Monday, 6 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Turkmenistan operates a number of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designs acquired from China. Apart from the ubiquitous CH-3A, which has also been exported to Nigeria, Algeria, Myanmar and Pakistan, the Turkmenistan Air Force also acquired a unique drone design that has yet to enter service with any other country in the world: The WJ-600A/D. This unconventional unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) is one of the few armed drones in the world that performs a rocket-assisted take-off (RATO), subsequently landing by parachute after completing its mission.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Yurdumuzu dünyanın en mamur ve medenî milletleri seviyesine çıkaracağız - We shall raise our country to the level of the most prosperous and civilized nations of the world. (By Mustafa Kemal Atatürk)
 
In recent years, Turkey has made great strides in modernising its infrastructure through the construction of thousands of kilometres of new roads, bridges, tunnels and high-speed rail. Turkey currently has more high-speed rail than countries like the United States, South Korea and the United Kingdom, and once it completes currently planned projects it is set to have the third largest high-speed rail network in the world. [1] [2] Ambitions hardly stop there, with the country well on track to becoming a high-speed rail superpower: as in addition to building the necessary rail infrastructure Turkey also intends to build the trains that operate on it. These exploits perfectly position the country to one day export its technologies and expertise to the rest of the world.

Friday, 3 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Though mostly operating weaponry purchased from countries like Russia, Ukraine and China, the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) has occassionally looked elsewhere for the acquisition of arms and equipment. This has included defence manufacturers of countries like Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Israel, whose products have been widely introduced with the ENDF. [1] [2] One such product is the 5.56mm IWI Tavor TAR-21 bullpup assault rifle, significant numbers of which would enter service with elite units of Ethiopia's security apparatus during the late 2000s.

Thursday, 2 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

It's not only Turkish drones that have found export success on the international market. Other segments of Turkey's arms industry are also subject to critical acclaim on the world stage. Sometimes this includes systems that for their less glamorous (but nonetheless highly important) roles receive little attention by international analysts, as is the case with the recent purchase of MEMATT mine-clearance vehicles by Burkina Faso and Togo. [1] [2] Other platforms receive more attention, as was recently the case with Nigeria's acquisition of two 76m offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) from Turkey's Dearsan Shipyard.
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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Algeria is notoriously secretive when it comes to devulging details about its arms acquisitions and current inventory of weapons systems. It is thus all the more surprising that quite a lot of information regarding the types of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) purchased and operated by Algeria is publicly available. This reveals a highly diverse inventory of (armed) drones sourced from China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), South Africa and a number of other countries. In recent years, Algeria has also designed several types of indigenous drones. While promising, these projects have yet to spawn an operational system. Most of Algeria's UAVs are currently based at Ain Oussera air base located 200 km south of the capital Algiers.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Turkmenistan has accumulated a highly diverse arsenal of armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) acquired from a plethora of countries worldwide. Intriguingly, many of those acquisitions appear to stem from an intention to increase ties with a particular country rather than actually fulfilling a genuine military requirement. This 'friendship through arms' policy comes at the cost of an increasingly complicated logistic system that by now has to source spare parts from more than a dozen countries for Turkmenistan's fleet of infantry mobility vehicles (IMVs) alone!
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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The deployment of Emirati unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) on the side of the Ethiopian government has been speculated on ever since the beginning of conflict with the rebellious Tigray Region in November 2020. Nonetheless, the oft-repeated claim that several Chinese-made Wing Loong UCAVs operated out of Assab air base in Eritrea to undertake combat missions over Tigray has never been supported by evidence that points towards such a deployment. However, new information received by the authors' from an aircraft mechanic working at Harar Media air base appears to finally disclose the presence of Emirati Wing Loong Is UCAVs over Ethiopia. [1]