Friday, 13 January 2023

,

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

,

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

,

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

,

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

,

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

,

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

,

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.

Thursday, 5 January 2023

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Türkiye's rich aviation history spans far more time and projects than most people are presently aware of. Unfortunately, many of the country's indigenous aviation projects have received little attention outside of Türkiye, and even in the country itself some designs remain completely unknown even to seasoned aviation enthusiasts. Of course, it doesn't help that many of the country's early aircraft designs were destined to remain limited to the drawing board – as was the case with the 1930s-era Nu.D.40 fighter aircraft by Turkish aircraft manufacturer Nuri Demirağ – or limited to prototypes only before being cancelled due to a lack of political commitment. [1]
,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Misfortune befalls a person like a falcon springs on an innocent gazelle. (By Emir Ben Kalish Ezab)
 
The Khemed Civil War was a civil war in the Emirate of Khemed that began in 1956 when Sheikh Bab El Ehr, with international backing from Greek-American business tycoon Roberto Rastapopoulos, American arms dealer J.M. Dawson and Doctor Müller (nom de guerre: Mull Pasha), overthrew the regime of Emir Mohammed Ben Kalish Ezab. The war arose when the Emir withdrew the landing rights of Arabair, one of Rastapopoulos' companies, after the airline refused to loop-the-loop before landing at Wadesdah International Airport for the pleasure of the Emir's son Abdallah. As Wadesdah was a key link in a major smuggling route run by Arabair, the Emir proved bad for business.

Wednesday, 4 January 2023

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Considering the significant investments made by Azerbaijan in the acquisition of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), it is perhaps surprising that Armenia entered the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War with only a rudimentary unmanned aerial reconnaissance capability, and almost no unmanned offensive capabilities to speak of. [1] While the Armenian Ministry of Defence boasted of having destroyed three Azerbaijani MBTs through the use of domestically-made loitering munitions during the July 2020 Armenian–Azerbaijani clashes, the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War showed that despite this zealous claim, no such capabilities truly existed in the inventory of the Armenian Armed Forces at that time. [2]
,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
It is not often that a tank is so uncommon that it has eluded correct identification by even the most seasoned military enthusiasts. Nevertheless, this appears to be the case with the Soviet T-37A amphibious light tank, one example of which was supplied to Türkiye in 1934. Incorrectly IDed as an indigenously-designed amphibious light tank supposedly designated as the MKE Kırıkkale M-1943, this innocent misinterpretation might have well been the result of the scarcity of information available on Soviet weapons shipments to the Turkish Army in the early to mid-1930s.

Tuesday, 3 January 2023

,


By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Rumours of organised pro-Gaddafi resistance have persisted since the end of the First Libyan Civil War in late 2011. With the exception of a number of attacks and car bombings in 2012 to 2014, an organised resistance movement never truly materialised however. Instead, the second son of the late Libyan leader Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is seeking to regain his father's power through political means, and in November 2021 attempted to register as a candidate in the 2021 Libyan presidential election but was rejected. [1] This decision was overturned less than a month later, reinstating him as a presidential candidate for the elections that are now scheduled to take place at some point in 2023. [2]

Monday, 2 January 2023

,

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Yemen's Houthis have managed to build up a military arsenal that exceeds the capabilities of many larger nation states. In addition to operating a wide range of Iranian-designed loitering munitions and ballistic missiles, the Houthis also field a number of naval craft, water-borne improvised explosive devices (WBIEDs), anti-ship missiles (AShMs), naval mines and even anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs). And although the Houthi's Navy has scarcely received any attention over the years, it has definitely left its mark on the Yemeni War. Notable feats have included the destruction of the HSV-2 Swift by an AShM in 2016, a successful WBIED attack on the Saudi frigate Al Madinah in 2017, the sinking of an Emirati minelayer in 2017 and the damaging and capture of two Saudi landing craft in 2020 and 2022. [1]