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India Is Still Sending Arms To Afghanistan

October 23, 2019

Via Indian Embassy in Kabul.

Last week saw the handover of two Mi-24V Hind gunships to the Afghan defense ministry. During the October 15 event the Indian ambassador signed a memorandum and shook hands with Defense Minister Asadullah Khalid. The transfer of these Hinds follows a previous delivery in May, giving the Afghan military four refurbished gunships. The Indian embassy did mention in its Twitter account how these helicopters are replacements for an earlier batch “gifted” to the defense ministry between 2015 and 2016. It’s unclear if Afghanistan’s fledgling air force can now boast eight gunships or just four, since it’s implied the other half are out of commission.

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Iran Has A New Long-Range Drone In The Works

October 22, 2019

Via Iranian media.

Photos of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni at a recent exhibition in Tehran this month revealed how fast the domestic aerospace sector is developing. The visit on October 8, a Tuesday, was meant to publicize an event for “Knowledge-based Enterprises and Advanced Technologies” but was overshadowed by an intense news cycle. In fact, the next day marked the beginning of Turkey’s assault on the Kurds in northeast Syria, a very unwelcome development condemned by Iran.

During the exhibition, however, Khameni was treated to a briefing on a mysterious new twin-engine drone.

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Highlights Of OEWatch For October 2019

October 20, 2019

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 October issue runs a hefty 81 pages with very robust coverage on three of its five sections; Eurasia, the Indo-Pacific, and MENA. Editorial duties are shared among Tom Wilhelm, Karen Kaya, and Thomas Tolare with broad input by a large pool of contributing writers.

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Armored Cars: Denel Casspir

October 19, 2019

The Casspir Mk I. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Proving that military innovation stems from improvisation, the Casspir is the granddaddy of all mine-resistant trucks that have appeared since. While it’s true US-made vehicles such as the Navistar MaxxPro and the Oshkosh M-ATV are spectacular success stories (totaling more than 20,000 built in the last 14 years) the Casspir enjoys an incomparable lineage. Its origins date to an obscure program greenlit by South Africa’s police in the 1970s. At the time a civil war in neighboring Rhodesia pitted a white supremacist government against a determined Communist rebellion. With South Africa sworn to uphold the former the resulting combat was intense and landmines were a recurring headache .

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Zemana Is Ready To Fight The Spread Of Deepfakes

October 18, 2019

Via Zemana.

A little known cybersecurity firm in the Balkans has joined the counter-current against the rise of deepfake video clips. Deepfakes began grabbing headlines after a wave of disruptive elections in 2016 when voters around the world had their social media accounts sown with fake news. Now that the post-facts era has begun in earnest a new threat has since been identified. The easy utilization of video altering software that superimposes composite facial features on real subjects has given rise to concerns that both politicians and public figures can be “hacked” for spreading misinformation.

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Japan Plans To Modernize The Philippine Military

October 16, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

A very significant government-to-government conference took place in Metro Manila this month. Japan’s defense ministry organized the gathering and welcomed representatives of local state-owned enterprises to discuss transferring military technology by various means. The occasion titled “Inaugural Philippines-Japan Defense Industry Forum” was held on October 2 at a venue in Taguig, the sub-city where the Philippines’ premier business district is located.

An upbeat press release from the Department of National Defense (DND) circulated the following day described the event as “beneficial” for the Philippine military, which is still modernizing its different branches to face external threats. The DND made it clear that its own “Defense Acquisition System Teams/Technical Working Groups” sought to “learn and understand Japan’s defense technologies.”

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Chinese Soldiers Are Being Issued A New Carbine

October 10, 2019

Via Chinese media.

The spectacular military parade in Beijing last week cemented China’s status as a rising superpower but so many of its details have gone un-examined. An intriguing reveal at the October 1 event, meant to celebrate 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic, was a small arm carried by elite troops. With the dimensions of a carbine and equipped mounting a thermal scope, few seemed to notice this weapon outside a few social media accounts that follow Chinese military news.

In fact, even Chinese media didn’t bother to share any pertinent details about it amid a torrent of coverage for the main event.

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Iran Is An Undisputed Drone Power, Full Stop

September 22, 2019

Via Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense.

Five days after the spectacular attacks on its Abqaiq and Khurais oil processing facilities, Saudi Arabia’s defense ministry held a press conference to prove that Iran rather than Yemen’s Houthis was behind it all. In the early morning of September 14, a Saturday, unidentified objects struck two sites critical to the Kingdom’s lucrative fossil fuel exports. The resulting fires, images of which dominated the news cycle, were contained in a few hours with no casualties reported.

A spokesperson for Ansar Allah, the official name of the Houthis, announced the drone strikes were retaliation for the Saudi war on Yemen. But Washington, DC was quick to blame Iran.

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Highlights Of OEWatch For September 2019

September 20, 2019

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 latest issue runs a hefty 74 pages with generous coverage on each of its five sections. Editorial duties are shared among Tom Wilhelm, Karen Kaya, and Thomas Tolare with broad input by a large pool of contributing writers.

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India Wants Its Military To Master AI By The 2020s

September 18, 2019

Via Wikimedia Commons.

To reach the forefront of military technology India is bringing together its government and private sector for an ambitious program: the widespread adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Speaking at the Society of Indian Defense Manufacturer’s (SIDM) 2nd Annual Session, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh revealed his office approved multiple projects related to “AI in Defense.” Although the minister didn’t name specifics, what could pass for India’s national AI strategy has been in the works for the past few years.

The SIDM is a non-profit organization for helping all of India’s largest companies with collaborative projects that enhance the armed forces’ technological reach.

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Afghan Commandos Have A Cool Automatic Grenade Launcher

September 15, 2019

Via Afghanistan defense ministry.

A social media post from Afghanistan’s defense ministry on September 13, a Friday, revealed a very potent US-made weapon used by the Afghan army’s commandos. In the same post the ministry announced Takhar province, located near the border with Tajikistan, was again under government control. An accompanying undated image showed an Afghan commando seated behind a US-made MK47 Striker automatic grenade launcher.

The MK47 was developed by General Dynamics in the previous decade as a lightweight precision grenade launcher. From 2010 onward it saw increasing use by US special forces and, judging by the photo above, it has now reached their brethren in Afghanistan.

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The Indian DRDO Has A Top Attack Missile In The Works

September 13, 2019


Yesterday marked the completion of the latest firing tests for the Defense Research and Development Organization’s (DRDO) man portable anti-tank guided missile. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh delivered his congratulations on social media and revealed the MPATGM struck an inert target resembling a tank. The MPATGM is scheduled for testing throughout the year before its next development phase is announced. Its success is crucial for the Indian Army since the branch suffers from a shortage of anti-armor weapons.

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