Thursday, 15 September 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The Czech Army is set to undergo a major transformation that will eventually see the replacement of most remaining Cold War-era equipment in favour of modern Western types. Planned to include military hardware such as the Leopard 2A7 MBT, CV90 MkIV IFVs, Caesar 8x8 SPGs, SPYDER-MR SAM systems, AH-1Z attack helicopters and even up to 24 F-35 stealth combat aircraft, the Czech Republic as a result will be in possession of a highly capable and well-equipped military. The latest reported acquisition of three Heron I U(C)AVs from Israel for the Czech Air Force would further expand on these already advanced capabilities. Of course, all this comes with a significant price tag.

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan flared up again on Monday the 12th of September 2022, with both sides engaging in artillery duels that have so far resulted in hundreds of soldiers killed on both sides. Azerbaijani forces struck Armenian forces after what it claims is a buildup of Armenian landmines on the border, while Armenia said that several border towns were being shelled as part of a large-scale provocation by Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has made extensive use of Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to strike Armenian positions, leading to the destruction of numerous targets including two S-300PS surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries.

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Saudi Arabia has mostly relied on China for the purchase of UCAVs. This has manifested in the acquisition of significant numbers of Wing Loong I, Wing Loong II and CH-4Bs from the mid-to-late 2010s onwards. These supplemented several types of South African, Italian and German-made reconnaissance UAVs already in action over Yemen since start of the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in the country in March 2015. [1] In 2019, Saudi Arabia further expanded its drone arsenal with the acquisition of the Turkish-made Lentatek Karayel-SU UCAV, which is soon to be produced in Saudi Arabia under the designation of Haboob. [2] Saudi Arabia seeks to localise at least 50% of its defence spending by 2030 as part of the country's Vision 2030, providing a stimulus for defence companies to set up indingeous production lines.

Monday, 12 September 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Like so many NATO member countries Canada has contributed significantly to Ukraine's defensive capabilities after the Russian invasion of the country in February 2022. This aid has so far included 39 brand-new Armoured Combat Support Vehicles, eight brand-new Roshel Senator infantry mobility vehicles (IMVs), four M777 towed howitzers and 4600 anti-tank weapons. Canada was also the first nation to supply Ukraine with guided artillery rounds, with an unknown number of M982 Excalibur GPS-guided shells being sent for use with Western-supplied 155mm howitzers.

Friday, 9 September 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The Netherlands was one of the first countries in Europe to pledge meaningful military aid to Ukraine as Russia began the build-up of its military forces along the border with Ukraine. Days after Russia commenced its invasion of the country on the 24th of February 2022, further military aid that included 50 FIM-92 Stinger MANPADS launchers with 200 missiles and 50 Panzerfaust 3 anti-tank weapons along with 400 rockets was quickly announced. Not much later, the Dutch Ministry of Defence declared it would no longer provide details on arms deliveries to Ukraine. [1]
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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Iran has set up a network of smuggling routes through Oman and the Arabian and Red Seas to transport arms and equipment to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. This has included anything from small arms to cruise missiles, loitering munitions and even ballistic missiles. The fact that these continue to reach Yemen in spite of a naval blockade in place is a testament to Iran's skill in arms trafficking. Nonetheless, arms shipments are occasionally intercepted and seized by Western and Saudi warships sailing in the area. The volume of these intercepts has meanwhile been enough for Western countries to supply war-thorn Ukraine with at least some of the armament captured. [1]

Thursday, 8 September 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in cooperation with Tarao Goo
 
Japan has traditionally maintained one of the strictest armament export policies in the world, which has for the most part prevented Japanese defence companies and government agencies from exporting or even donating military equipment to other countries. The fact that the Japanese government amended its own guidelines to bypass laws that would otherwise have prevented it from supplying Ukraine with military aid should thus be seen as highly exceptional. Although the resulting deliveries have remained limited to non-lethal equipment, the move to supply war-torn Ukraine with military equipment is unprecedented in Japan's modern history. Military aid has so far included 40 small reconnaissance UAVs, 6900 helmets and 1900 bulletproof vests.