fighters

August 3, 2017

The Southeast Asian country is the latest customer for Russia’s 4++ generation fighter in another boost for United Aircraft Corporation‘s brand after the successful MAKS air show in July. Talks prior the arms deal were ongoing as far back as 2015. At the time it was only speculated that Indonesia was buying a small batch.

In June 2017 Tass reported that 10 Su-35 Flanker-E’s were on the table. But the correct number is 11. The value of the jets was never revealed but the total amount paid to the Russians could swing between $600 million and $1 billion, depending on what subsystems the Indonesian Su-35’s will carry.

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