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North Korea Has A New Tank Killing APC

November 5, 2020
Via North Korean state media.

The lavish military parade held in Pyongyang on October 10 defied expectations for its pomp and dramatic flare. As an advertisement for the Korean People’s Army (KPA) the nighttime event introduced a bewildering range of weapons such as an experimental main battle tank and missiles galore. But other far less controversial additions deserve at least some scrutiny.

In circumstances still unexplained, North Korea’s ground force have a new generation of wheeled APCs that resemble the General Dynamics Land Systems Stryker and its primary job seems to be for killing tanks.

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The Indian RUDRAM Missile Is Worth Keeping Tabs On

November 4, 2020
Via Indian PIB/DRDO.

India’s renowned Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) achieved a new milestone last month when its next generation anti-radiation missile (NGARM) was successfully tested. Dubbed “RUDRAM” and meant for homing on ground-based radars used by air defense systems, a single missile was carried by an IAF Su-30MKI on October 9 and launched at an unidentified target on Wheeler Island, a testing range in the Odisha coast.

With the initial success of the RUDRAM the DRDO has brought India a little closer to becoming self-sufficient in providing the armed forces’ needs.

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The US Military Is Getting Left Behind By Chinese Power

October 28, 2020
Via Chinese state media.

The 200 pages of the latest China Military Power Report, an annual document published by the Pentagon, makes it indisputably clear the US faces a strategic competitor in Asia the likes of which it has never confronted before. This is emphasized in the very beginning of the report (download it here) where the authors use their preface to highlight three areas the US military has fallen behind when compared to the PLA and its branches. The Chinese military now enjoys advantages when it comes to naval expansion, land-based missiles, and air defenses.

Since the report was outed last month US media were keen to emphasize the naval disparity that can no longer be ignored–the PLAN enjoys a larger “battle force” with more surface combatants.

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The Russian Typhoon VDV Is Deadlier Than Ever

October 10, 2020

Via Zvezda/Russian media.

Considering how its arms exports are tied to national prestige this year’s ARMY fair held outside Moscow from August 22 until 28 proved an over-the-top marketing event for Russia’s military industries. Thousands of products were arrayed and displayed at the outdoor venue known as Patriot Park and a welcome sighting was the deadliest variant of the Kamaz/Remdiesel Typhoon. Labeled the “Kornet-EM” the passenger compartment of the protected 4×4 was enlarged to fit tandem anti-tank missile launchers each carrying four Kornet missiles. According to Rosoboronexport, the Russian government’s official arms dealer, a single laser-guided Kornet-EM with a high explosive (HE) warhead is able to strike targets 10 kilometers away while a HEAT can reach 8 km.

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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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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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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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