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As explained by Joy Mitra on The Diplomat, on the heels of the first and the second nuclear ages, respectively shaped by bipolar nuclear competition and nuclear non-proliferation concerns, the dawn of a “third nuclear age,” a much-debated concept, seems incumbent with the world witnessing a renewed strategic competition between the three superpower states of the United States, Russia, and China. The United States also faces a nuclear rivalry with regional powers like North Korea, which continues to modernize its arsenal, and Iran, which could pursue an intercontinental-range ballistic missile (ICBM).

North Korea has been operating at least 20 missile sites not reported — including one that serves as the headquarters for the military unit in charge of ballistic missiles, a new report details, echoed by Tom Squitieri on TMN.

The 2-million strong PLA, China's army, has cut the size of its ground forces by about 50 per cent but significantly boosted its navy and air force as part of an "unprecedented" strategic shift designed to transform the People's Liberation Army (PLA) into a comprehensive modern force, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported quoting a state-run Xinhua report. Shanghai-based military analyst Ni Lexiong said the overhaul marked a significant strategic shift from having a homeland-based defensive force to one with the capacity to allow Beijing to flex its muscles beyond its national borders and to protect its interests overseas.

The operation in Syria has revealed some drawbacks of serially produced armored vehicles. In order to fix them, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) has intensified the development of upgraded platforms, including the T-90M and T-80BVM main battle tanks (MBTs). At the same time, the previously developed T-90A has demonstrated very high protection performance.

During the operations in Syria, the newest communications and reconnaissance systems, electronic warfare devices, and the Ratnik combat gear have been successfully tested. Both serially produced and advanced systems have been operated in combat, according to Russian officials.

As of early 2017, the tank inventory of the Syrian governmental troops comprised several types of main battle tanks (MBTs), including T-55A, T-55AMV, T-62, T-72AV, T-72, T-72B, and T-72M1. The exact number of the vehicles in service is still unknown; however, the Syrian Armed Forces operated some 2,500 MBTs, including 1,200 T-55s, 500 T-62s, no fewer than 700 T-72s, and 800 stored T-54 prior to the conflict. It was therefore T-55 that formed the backbone of the Syrian armor units. At present, the governmental troops intensively use upgraded T-55s, with part of them equipped with explosive reactive armor (ERA) tiles.

Civil unrest. Loss of communications. Narrow, congested roadways. No line of sight on the enemy. These are some of the conditions that shape the nature of fighting in dense urban areas now and into the future. But with technology and the world changing so rapidly, how will soldiers operate? What weapons and equipment will they carry? Audra Calloway reports on U.S. Army's website.

When you think of the M1A2 Abrams and Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, stealth does not come to mind. They do not glide, they rumble. They do not avoid obstacles; they maneuver through them. They do not poke holes, they pulverize. The large, heavy metal vehicles evoke power and strength, but they require a crew and a master of its weapon systems to be lethal. Staff Sgt. Jennifer Bunn reports.

On Monday, December 17, 2018, Czech defense ministry has announced the four candidates shortlisted for one of the biggest defense tender of the Czech Republic to acquire a new tracked armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). The Czech Ministry of defense plans to replace old BVP-2 tracked armored IFV, a Soviet-made BMP-2 produced under license in Czech Republic.

From the military point of view, anti-satellite weapons negatively affect strategic stability, as the country which is the first to deploy them in space can control adversary access to the near-Earth orbits and impede the use of the main space communication, navigation and intelligence systems. All the agreements which deterred such developments are collapsing. The Military-Industrial Courier writes how Russia can respond.

Russian Defense Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu summarized the results of the Ministry of Defense`s (MoD`s) 2018 activities at a meeting at the National Defense Control Center in Moscow.

Exercise Saber Junction 18 combined NATO and partner special operations forces with conventional forces for training at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, Sept. 3 through Oct. 1. It was an exercise designed to assess the readiness of the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade to execute land operations in a joint, combined environment and promote interoperability with participating Allied and partner nations.

In 2017, Hungary started the long path leading to updating its aging, often Soviet era military equipment in view of adopting NATO standards. Experts and politicians claim Hungary’s current situation appears even worse when compared to corresponding data from the region and NATO’s insistence that Hungary increases its military spending is certainly not reducing pressure, as reported on Hungary Today.

The Syrian combat tested Russian commandos for readiness to XXI century wars. The Syrian campaign differs from the armed conflicts of the past decades by a rapidly changing situation and highly intensive engagement by all parties of new technical means and warfare techniques. All engaged forces, including commandos had to adapt to new conditions. Previously, special task forces were mostly used for deep reconnaissance and sometimes as infantry, but in Syria they had to engage in various new missions, an army officer who has recently returned from Syria told the Izvestia daily.

Every Marine is a rifleman. The pistol qualification is one that is not required by every Marine; instead, only certain military occupational specialties, officers and staff non-commissioned officers require annual qualification on the service pistol. In order to ensure these Marines are properly trained with the weapon, the Marine Corps implemented the Combat Pistol Program, as reported by Lance Cpl. Tanner D. Lambert, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

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