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 were three German Trinity F9 eVTOL UAVs received as a gift by the German government in October 2020. [1] Although delivered to Ethiopia to help the Ministry of Agriculture in areas of natural resources protection and humanitarian responses, it cannot be ruled that these UAVs are currently being used in the Tigray War.
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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]

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Having entered service with at least seven countries worldwide, several more nations are currently thought to be negotiating with Turkey for the acquisition of Bayraktar TB2s. [1] One of these nations is reported to be Pakistan, which currently operates a fleet of Chinese unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) backed up by a locally-produced drone known as the Burraq. [2] In addition to these types, Pakistan is currently also developing several more indigenous UCAVs. At least one of these aims to incorporate Turkish technology through a cooperation with Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI), the designer of the TAI Anka U(C)AV. [3]

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The deployment of Emirati unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) on behalf of the Ethiopian government has been speculated on ever since the beginning of hostilities with the rebellious Tigray Region in November 2020. The oft-repeated claims that several Chinese-made Wing Loong UCAVs operate out of Assab air base in Eritrea to undertake combat missions over Tigray have never been supported by evidence that points towards such a deployment either in 2020 or now. However, almost one year into the conflict evidence that shows UAE-combat drones have indeed been delivered to Ethiopia to help it in its fight against the Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) has now finally emerged. [1]