Category Archives: Military News

Russian, Belarusian Airborne Troops conduct joint exercises near Ulyanovsk

Russian, Belarusian Airborne Troops conduct joint exercises near Ulyanovsk

On March 25 to March 28, the first in 2019 joint exercise of the Airborne Forces of the Russian Federation and the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus is held on the territory of the Guards Airborne Assault Brigade of the Airborne Troops in Ulyanovsk. During the exercise, joint tactical actions will be practised within peacekeeping tasks. The paratroopers will learn the specific features of the organization and functioning of checkpoints, observation posts, will conduct training to repel an attack of a group of armed persons on the guarded object.

Russian, Belarusian Airborne Troops conduct joint exercises near Ulyanovsk

Russian, Belarusian Airborne Troops conduct joint exercises near Ulyanovsk


In a mock conflict zone, servicemen will demonstrate peacekeeping actions at the border checkpoint of the security zone, where they will practise a inspection procedure for citizens and vehicles. A combined unit consisting of an air assault search and patrol group will land from Mi-8 helicopters by various methods (rappeling) to isolate an illegal armed formation. At one of the stages, the personnel will train to escort a convoy and conduct a humanitarian action in the refugee camp.
Russian, Belarusian Airborne Troops conduct joint exercises near Ulyanovsk

Russian, Belarusian Airborne Troops conduct joint exercises near Ulyanovsk


Then, the paratroopers, in cooperation with the mobile reserve with the means of reinforcement, will participate in the live-fire drills using BMD-4M weapons, RPG-7, RPG-26, RPO Shmel grenade launchers, Pecheneg machine guns, AK-74M assault rifles, and sniper weapons, The joint tactical exercise is conducted under the leadership of the Deputy Commander of the Airborne Troops for Peacekeeping Operations and the Collective Rapid Reaction Forces (CRRF), Lieutenant General Alexander Vyaznikov. In total, more than 500 personnel will take part in joint exercises, up to 100 pieces of military and special equipment, about 20 helicopters will be involved.
Russian, Belarusian Airborne Troops conduct joint exercises near Ulyanovsk

Russian, Belarusian Airborne Troops conduct joint exercises near Ulyanovsk


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Austal awarded 369 million U.S. Navy contract for Expeditionary Fast Transport ships

Austal awarded 369 million U.S. Navy contract for Expeditionary Fast Transport ships

Austal Limited (Austal) has been awarded a new A$369 (US$261,776,539) million contract for two additional Expeditionary Fast Transport Ships (EPF) by the U.S. Navy. The contract award extends the EPF program to 2022, with construction of EPF 13 to commence in late 2019 and EPF 14 to follow in the middle of 2020. The contract follows the award for long-lead time materials on EPF 13 and EPF 14 that was announced in December 2018. The 14-ship, EPF program has to date been worth over US$2 billion and underscores the ability of Austal USA to build highly capable ships at an affordable cost.

Austal Expeditionary Fast Transport ships

Austal Expeditionary Fast Transport ships


“The extension of this program to 14 vessels is a result of the versatility of the EPF platform to perform an increasing range of roles for the U.S. Navy combined with the confidence our customer has in it. We continue to believe that the EPF vessel, in various configurations, has a long future ahead of it,” Austal CEO, David Singleton said. “We have a proven ability to build these cost effective vessels efficiently at our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama and as a result they will continue to underpin the shipyard for several years to come. We are pleased to add these new vessels to what is already a record order book, which includes the contract Austal recently received for two additional Independence Class, Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).
Austal Expeditionary Fast Transport ships

Austal Expeditionary Fast Transport ships


Austal was awarded the initial contract to design and build the first 103-meter EPF in November 2008. Since then, ten Spearhead-class EPFs have been delivered and are serving as an affordable solution to fulfilling the Military Sealift Command’s requirements worldwide. The 338-foot long EPF vessel is an aluminum catamaran capable of transporting 600 tons, 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots, and is designed to operate in austere ports and waterways, too shallow and narrow for the larger ships in the surface fleet, providing added flexibility to U.S. warfighters worldwide. The ship’s flight deck can also support flight operations for a wide variety of manned and unmanned aircraft, including a CH-53 Super Stallion.
Austal Expeditionary Fast Transport ships

Austal Expeditionary Fast Transport ships


The Expeditionary Fast Transport Ships (EPF)’s large, open-mission deck and large habitable spaces provide the opportunity to conduct a wide range of missions including engagement and humanitarian assistance to disaster relief, maritime security support operations, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance across the world. The design of the EPF has a shallow draft of 13 feet and an advanced water jet propulsion system, enabling speeds greater than 40 knots. This capability provides EPF the versatility to access austere and degraded ports with minimal external assistance, enabling the vessels to support requirements in special operations, command and control, and support operations.

Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35 successfully completed first AIM-120 missile tests

Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35 successfully completed first AIM-120 missile tests

The 332 Squadron (332 Skvadronen) of the Royal Norwegian Air Force (Luftforsvaret) F-35A fighter aircraft conducted the first practical launches of an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) air-to-air missile at the Halten proving ground northwest of the Orland air base. The first Norwegian F-35s arrived in-country for permanent basing at Orland Air Base in November 2017. Norway joined the F-35 program as a partner in the System Development and Demonstration phase.

Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35

Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35


In November 2008, the Norwegian government selected the F-35 as the replacement for the F-16 fleet. And in September 2015, the first F-35A was unveiled before Norwegian and U.S. government officials and Lockheed Martin leadership at a formal ceremony at the Lockheed Martin production facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Currently, the Norwegian government has funded the procurement of 40 of 52 F-35s, and subsequent authorization will occur on an annual basis.

The AMRAAM missile is operational on all F-35 variants. It’s the only radar-guided, air-to-air missile cleared to fly on the F-35. The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM, is a modern American beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. The AMRAAM is the world’s most popular beyond-visual-range missile, and more than 14,000 have been produced for the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, and 33 international customers. The AMRAAM has been used in several engagements and is credited with ten air-to-air kills.

Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35

Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35


With more than 25 years of design, upgrades, testing and production, the AIM-120 missile continues to meet all warfighter requirements. Its capabilities have been fully demonstrated in over 4,200 test shots and 10 air-to-air combat victories. Procured by 37 countries including the U.S., the combat-proven AMRAAM missile has been integrated onto the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22, Typhoon, Gripen, Tornado and Harrier. The AIM-120C5 and AIM-120C7 missiles are fully integrated onto the F-35 and support the U.S. Marine Corp’s F-35B initial operational capability as the only air-to-air missile qualified on the F-35.

Raytheon to update Advanced Synthentic Aperture Radar for US Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady

Raytheon to update Advanced Synthentic Aperture Radar for US Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady

Raytheon announced on Monday the the ASARS-2B doubles the surveillance range while maintaining the mapping and imagery resolution of the current ASARS-2A system for U.S. Air Force. Raytheon signed a $320 million undefinitized contract to develop new version of the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar that flies on the U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft. ASARS-2B completed a flight test at Edwards Air Force Base in California earlier this year. The proposed radar will use active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar technology and support both land and sea missions. Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar System was developed in the early 1980s.

Raytheon to update Advanced Synthentic Aperture Radar for US Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady

Raytheon to update Advanced Synthentic Aperture Radar for US Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady


ASARS-2B allows the Dragon Lady to see doubles the surveillance range while maintaining the mapping and imagery resolution of the current ASARS-2A system. That kind of range is crucial for commanders to achieve decision superiority — and it ensures that the U-2 remains a preferred option for manned airborne surveillance operations. ASARS-2B’shigh-resolution, multimode, long-range, air-to-ground radar can provide critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data. ASARS detects and precisely locates fixed and moving targets on the ground in all kinds of weather. The U-2 modularity allows the aircraft to adapt to different mission needs and “respond to emerging threats anywhere, anytime.
Raytheon to update Advanced Synthentic Aperture Radar for US Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady

Raytheon to update Advanced Synthentic Aperture Radar for US Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady


Lockheed U-2, nicknamed “Dragon Lady”, is an American single-jet engine, ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). With a range of 3,000 miles, it can carry up to 700 pounds of the latest photoreconnaissance equipment to altitude of 70,000 feet. Built from the profile of a traditional sailplane with a long-tapered wing, the plane was designed in the mid-1950s as reconnaissance on Soviet military activity. On July 4, 1956, Hervey Stockman flew a U-2 from Wiesbaden, West Germany, deep into the heart of the Soviet Union to detailed photos of airfields, factories and shipyards not possible by other aircraft.

Polish Army began to receive Krab self-propelled tracked howitzer

Polish Army began to receive Krab self-propelled tracked howitzer

The Polish Army will have five AHS Krab (Polish for Crab) self-propelled tracked howitzer squadrons by 2024. Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, speaking in Sulechów, in south-western Poland, claimed that the Krab gun-howitzer is modern and tested military equipment which genuinely may deter a possible aggressor. Blaszczak, attending a ceremony of the handing over eight 155-mm Krab self-propelled tracked gun-howitzers to the 5th Lubuskie Artillery Regiment, said the Krabs are a modern product of the Polish arms industry which significantly raise the army’s capabilities.

Polish Army began to receive Krab self-propelled tracked howitzer

Polish Army began to receive Krab self-propelled tracked howitzer


According to the Defence Ministry, the Krab is currently the biggest gun used by Polish artillery. The over 50-tonne gun-howitzer has a maximum firing range of 40 kilometres. It can fire six rounds per minute. Following successive deliveries of Krab batteries to take place this year, the unit will be the second to have a full Krab squadron. The next three squadrons have already been ordered from the Polish producer, by 2024 the Polish Army will have five such squadrons.
Polish Army began to receive Krab self-propelled tracked howitzer

Polish Army began to receive Krab self-propelled tracked howitzer


Krabs are produced by the Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW), a member of the Polish Armaments Group. The Defence Ministry has signed a PLN 4.5 billion (EUR 1.05 billion) contract for the delivery 120 guns and accompanying vehicles. The AHS Krab designed in Poland by Centrum Produkcji Wojskowej Huta Stalowa Wola,combining the South Korean K9 Thunder chassis with a British AS-90M Braveheart turret with 52-calibre gun and WB Electronics’ “Topaz” artillery fire control system. The first module was delivered in 2017.
Polish Army began to receive Krab self-propelled tracked howitzer

Polish Army began to receive Krab self-propelled tracked howitzer


The cannon was developed within the research framework “Regina”. The program’s goal was to create a 155 mm (6 and 1/8 inches) long-range artillery piece for the Polish Army that would serve as a division level asset. It was decided, that instead of buying a licence for a complete vehicle, only a licence for a modern L/52 gun and turret would be bought, and they would be mounted on domestically developed chassis. the Regina modules are to replace the obsolete 122 mm 2S1 Gvozdika howitzers, Gvozdika platform was also being manufactured at HSW.

UAE to receive Belarusian MZKT-741351 heavy tank transporters

UAE to receive Belarusian MZKT-741351 heavy tank transporters

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces are set to receive its ordered Belarusian-made MZKT-741351 hevay tank transporters by the end of 2019, that manufactures the vehicles. MZKT-741351 is a prime mover and associated trailers were specially developed to meet requirements of the United Arab Emirates designed and developed by the MZKT in Belarus. This tank transporter prime mover is designed to haul semi-trailers, transporting tanks, heavy armored vehicles or construction equipment up to a maximum weight of 76 t. The MZKT-741351 transporter has successfully passed through the tests in the UAE. The serial production of the vehicles has already been launched, and the Emirati army will take the delivery of the transporters later this year.

Belarusian MZKT-741351 heavy tank transporters

Belarusian MZKT-741351 heavy tank transporters


The MZKT-741351 is powered by an 812 hp Caterpillar C18 turbocharged engine associated to an Allison electronically-controlled automatic gearbox. The vehicle has a full-time 8×8 drive. Maximum road speed is electronically limited to 70 km/h. The prime mover is fitted with a central tyre inflation system. The unique feature of the MZKT-741351 prime mover is that it is used in conjunction with two trailers. These are MZKT-999421 6-axle semi-trailer which weights 26,000 kg and has a payload capacity of 76 tons and MZKT-837211 6-axle trailer, which weighs 18 tons and has a payload capacity of 60 tons. Combined hauled load capacity for this road train is 136 tons. So, this vehicle can transport one Leclerc main battle tank and two infantry fighting vehicles at once, for instance.
Belarusian MZKT-741351 heavy tank transporters

Belarusian MZKT-741351 heavy tank transporters


Double cab of the prime mover can accommodate the driver and 7 passengers. So the vehicle can transport some crew members of the vehicles that it carries. Alternatively the rear seats can be folded to form 2 sleeping bunks. The cab has a provision for a roof hatch with a mount for general purpose machine gun. Also the cab can be fitted with add-on armor kit. Another feature of this road train is that the vehicles can drive onto the semi-trailer directly via the trailer. So there is no need for the crew to disconnect the trailers for the loading and unloading operations. The prime mover is fitted with a double winch for loading immobile vehicles. The rear trailer has two front steerable axles.
Belarusian MZKT-741351 heavy tank transporters

Belarusian MZKT-741351 heavy tank transporters


Currently the MZKT-741351 is the most powerful tank transporters available on the market. The road train composed of the tractor plus the MZKT-999421 semi-trailer and the MZKT-837211 trailer is 42-meter long. The platform transports up to three combat vehicles. The Belarusian MZKT-741351 prime mover and associated trailers were specially developed to meet requirements of the United Arab Emirates. A pre-production prototype was first publicly revealed in 2016. It was planned that, during the same year, the prototype would be delivered to the UAE for trials. The MZKT-741351 is a revised and updated version of the previous MZKT-74135 with a different layout. The new vehicle can haul more load. Its predecessor, the MZKT-74135, was also developed to participate in the United Arab Emirates tender and eventually 40 units prime movers with associated trailers were ordered. Recent MZKT trucks are typically marketed under Volat brand.
Belarusian MZKT-741351 heavy tank transporters

Belarusian MZKT-741351 heavy tank transporters

Rheinmetall to upgrade Leopard 2 Tank to standard 2A7V for German Army

Rheinmetall to upgrade Leopard 2 Tank to standard 2A7V for German Army

German Company Rheinmetall will soon be modernizing part of the Bundeswehr’s fleet of Leopard main battle tanks, implementing a comprehensive array of upgrade measures. The German Federal Ministry of Defense has announced that the German parliament approved two submissions in the total amount of $484 million (€ 428 million) for increasing capabilities of the German Bundeswehr. 101 Main Battle Tank Leopard 2 variants A6M A2 and A6 are to be brought to a similar design level as the latest version Leopard 2 A7V. The aim is to adapt to the Leopard 2 A7V in terms of operation and logistics. The tanks’ systems will be standardized to make them more effective, increase protection, and allow for the exchange of crews.

Rheinmetall will be transforming a total of 101 main battle tanks, bringing them up to A7V standard. In the process, Rheinmetall specialists will be eliminating obsolescent features in the fire control computers and control consoles as well as installing a new laser rangefinder and thermal imaging device. Rheinmetall will be supplying the new L55A1 gun for the 68 Leopard 2A4 MBTs to be modernized. All upgraded Leopard 2A7V tanks will be capable of using Rheinmetall’s new programmable DM11 multipurpose round. The Leopard 2A7V is fitted with a new armored modular system for the upper front glacis plate of the hull and a more powerful Auxiliary Power Unit of the current APU used on the Leopard 2A7 model.

The Leopard 2A7V is the latest version of German-made main battle tank (MBT) in the Leopard 2 family, that was unveiled in June 2016, at Eurosatory, the international defense exhibition which was held in Paris, France. The first serially retrofitted Leopard 2 A7V tanks will reach the Bundeswehr starting in 2020. Another part of the approved allocations is allocated for the purchase of over 30,000 pieces of 155 mm ammunition for the Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 self-propelled howitzer.

Rheinmetall to upgrade Leopard 2 Tank to standard 2A7V for German Army

Rheinmetall to upgrade Leopard 2 Tank to standard 2A7V for German Army