December 2023 News Global Defence & Security Industry - Military


December 22, 2023 - German Defense Company Rheinmetall has secured a major defense contract from Romania, a NATO and EU member state, for the comprehensive modernization of the nation's Oerlikon GDF 103 35mm air defense artillery systems. The deal, valued at approximately €328 million, includes the supply of four systems, along with training, spare parts, and additional services. The timeline for delivery is set for two systems within the next two years, and the remaining two in the following three years.

The Spanish Army has agreed with Tess Defence for a new armored vehicle, marking a significant step in the modernization of its fleet with the upcoming introduction of the Vehículo de Apoyo de Cadenas (VAC). This ambitious project, estimated to be around 2 billion euros, signifies a major advancement in the operational and logistical capabilities of the Spanish Army. The Spanish Ministry of Defense announced on December 21, 2023.

As reported by Zee Business on December 18, 2023, India is making preparations to export 15 Akash air defense systems to Armenia as part of a weapons agreement valued at approximately between 50 billion rupees ($600,521,000) and 60 billion rupees ($720,625,200). The delivery and deployment of these Akash air defense systems, manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), in Armenia are anticipated to take place over the next 4-5 years.

Rheinmetall continues to expand Europe’s armoured vehicle production capacity. Following the opening of the Group’s production, development and test facility for armoured fighting vehicles in Zalaegerszeg, the first Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicle to be built in-country in Hungary has now rolled off the assembly line. It is currently undergoing commissioning.

On December 19, 2023, EPE New Zealand Limited (EPE), in partnership with US manufacturer Skydio, was awarded a contract by the New Zealand Ministry of Defence. The contract's primary objective is to supply the New Zealand Army with Skydio X2D micro-unmanned aerial systems (UAS), aimed at enhancing the Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S) capabilities of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

On December 20, 2023, the Moldovan government officially announced the acquisition of the Ground Master 200 (GM 200) air defense radar system. Valued at $14.5 million, this system was developed by French company Thales. The purchase agreement dates back to a crucial meeting in October 2023, involving high-level discussions between Sébastien Lecornu, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, and Anatolie Nosatîi, the Moldovan Minister of Defense.

On December 19, 2023, ROSTEC, the Russian State Defense Company, announced a significant delivery of KYB loitering munitions to the Russian armed forces. These munitions, intended for use against combat vehicles on the Ukrainian battlefield, are also known as KUB. They are manufactured by Zala Aero, a subsidiary of the renowned Kalashnikov Group, based in Russia.

The United States Congress has approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2024, marking a step in strengthening the air defense capabilities of the Iraqi security forces and Kurdish Peshmerga. This decision comes in response to the escalation of attacks, mainly carried out by militias supported by Iran, targeting U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and the Kurdistan region.

According to Defensa on December 19, 2023, the Brazilian Army has recently advanced the deployment schedule for the MSS 1.2 AC anti-tank missile, initially set for 2024, to an earlier date. This move parallels the reorganization of the Boa Vista cavalry squadron into the 18th Mechanized Cavalry Regiment (18th RCMec). Notably, this decision was made before the completion of the final report on the missile's equipment tests.

Russia's Strategic Missile Force is advancing its capabilities in line with its 2023 objectives, as stated by the Russian Commander, Colonel General Sergey Karakayev, in a recent briefing with journalists. The old Topol / topol-M ICBMs (InterContinental Ballistic Missiles) is now replaced by the RS-24 Yars able to launch Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle.

TAIPEI, Taiwan, December 20, 2023 - The Taiwanese Defence Ministry reported that on December 17, 2023, two suspected Chinese weather balloons were observed flying across the Taiwan Strait, marking the second such incident in December. These balloons remained to the north of Taiwan, avoiding direct overflight of the island but still raising concerns due to the politically sensitive nature of the area.

According to a video published on December 15, 2023, by the Azerbaijan MoD (Ministry of Defense), the Special Forces of Azerbaijan have recently conducted an extensive training exercise using the SandCat armored vehicles, a high-tech product designed and manufactured by the Israeli company Plasan. The exercise, which showcased the agility and advanced features of these armored vehicles, was part of a broader initiative to strengthen Azerbaijan's military readiness.

On December 15, 2023, Al-Askary Media, affiliated with Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham based in Idlib, released a series of infographics on Telegram claiming that Russia had supplied the Lebanese Hezbollah with advanced air defense systems through the Wagner Group, in coordination with the Syrian regime. These allegations are based on a November 2 article from the Wall Street Journal, which discussed the possibility of Russia providing a Pantsir-S1 air defense system in response to escalating tensions on Lebanon's southern border.

In 2017, Germany became the framework nation for a multinational tactical group stationed in Lithuania as part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP), Laurent Lagneau recalls in Opex360. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed Germany's readiness to strengthen its commitment in the Baltic region by transforming the existing presence into a robust brigade.

The Japanese government is on the verge of supplying Patriot air defense missiles to the United States, a decision that marks a radical shift in its defense policy, which has long been anchored in pacifism. This news, reported by Nikkei, signals a major revision of Japan's restrictive policies on arms exportation.

On December 20, 2023, Defence Minister Andris Sprūds, representing the Latvian Ministry of Defence, signed a contract with the United States for the purchase of six M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) along with ATACMS missiles. This acquisition, valued at $179.8 million, is aimed at enhancing the military strength of the National Armed Forces of Latvia against future Russian threats.

According to the German Aid to Ukraine Twitter account, dated December 13, 2023, the delivery of the second Patriot air defense missile battery to Ukraine has been confirmed. This crucial event reinforces Germany's commitment to supporting Ukraine's defense capabilities in the face of the Russian invasion.

A U.S. Navy SEAL Team conducted a joint training exchange alongside the Nepali Army and members of the Nepali Army Special Operations Force (SOF) Brigade near Kathmandu, Nepal, from October 30 to November 6, 2023. The two-week training exchange consisted of a week-long subject matter expert exchange (SMEE) and a week-long multilateral disaster response training.

The Düsseldorf-based tech enterprise Rheinmetall has scored a significant success in marketing its new Skyranger 30 air defence system as part of the European Sky Shield Initiative: Hungary, a NATO and EU member nation, has awarded Rheinmetall a contract for the conceptual development of the Skyranger 30 turret for the future Lynx KF41 Mobile Air Defence Vehicle. The contract was signed on 15th December 2023 in Budapest.

The Romanian Army's 74th Patriot Regiment recently conducted the country's first live-fire exercise with the Patriot PAC-3 MSE missile system on November 15-16, 2023, at the Capu Midia test firing range. This event marks a significant development in Romania's military capabilities, aligning with its ongoing defense modernization efforts.

Smith & Wesson has just unveiled its latest model, the SD9 2.0, a versatile and economical handgun designed to meet a wide range of needs. The SD9 2.0 aims to become a popular choice among those seeking a reliable firearm without an exorbitant price.

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