Saturday, 13 August 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Libya's aerial refuelling programme has only been rarely reported on since its inception in the late eighties, and suffered from a series of setbacks that ultimately led to the abandonment of the programme in the following decade. Nonetheless, this ambitious project has definitely left its traces within the Libyan Air Force, and aircraft once playing a key role in the in-flight refuelling programme are still flying inside the country today.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Support for Ukraine has come from far and wide. Yet while some countries are able to back up their support with military aid or by opening their borders to Ukrainian refugees, others are unable to follow suit because of politics or simply because of their distance to Ukraine. One such nation is the Republic of China, more commonly referred to as Taiwan, which despite not being officially recognised as a country by Ukraine, has delivered humanitarian aid, funds and even small drones to Ukraine. Much of this support has come from private citizens and companies – a clear sign of sympathy for the Ukrainian people and an acknowledgment of the parallels between Ukraine and Taiwan, which is claimed by Beijing and has faced its own fears of a foreign invasion over the years.

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
France has been a major source of military support for Ukraine. Like most European nations, France has opted not to disclose details of its arms deliveries to Ukraine with the exception of the Caesar SPGs, the disclosure of which also served the purpose of publicly reaffirming France's support to Ukraine and sending a message of deterrence to Moscow. Though France has delivered far less in materiel support than Germany at this point in the conflict, it has come under less scrutiny than Berlin. Of course, this has much to do with Germany's self-inflicted public communications disaster regarding its support for Kyiv.

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are not new to Southeast Asia. Thailand acquired an unmanned reconnaissance capability already in 2001, when the Royal Thai Army purchased four IAI Searcher Mk. II reconnaissance UAVs from Israel. Several more drone acquisitions would follow (mainly from Israel) in the following decades, ultimately resulting in the expansive unmanned arsenal in service with the Royal Thai Army, Air Force and Navy today. This meanwhile also includes an increasing number of locally-designed UAVs or types produced under license from China.

Monday, 11 July 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The Hellenic Army continues to face great difficulties in replacing its aging inventory of armoured fighting vehicles and other equipment types. Hit especially hard by the financial crisis of 2007-2008 and the government-debt crisis that followed, Greece had to cancel or postpone a number of acquisition projects. Although the Hellenic Armed Forces was spared severe budget cuts as a result of rising tensions with Türkiye, the lack of funds led to the curious situation where civilians had to pay for the fuel needed in order for Greece's annual independence parade to take place.

Sunday, 10 July 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with Jakub Janovsky
 
Amongst all the countries that have provided military support to Ukraine, the Czech Republic is often named in one breath with powers such as the U.S. and the United Kingdom. By early April 2022, the volume of military aid provided by Czechia to Ukraine already approached some $430 million, making the country one of the largest contributers of military aid in NATO. This aid has included anything from small arms and MANPADS to heavier weaponry like tanks, infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), SAM systems, multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) and even Mi-24V attack helicopters.

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Australia has proven that distance is not an excuse when it comes to supporting a friendly country in need. Having contributed $388 million in military assistance to Ukraine since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Australia is currently the largest non-NATO contributor to Ukraine's defence needs. [1] Considering furthermore that a large part of Australia's military aid consists of bulky armoured vehicles, all of which have to be transported to Europe by air, Australia's efforts at keeping Ukraine in the fight are nothing short of impressive.