Sunday, 17 October 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Tensions have increased between Iran and Azerbaijan over road tax imposed on Iranian truck drivers that want to enter Armenia through Azerbaijan, over Azerbaijani ties to Israel and plans for a corridor linking Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan exclave with mainland Azerbaijan. The latter's occurence could see Tehran lose its connection to Armenia altogether, hindering its access to the regional market. While current tensions between Tehran and Baku have so far been confined to diplomatic tensions and military exercises along their respective borders, some fear that mounting tensions between the two countries could one day escalate into an all-out regional conflict.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
On display alongside a host of well-known UAV designs at Teknofest 2021 there was a UAV that looks as intriguing as it does unconventional. The object that combined these two feats is the Alpkuş, a small UAV that was designed by Turkish engineer Alper Sarısan. The Alpkuş originally started its life as a simple copy of the Colomban Cri-Cri homebuilt recreational aircraft, which has the curious distinction of being the smallest twin-engined manned aircraft in the world. Somewhere during the past several years, Alper Sarısan converted his Cri-Cri for unmanned operations, adding it to a growing list of UAV designs to come from the country.

Friday, 15 October 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Ethiopia's last acquisition of (unmanned) aircraft before the commencement of the Tigray War in November 2020 are not the Wing Loong IIs UCAVs the country is so often reported to have deployed during the early stages of the conflict. Instead, the last (unmanned) aircraft it acquired was a single German Trinity F9 eVTOL UAV received as a gift from the German government in October 2020. [1] Although supposed to be part of a batch of three drones that was to be donated to Ethiopia to help its Ministry of Agriculture in areas of natural resources protection, only one F9 was delivered before the German Development Cooperation was halted from supplying the other two drones after the commencement of the Tigray War in November 2020 [2]
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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans 

Morocco's use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has been a subject shrouded in secrecy since the country first acquired drones in the late 1980s. Although this secrecy surrounds nearly all of its defence acquisitions, Morocco has taken extra care to reveal as little as possible with regards to what UAV types it purchased and where they're being deployed. But in a time when most people own camera phones and satellite imagery is readily available, an increasing amount of information about Morroco's drone operations is slowly becoming available.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Haykırdı ak tolgalı beylerbeyi "İlerle!" - When the white clad bannerlord roared ''Forth cavalcade!'' (Akıncılar, by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı)
 
It has been surprisingly long since the introduction of a new type of unmanned aerial combat vehicle (UCAV) heralded the inception of entirely new capabilities in the field of drone warfare. While some types of UCAVs have introduced an increased payload capacity, an improved sensor suite or an increased endurance over their predecessors, there has been little innovation in armament types cleared for use by UCAVs in recent years. This all changed with the introduction of the Bayraktar Akıncı, which boasts a number of features not seen on any other type of UCAV produced anywhere before.

Monday, 11 October 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans 
 
After the acquisition of Iranian and Emirati unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) by Ethiopia, there now is strong reason to suggest that a third type of UCAV has joined the conflict: The Chinese-made Wing Loong I. Information received by the authors' combined with a suspicious cargo flight to Harar Meda air base in Ethiopia from Chengdu, China, where the Wing Loong I is manufactured, point towards the delivery of at least three of such systems to Ethiopia in September 2021. The news comes a week after the confirmed use of UAE-supplied UCAVs with the Ethiopian military in the contested Tigray Region. [1]

Friday, 8 October 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans based on data gathered by Gerjon 
 
Amidst an increasingly deterorating security situation throughout large parts of northern Ethiopia, the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) has embarked on an international shopping spree in an effort to acquire new weapon systems that could help it to halt the seemingly unstoppable advances of Tigray forces. As part of its efforts, Ethiopia has sought to acquire arms from countries like the UAE and Iran. Recent data collected by aircraft tracker Gerjon reveals the scale of the air bridge maintained by these countries to keep the ENDF supplied with all the weaponry and equipment it needs. [1]