Wednesday, 22 September 2021

,
 
By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Next to the participation of various assets belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces, the organizers of Teknofest 2021 managed to secure the partaking of two MiG-29s fighter aircraft belonging to the Azerbaijan Air Force. The colourful MiG-29s offer a stark contrast to the Western and Turkish aircraft designs also on display at Teknofest. For those unfortunate enough not to be attending Teknofest this year, footage of an Azeri MiG-29 performing a demonstration flight during Teknofest can be viewed here.
,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Some 30 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the inventories of many post-Soviet air forces are still very much defined by the Soviet-era aircraft types they inherited. This is especially true for combat aircraft, the expensive price tag of which has dissuaded many nations from acquiring new types to replace older generations currently in service. Instead, proven types such as the MiG-29 and Su-25 undergo overhauls again and again in an attempt to not only keep them flying, but also to keep them relevant in the age of 21st century warfare.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Spectacular footage shows Bayraktar Akıncıs and TB2s coming in to land at Istanbul Atatürk Airport in preparation of Teknofest 2021. Their approach and landing could be neatly followed thanks to the camera located in the tail section of both types of unmanned aerial combat vehicles (UCAVs). The Akıncı and TB2 are just but a few of the systems showcased during this year's iteration of Teknofest. For Baykar specifically, the Bayraktar DİHA (VTOL UAV) also made its first public appearance.
,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
It is not often that a type of weapon system is proving so popular that countries are waiting in line to buy it. Ironically, this appears to be the situation with the Bayraktar TB2. In a recent interview with Baykar's Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Selçuk Bayraktar it was stated that new export agreements were signed with more than 10 countries for the export of Bayraktar TB2 so far, and that Baykar Savunma currently generates more than 70 percent of its revenues from exports. [1]

Monday, 20 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The Ethiopian military operates a number of Russian weapon systems that otherwise have found little success on the export market. One of these, the Su-25TK 'Tankovy Buster', has already been covered in an earlier article on this site. Another system is the 2S19 Msta self-propelled gun (SPG), around a dozen of which are currently in service with the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF). Following the outbreak of hostilities in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, they are now amongst the many systems deployed to combat against the TDF.
,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

The goal of this list is to comprehensively catalogue Nigeria's current inventory of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In an effort to streamline the list and avoid unnecessary confusion, this list only includes military-grade UAVs or military drones associated with Nigeria's defence industry. UAVs that underwent testing by the Nigerian military but were ultimately not acquired (such as the RQ-11 Raven and Schiebel Camcopter S-100) are not included in the list.

Saturday, 18 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Images from a recently released video shows additional details of now-former Afghan Air Force aircraft and helicopters that were still present at Kabul International Airport at the time of its fall to the Taliban. In addition to showing the damage caused to aircraft by U.S. forces as they sought to prevent future use of Afghan Air Force assets, the footage also reveals that three Mi-24V attack helicopters were captured intact by the Taliban. Other aircraft such as the C-208/AC-208 utility/attack aircraft and C-130 transport aircraft similarly appear to have suffered less damage than initially thought.

The flyable inventory of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Air Force currently consists of eight MD 530F attack helicopters, around a dozen Mi-8/17s and four UH-60 'Blackhawk' transport helicopters. The activation of more Mi-8/17s and a number of UH-60s is likely, although the operational lifespan of any Blackhawk will likely be limited without access to qualified technicians. Nonetheless, the capture of at least twelve UH-60s and fourteen Mi-8/17s at Kabul will likely provide the Taliban with a steady source of spare parts for years to come. 

Friday, 17 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Bin atlı akınlarda çocuklar gibi şendik - A thousand cavaliers, we were cheerful like children during the raids (Akıncılar, by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı)
 
The A-10 Thunderbolt II was specifically developed as a close air support (CAS) aircraft, tearing up enemy tanks and providing air support against enemy ground forces with its powerful 30mm cannon. Largely designed around the GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon, the mere presence of an A-10 over the battlefield is often enough to strike a lasting sense of fear into any foe on the ground. At a first glance, the Bayraktar Akıncı features little of the aspects that made the A-10 such a fearsome anti-tank hunter, even lacking any type of cannon armament whatsoever.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

This list aims to catalogue visually confirmed Coalition unmanned aerial aircraft (UAV) losses during the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen launched in March 2015. This list only includes visually confirmed losses recorded. Thus, the actual number of UAVs lost in the theatre is likely significantly higher than what is recorded here (for example drones that crashed inside Saudi Arabia but whose wreckages were never photographed). As the conflict is still ongoing, the list will be updated as new downings occur.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The shock of the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) must have been immense when a Chinese-made M20 short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) impacted the flight line of Bahir Dar air base in northwestern Ethiopia in November 2020, during the early stages of the Tigray War. Although the targetting of Bahir Dar was bound to happen sooner rather than later after the capture of several ballistic missile systems by Tigray forces, the sheer precision with which the missile impacted still must have surprised the personnel at the base. Around the same time some 450 kilometres away, several loud blasts rocked Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, which similarly came under missile fire by Tigray forces. How Ethiopia and Eritrea ended up under fire of ballistic missiles will be the subject of this article.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

,

Images from a music video released in early September this year show Tigray forces handling S-75 and S-125 surface-to-air missiles (SAM) seized from Ethiopian government forces. Although captured as early as November 2020, fairly little is known about their subsequent use by Tigray forces. Still operational at the time of capture, only the defection of enough of their operators to the Tigray side could have allowed their use against the Ethiopian Air Force (ETAF). While their latest sighting did not include any of the launching systems associated with the missiles, it confirms that Tigray forces are still in control of several components of the systems.

Monday, 13 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The time when the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) almost solely relied on aging Soviet armament mixed in with some of their more modern Russian brethens is long gone. Over the past decade, Ethiopia has diversified its arms imports to include a number of other sources that presently include nations such as China, Germany, Ukraine and Belarus. Arguably more surprising is the presence of countries like Israel and the UAE in this list, which have supplied Ethiopia with a number of specialised weapon systems.

Thursday, 9 September 2021

,

A video released on the 9th of September 2021 shows an Iranian loitering munition impacting a target near Choman, Erbil Governorate, Iraqi Kurdistan, as part of an ongoing offensive by Iran in the region. The military offensive comes two days after Mohammad Pakpour, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards' Ground Forces, warned the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) against allowing groups hostile to Iran to use its territory to carry out attacks against Iran. [1] General Pakpour also threatened to attack the bases of these groups and advised civilians to stay away from their bases. Iran almost immediately made good on the threat, using artillery and loitering munitions to target these same bases just two days later. [2]

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Pakistan conducted a successful test of a newly-developed guided multiple rocket launcher (MRL) designated the Fatah-1 on the 24th of August 2021. [1] The test, which can be viewed here, follows an earlier successful test flight conducted in January 2021. Having proved its functioning and accuracy under realistic conditions, the latest firing might have been the final test before the system enters mass production and joins the ranks of the Pakistani Army.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

,

By Farooq Bhai in collaboration with Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The presence of Chinese unmanned aerial combat vehicles (UCAVs) in the ranks of the Pakistani Armed Forces has long been the subject of speculation in the press. No ground images have ever been released that could confirm the presence of the UCAVs on Pakistani soil, further adding to the speculation. Even though Pakistan has so far managed to keep the status of its Chinese-delivered UCAVs highly elusive, a large amount of information can be found through open-source investigations. This reveals an extensive arsenal of Chinese-made UCAVs that are currently in service with the various branches of the Pakistani Armed Forces.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

A war that broke out between the Ethiopian government and its northern Tigray region has thrown the country into turmoil. Armed conflict has been raging since November 2020, killing thousands and displacing millions. The escalation came after months of tensions between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) political party. For nearly three decades, the TPLF was at the centre of power in Ethiopia after defeating the communist-socialist state that existed in Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991. Tigrayan officials were able to dominate the government despite only accounting for some five per cent of the Ethiopian population. After a wave of anti-government protests from 2014 to 2016, a new government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018. Abiy pressed reforms that sought to curb the power of the TPLF, much to the dismay of the Tigrayans. In response, Tigray, held its own regional elections and tensions increased to the point of open hostilities. The political crisis erupted into war when TPLF forces attacked Ethiopian Army bases in Tigray in November 2020.

Friday, 3 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
The 2010s were a time of significant upheaval for the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF). Within less than a decade, ageing weaponry dating from the Cold War period was progressively retired (or in some cases upgraded) and replaced by more modern equipment. While in some cases this merely replaced legacy systems, the ENDF also sought to introduce entirely new capabilities through the acquisition of large-calibre multiple rocket launchers, guided rockets and short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs).

Thursday, 2 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
This list aims to comprehensively catalogue the Afghan aircraft captured at Kabul International Airport (IAP) but rendered disabled by U.S. forces. United States forces stationed at Kabul during the withdrawal efforts from Afghanistan are reported to have rendered 73 aircraft and helicopters inoperable for future use. Although the full extent of damage the aircraft suffered remains unknown, it can be expected that U.S. forces damaged them sufficiently to prevent their use in the near future.
,
 
By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

In addition to operating a number of UAVs sourced from Israel and even Iran, at least one more country has delivered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Ethiopia in recent years. This country is of course China, whose readily available and inexpensive UAVs have meanwhile conquered large parts of Africa. Interestingly, these more often than not have consisted of commercial models utilised for a wide variety of military and civilian tasks rather than types specifically designed for military service.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
A war that broke out between the Ethiopian government and its northern Tigray region has thrown the country into turmoil. Armed conflict has been raging since November 2020, killing thousands and displacing millions. The escalation came after months of tensions between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) political party. For nearly three decades, the TPLF was at the centre of power in Ethiopia after defeating the communist-socialist state that existed in Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991. Tigrayan officials were able to dominate the government despite only accounting for some five per cent of the Ethiopian population. After a wave of anti-government protests from 2014 to 2016, a new government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018. Abiy pressed reforms that sought to curb the power of the TPLF, much to the dismay of the Tigrayans. In response, Tigray, held its own regional elections and tensions increased to the point of open hostilities. The political crisis erupted into war when TPLF forces attacked Ethiopian Army bases in Tigray in November 2020.