December 2023 News Global Defence & Security Industry - Military


In November 2023, the British Army, in collaboration with international allies and industry partners, embarked on a major testing exercise for new military technology, including the innovative Hybrid Amphibious Wheeled Carrier (HAWC). This exercise, named 'Blunting Strike,' is part of the broader Army Warfare Experiment (AWE), aiming to adapt the British Army to the changing dynamics of modern warfare.

On December 27, 2023, Vegvisir, a defense industry startup with offices in Estonia and Croatia, concluded its first sales contract in collaboration with DefSecIntel, a surveillance system provider from Estonia. This partnership will result in the deployment of the Vegvisir Core advanced situational awareness system to Ukraine in the spring of 2024, with specific contract details remaining confidential.

In a significant move signaling its intent to strengthen military capabilities along its western borders, Russia has announced plans to increase its military presence in the Northern Military District, an area bordering Finland and Norway. The reinforcement includes the deployment of the 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV, a new generation of advanced self-propelled tracked howitzers.

On December 26, 2023, reports emerged on Russian social media platforms regarding the plans of the Russian state corporation Rostec to produce a bicaliber multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) named "Vozrozhdenie" (translated as "Renaissance"). This MLRS, derived from the ISDM Zemledeliye 8x8 mine-laying system, can launch two types of munitions: 140mm anti-tank or anti-personnel mines, and 220mm caliber rockets.

In the framework of the Brave1 defense technology cluster, 135 defense developments have been funded for a total of $2.3 million, as reported by Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov. The largest funds were allocated to ground robotic systems, followed by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and then troop protection and security systems.

On 24 December 2023, Ukraine expressed interest in acquiring additional CAESAR self-propelled howitzers, now enhanced with a cutting-edge firing control system that integrates artificial intelligence (AI) technology. This announcement was made by the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Ivan Gavrylyuk, during a meeting with a French Senate delegation. Originally shared on the Facebook account of the Ukrainian Minister of Defense, the statement underscores Ukraine's pursuit of advanced military technology to enhance battlefield efficiency.

The Japanese government plans to supply 155mm artillery shells to the United Kingdom. This initiative is part of Japan's export requirements and strengthens collaboration in the defense sector. This delivery of shells could be indirect aid to Ukraine.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) showcased their new ASCOD Command Vehicle during a military parade for their 88th Anniversary on December 21, 2023. Revealed in images on MaxDefense Philippines' Facebook account, this vehicle integrates a command and control system from Israeli company Elbit Systems. It's also equipped with Elbit's UT25 unmanned turret, armed with a 25mm automatic cannon.

Washington, United States, December 26, 2023 - The U.S. State Department has authorized a Foreign Military Sale to the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), to supply 940 FIM-92K Stinger Block I surface-to-air missiles and associated equipment, with an estimated cost of $780 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has officially notified Congress of this prospective sale, following its internal procedures.

On December 2023, the Oxley Group, which specialized in designing and manufacturing LED lighting systems for military and aerospace applications, fortified its market position by securing a £1.39 million contract (around $1.77 million) with Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL). This contract involves the supply of LED lighting for the British Army's modernized Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank.


On December 20, 2023, the US Army Contracting Command – Detroit Arsenal (ACC-DTA) signed a five-year, $89 million contract with Oshkosh Defense for the supply of modification kits. The agreement, which includes an option for an additional three years, aims to provide approximately 1,384 kits to upgrade existing Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) A1 tractors into Enhanced Heavy Equipment Transporter System (EHETS) tractors, aligning them with European road standards for required payloads.

Helsinki, Finland, December 24, 2023 – In a landmark move to bolster its military capabilities, the Finnish Ministry of Defense announced on December 22, 2023, that the Finnish Defense Forces will undertake a comprehensive upgrade of their M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS). This decision will see all 41 units of the M270D1 MLRS, locally known as the 298 RsRakH 06, being refurbished to the more advanced M270A2 standard.

In a significant update on December 23, 2023, the British Ministry of Defense announced substantial progress in the Ajax tracked armored reconnaissance vehicles program, a pivotal initiative in modernizing the British Army's capabilities. The Ajax program, aimed at replacing the aging CVR(T) reconnaissance vehicles, is advancing steadily towards delivering a new generation of armored fighting vehicles tailored to the needs of the British Army Reconnaissance Armored Units.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have reportedly deployed the Firefly miniature loitering drones for the first time in operational scenarios. A video published on Twitter on December 18, 2023, showcases these advanced drones being used to track Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The introduction of the Firefly drones marks a significant shift in the IDF's tactical capabilities, particularly in the complex and densely populated urban environment of the Gaza Strip.

United States-based Osprea Logistics, a renowned supplier of military vehicles, has recently completed a significant milestone by supplying over 50 Mamba Mk 7 mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles across Africa. This delivery includes various models such as the Mk 7s, Mk 7-Xs, and 6×6 Armoured Wreckers, marking a significant achievement for the company.

The Czech Armed Forces are set to undergo a significant modernization with the recent decision by the Czech Ministry of Defense to replace their fleet of BVP-2, a locally adapted version of the Soviet-made BMP-2, with the advanced CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) designed and manufactured by BAE Systems. Additionally, the Czech Republic has entered into negotiations for the acquisition of the German-made Leopard 2A8 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), indicating a strategic shift in their military equipment. The Czech Ministry of Defense stated last July that it is considering purchasing up to 77 Leopard 2A8 tanks, showcasing the nation's commitment to enhancing its armed forces.

On December 21, 2023, Poland MoD announced an agreement for a new batch of 198 Jelcz chassis intended for the Multiple Rocket Launcher System (RSZV) HOMAR-K. This order, valued at approximately 1.5 billion złotys (approximately 345 million US dollars), is part of a comprehensive agreement for the period 2024-2027 and includes the integration of control and communication systems, as well as the installation of GPS receivers on the chassis.

As of December 21, 2023, Germany continues to provide substantial support to Ukraine in its defensive efforts against Russia. Germany holds the position of being the largest European contributor and ranks as the world's second-largest contributor, following the United States, with nearly €6 billion dedicated to this cause. This support includes a wide range of material donations, logistical assistance, training programs, and cooperative initiatives.

On December 21, 2023, Leidos, a company specializing in science and technology, announced the delivery of the first Enduring Shield air defense systems. This significant milestone represents a substantial advancement in the U.S. Army's Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 (IFPC Inc 2) program, which is a critical component of the Department of Defense's layered defense strategy.

The renowned Swedish defense company SAAB announced on December 22, 2023, a substantial order from the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) for its cutting-edge RBS 70 Bolide missiles. The deal, valued at SEK 350 million, underscores NATO's confidence in Saab's missile technology and its commitment to strengthening its air defense capabilities.

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