Friday, 13 January 2023

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The mid-to-late 1990s was shaping up to become the Royal Thai Armed Forces' golden decade. The acquisition of 18 F-16As propelled the Royal Thai Air Force to the forefront of military aviation in the region, while the Royal Thai Army was reinforced through the addition of M60A3 MBTs and 155mm M109A5 SPGs. The Royal Thai Navy was to benefit from this period of prominence the most, becoming the recipient of Southeast Asia's first and only aircraft carrier, the HTMS Chakri Narubet. Equipped with six AV-8S Matadors and four S-70B Seahawks, this ship, along with 18 A-7E Corsair ground-attack aircraft, three P-3T ASW aircraft and a brand-new replenishment ship and six frigates acquired from China, was set to transform the Royal Thai Navy into the most powerful naval force in the region for years to come.

Thursday, 12 January 2023

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Looking at the title and header image one might easily be led to conclude that we've gotten the aircraft type wrong for this particular article. Where is the characteristic fully glazed cockpit everyone has come to know the Heinkel He 111 for, one might ask.* Nonetheless, this aircraft too is a German-made Heinkel He 111. In fact, it's one of 24 aircraft of the type delivered to the Turkish Air Force (Türk Hava Kuvvetleri) in late 1937 and early 1938. The lack of the He 111's most distinguishing feature is explained by the fact that the aircraft purchased by Türkiye were of the earlier J series, while the infamous glazed nose cockpit design was only introduced on aircraft from the more common P series onwards.

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The subject of U.S.-made military equipment in active service with Communist Vietnam has fascinated military enthusiasts and analysts alike. For all their fascination however, relatively little has been written about the continued use of U.S. military equipment by unified Vietnam after the fall of South Vietnam in 1975. On the rare occasion that the subject has been covered, most attention has gone towards the operations of captured aircraft like the F-5E, C-130 and UH-1. North Vietnam is estimated to have captured more than 1.100 aircraft and helicopters from the Republic of Vietnam Air Force. Equally significant numbers of armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) ended up in its hands, some of which to this day still bolster the inventory of the Vietnamese People's Army.

Tuesday, 10 January 2023

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Military enthusiasts are always on the hunt for new captivating war stories. Mark Felton has already done a great job in bringing a great number of elusive war stories to the attention of a worldwide audience, and yet more stories lay hidden in dusty archives or elusive photographs, waiting to one day be uncovered. One such story is the design and construction of a Midget U-Boat by a German submariner for Indonesian freedom fighters on the island of Java in 1948. [1] Though the contraption sank during its first sea trial, its design and construction by a German submariner (rather than an actual designer) in a steel factory with no professional tools means was nonetheless an impressive feat.

Monday, 9 January 2023

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
A number of military projects currently pursued by Türkiye have the potential to alter the military balance in the Aegean Sea from the late 2020s onwards, to the point where Greece is unlikely to ever subside the difference in quality and quantity. This includes the Bayraktar Akıncı and Kızılelma unmanned combat aircraft, the TF-2000 destroyers, a fleet of indigenous armed unmanned surface vessels, six Type-214TN Reis-class submarines with air-independent propulsion and the prospective introduction of small attack submarines. All of these weapons systems are to strengthen Türkiye's fleet of some 170 armed drones already conducting regular patrols over the Aegean.

Sunday, 8 January 2023

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The arrest of Ovidio Guzmán, the son of jailed drug lord Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán, sparked a wave of violence in the State of Sinaloa on the 5th of January 2023. Cartel members set up roadblocks with flaming vehicles and launched attacks on military forces in retaliation. Shootouts led to the closure of Culiacán International Airport as two aircraft at the airport (one a passenger, the other military) were fired upon. So far, at least ten soldiers, one police officer and 19 suspected members of the Sinaloa Cartel are reported to have been killed. [1] The violence prompted the Mexican military to launch a number of armed sorties to suppress cartel members using aircraft and helicopters. [2] [3] A map showing the locations where the skirmishes took place can be viewed here.

Saturday, 7 January 2023

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

İstikbal göklerdedir. Göklerini koruyamayan uluslar, yarınlarından asla emin olamazlar. - The future is in the skies. Because nations that cannot protect their skies, can never be sure of their future. (By Mustafa Kemal Atatürk)
 
December 14th, 2022. The Bayraktar Kızılelma unmanned combat aircraft conducts its maiden flight from Tekirdağ-Çorlu-Atatürk Airport. Fast rewind 85 years to September 1937, when the first of 20 Martin 139WT bombers purchased from the U.S. lands at Tekirdağ-Çorlu-Atatürk Airport to begin its service with the Turkish Air Force. From receiving its first true bomber aircraft from the U.S. at Çorlu in 1937 to the test flight of its first indigenously-designed unmanned combat aircraft from Çorlu 85 years later, Türkiye has made great strides in becoming a defence giant.