Four Allies and One Partner Will Create a Regional Special Forces Command

Four Allies and One Partner Will Create a Regional Special Forces Command

On Wednesday (13 February 2019), the Defence Ministers from Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to establish a Regional Special Operations Component Command (R-SOCC) in the margins of the meetings of NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels. Partner nation Austria will sign the LOI immediately following the NATO Defence Ministerial Meeting. This makes this initiative another example of close cooperation between NATO Allies and partners.

Under the leadership of Hungary, the four European Allies and partner nation Austria will work together to form a deployable R-SOCC for Small Joint Operations. This command will dramatically increase the ability of these five nations to effectively employ their Special Forces. The non-permanent structure of the R-SOCC enables each participant to use its own contributions separately, while benefitting from the integrated R-SOCC structure once activated for a deployment.

Signature ceremony: Declaration of Intent on Regional Special Operations Composite Command (R-SOCC)

Signature ceremony: Declaration of Intent on Regional Special Operations Composite Command (R-SOCC)


NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller praised this initiative, stating that it presents “a significant step forward in strengthening Special Operation Forces capacities in the region, and towards a fully integrated multinational regional command element.” The new multinational command will be developed in line with NATO standards, leveraging the expertise of NATO’s Special Operations Headquarters in Mons, Belgium. While primarily intended for NATO and EU operations, the command could participate in other multilateral missions, exercises or trainings.

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Guardian Xtreme 4×4 MRAP

Guardian Xtreme 4×4 MRAP


The Guardian Xtreme is a new member in the family of Guardian 4×4 APC armored vehicle personnel carrier produced and manufactured by the Company IAG (International Armored Group). This is an MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) Vehicle which is available in 4×4 and 6×6 configuration. The Guardian Xtreme was especially designed to perform combat, tactical and surveillance missions and can quickly respond to remote area threats due to its high maneuverability.

Guardian Xtreme 4×4 MRAP

Guardian Xtreme 4×4 MRAP


The layout of the Guardian Xtreme 4×4 and 6×6 MRAP is very similar to the original Guardian with the engine at the front, driver and commander in the center and troops compartment at the rear. The Guardian Xtreme is available in 4×4 and 6×6 configurations with standard STANAG 4569 Level II blast and ballistic protection including the engine bay. It can be upgraded to Level III armor protection including front, sides, rear and roof. It offers mine protection STANAG 4569 Level 2a and 2b, against blast explosion of 6 kg TNT charge under the wheels and the center of the floor. Both vehicles, IAG Guardian Xtreme in 4×4 and 6×6 configuration have a V-hull shaped floor to provide superior blast protection and a custom made heavy duty 12,000lbs front axle to provide additional payload.
Guardian Xtreme 4×4 MRAP

Guardian Xtreme 4×4 MRAP


The Guardian Xtreme MRAP is based on the Ford F550 Super Duty 4×4 chassis powered by a 6.7 Liter Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel Engine developing 330 hp. at 2,600 rpm coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission. It can run at maximum road speed of 110 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 800 km. The heavy duty suspension and drive train maximize its off-road capabilities while providing a smooth on-road ride. All the wheels of the vehicle has integrated bead lock and run-flat system designed to prevent tires from separating from the wheels when deflated, and enable the vehicle to keep operating in the event of a tire puncture.
Guardian Xtreme 4×4 MRAP

Guardian Xtreme 4×4 MRAP


Standard equipment of the Guardian Xtreme 4×4 and 6×6 MRAP includes white search light mounted on the roof of the crew cabin, wire mesh for all lights, auxiliary fans, elevated gunner stand, automatic engine fire suppression system, electrical system upgrade to 24V and 360° surveillance system including outside cameras all-around the hull with video screen and DVR (Digital Video Recorder) inside of the vehicle. Optional accessories can be integrated which include thermal imaging surveillance camera systems, grenade launchers, black out lights and much more. The doors of the vehicle are fitted with military grade locking mechanisms ensuring close tightly to form complete 360° protection. The vehicle is also equipped with anti-mine blast seats with headrests and 5 points harness. It has the standard Ford dashboard and controls for ease of use and operator familiarity.

Royal Malaysian Air Force Hawk Fleet

Royal Malaysian Air Force Hawk Fleet


The Royal Malaysian Air Force has 18 Hawk aircraft, consisting of 4 Hawk 108 export versions as training aircraft and 14 Hawk 208 as combat aircraft. The Hawk 108 is a two-seat advanced weapons trainer export version for the Royal Malaysian Air Force with additional avionics, an optional forward-looking infrared, a redesigned wing and HOTAS. Fitted with BAE Sky Guardian RWR and wing tip AAM rails. Ten ordered December 1990, and delivered January 1994 to September 1995. The Hawk 208 is a single-seat, lightweight multi-role combat aircraft export version for the Royal Malaysian Air Force. It has been used for air defence, air-denial, anti-shipping, interdiction, close air support, and ground attack.

Royal Malaysian Air Force Hawk Fleet

Royal Malaysian Air Force Hawk Fleet


On 5 March 2013, during the 2013 Lahad Datu standoff, five Hawk 208 together with three American-made Boeing F/A-18D Hornets were employed in airstrikes on hideouts of the terrorist group Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo in Lahad Datu, Sabah ahead of the ground assault by joint forces of the Malaysian Army and Royal Malaysian Police. The Hawk 208s flew 15 sorties, each Hawk 200 dropping Mk 82 unguided bombs in the first sortie and firing CRV7 rockets at additional ground targets on the second and third. A spokesman for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a phone interview that the objective of the airstrikes was to “soften the ground before troops move in,”.
Royal Malaysian Air Force Hawk Fleet

Royal Malaysian Air Force Hawk Fleet


The BAE Systems Hawk is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft. It was first flown at Dunsfold, Surrey, in 1974 as the Hawker Siddeley Hawk, and subsequently produced by its successor companies, British Aerospace and BAE Systems, respectively. It has been used in a training capacity and as a low-cost combat aircraft. Operators of the Hawk include the Royal Air Force (notably the Red Arrows display team) and a considerable number of foreign military operators.
Royal Malaysian Air Force Hawk Fleet

Royal Malaysian Air Force Hawk Fleet

South Korean consortium chosen as F-35 maintenance partner

South Korean consortium chosen as F-35 maintenance partner

A consortium of six South Korean aerospace firms has been selected as a partner for the maintenance of the U.S.-made radar-evading Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has announced. The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said that Ellen M. Lord, the U.S. undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, has notified it that the consortium has been chosen in the U.S. government’s partner selection program. DAPA said in a statement on 13 February that the consortium – termed by DAPA as ‘Team ROK’, consists of Hanwha Systems, Hanwha Corp., Hanwha Techwin, Korean Air, LIG Nex1 and Hyundai Glovis. ROK stands for South Korea’s official name, Republic of Korea.

DAPA said it was notified of the decision by the US Department of Defense (DoD). It added that the selection of Team ROK followed a review undertaken by the DoD of proposals to expand MRO involvement in the F-35 programme by countries involved in developing the aircraft and by countries committed to procuring the platform. DAPA said that Team ROK has been allocated responsibility to provide MRO services in support of components and systems across three areas: avionics, “machinery and electronics”, and in-flight egress systems, adding that the decision supports local industry’s efforts to gain access to the F-35 global supply chain and, at a wider level, to boost the country’s defence exports.

South Korean consortium chosen as F-35 maintenance partner

South Korean consortium chosen as F-35 maintenance partner


In recent years, the U.S. government has sought to build a network of partners for F-35 maintenance among the nine countries that have participated in the joint development of the fighter and several others that have bought it. In 2014, Seoul decided to purchase 40 F-35A fighters at a cost of 7.4 trillion won (US$6.58 billion). The deployment of the warplanes is slated to begin in the first half of this year and will continue through 2021. The F-35A is the fighter’s air force variant, while the F-35B and F-35C are for marines and aircraft carrier-based operations, respectively. U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin manufactures the fighter. South Korea becomes the third country to have been selected as a F-35 maintenance partner in the Asia Pacific region along with Australia and Japan.

Leonardo Company Border Control

Leonardo Company Border Control


Leonardo, through its Land & Naval Defence Electronics Division, has fielded a number of turn-key architectures providing effective monitoring and control of national borders and territories, both on the land and on the sea. Leonardo solutions for Border, Territory & Maritime Control enable net-centric operations for border guards, patrol units, special forces, and all those components of the armed forces that conduct the protection of the national borders and the homeland territory. With a consolidated breadth of expertise in the defence domain, Leonardo have developed a range of modular solutions to ensure effective and reliable security and control operations at every stage of the lifecycle.

All of Leonardo products exploit state-of-the-art technologies in the field of surveillance and C4I for enhancing operational efficiency of the assigned forces. Such result guarantees real-time or near-real-time sharing of tactical information between platforms and command posts, together with the provision of advanced solutions for increasing automation and effectiveness for all commanders at the different operational levels. Advanced “virtual fences” are also implemented by placing sensor surveillance along the borders, integrated with mobile surveillance systems and unmanned aircrafts. On both the land and the sea, we deliver system of systems based on open and modular architectures. Leonardo solutions may evolve over the years in terms of both operational functions and coverage (by adding assets or replacing existing equipments).

Leonardo Company Border Control

Leonardo Company Border Control


Leonardo solutions are based on a field-proven suite of in-house produced sensors, communications, platforms and command & control applications which guarantee territory sensing, access control, as well as the dynamic allocation of available resources. Leonardo offer is organized in two main domains, i.e. Integrated Systems for Border & Territory Control and Integrated Systems for Maritime & Coastal Surveillance. The first domain of applications (Border & Territory Control) typically integrates specialized sensors such as Ground Surveillance and Passive Radars (Lyra10, Aulos), short to long range Thermal Imaging cameras and day/night multi sensor systems (Janus, Horizon, Nerio, Observer), Acoustic systems (HALO, Hydra), and solutions for Mobile Situational Awareness, Fire Control, and Blue Force Tracking.

For the second domain of applications Leonardo has developed an Integrated Interagency Surveillance System which constitutes an innovative command and control solution aimed at collecting, fusing and analyzing data from multiple sources. The system builds and share a comprehensive operational picture with different agencies and organizations such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Environment, Intelligence and others. This type of systems also exploits long range coastal radars with Over The Horizon capabilities (Argos-30VS). For both land and maritime applications, the communications network to enable the net-centric operations exploits of H,V and UHF as well SATCOM in military and civil bands: in particular, tactical Radio Relays for the deployable segment and SATCOM-on-the-MOVE, different type of Software-Defined and conventional Radios for the mobile segment, and Military-Grade Networking devices.

Netherlands orders Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR)

Netherlands orders Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR)


The Dutch Ministry of Defense awarded Thales a contract for nine Multi Mission Radars (MMR) designed for artillery, air surveillance, air defense, and security applications. This project is part of the ‘Nederland Radarland’ platform launched in 2002 to ensure the coherency of radar research by the Dutch science and technology community, and alignment and co-ordination of research programmes to achieve maximum synergies. The contract value was not disclosed, but the Dutch government gave a range of EUR100-250 million (USD113-282 million) in its November 2018 Defence Industry Strategy. The radars will be delivered to the Royal Netherlands Army (RNLA) starting in mid-2021.

Royal Netherlands Army commander lieutenant general Leo LJA Beulen said: “Due to its unique true multi-mission capability, the MMR will not only set the conditions for winning battles at long-range by accurate target acquisition, the MMR will also enhance the RNLA air defence capability by addressing the evolving air threat, including rocket, artillery and mortar, and unmanned air systems.” Thales Netherlands naval VP Geert van der Molen said: “The Netherlands has a leading position in the field of radar development. Therefore, the ‘Nederland Radarland’ platform was established in 2002. This project is a perfect example of the results of this platform. The unique and long-lasting cooperation between the military experts of the Royal Netherlands Army and Thales has led to an extreme modern multi-mission solution, ready for today’s and tomorrow’s threats.”

Netherlands orders Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR)

Netherlands orders Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR)


The Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR) marketed as the GM200 MM/Compact is the latest version of the T- and S-band active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar family, developed for ground applications including air surveillance, weapon locating, and counter-battery missions. The MMR can be used for a large number of tasks: artillery support, 3D airspace surveillance and air defense. Also consider other security applications, such as locating weapons. The system can simultaneously detect, track and fully classify a large number of air targets. It can even distinguish individual tracks in a fire salvo. Its size has been limited by applying the most modern technologies, so the MMR is therefore particularly mobile and is easy to transport on a standard truck.

Thales has designed a 100%-digital system, the TLS755 Multi-Mode Receiver, that integrates all onboard reception functions needed for precision navigation and landing. Right from the beginning, Thales designed in full scalebility for the TLS755, through a highly modular design that allows this unit to keep pace with all applications, including the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS), Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) and MLS. Because of Thales breadth of expertise, all functions on the TLS755 – ILS, GNSS, MLS, GLS – were developed in-house, for guaranteed compatibility.

Netherlands orders Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR)

Netherlands orders Thales Multi Mission Radars (MMR)

U.S. State Dept clears of 240 Namer APC Power Packs to Israel for $238M

U.S. State Dept clears of 240 Namer APC Power Packs to Israel for $238M

The United States state department has approved sale of 240 Namer Armored Personnel Carrier (APC-MT883) Power Packs, Less Transmission (NPPLT) and related equipment to Israel for an estimated cost of $238 million. The Government of Israel has requested to buy 240 Namer Armored Personnel Carrier (APC-MT883) Power Packs, Less Transmission (NPPLT) in Full Configuration; 30 Namer Armored Personnel Carrier (APC-MT883) Power Packs, Less Transmission (NPPLT) in Light Configuration; and 179 Control and Diagnostic Systems (CDS), Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.

Also included is an Integrated Logistics Support package that includes: special tools for C-Level maintenance; oil spray nozzle test bench; preservation and packaging; containers; configuration management; technical manuals, spare parts catalogs, other documentation and publications, and other related elements of logistics and program support. These upgraded power packs will be used on their Armored Personnel Carriers (APC-MT883) that were fielded in 2008.

U.S. State Dept clears of 240 Namer APC Power Packs to Israel for $238M

U.S. State Dept clears of 240 Namer APC Power Packs to Israel for $238M


The prime contractor will be MTU America, Novi, MI. MTU America is the North American subsidiary of Rolls Royce Power Systems. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives.

The Namer is a tracked heavy Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) that was built to meet a variety of combat missions and is planned as a common chassis to a family of vehicles (recovery, command, medical and more). The Namer APC is capable of carrying up to 12 people. Three crewmembers (commander, machine­gunner and driver) 8 infantrymen and an option for an additional crewmember. The vehicle is equipped with advanced systems and has a high level of human engineering, based on the Israel Defense Forces experience in a variety of combat situations.