Military/Intelligence Bulletin 04/2019 – Flight test of Russian Avangard HGV.

Flight test of Russian Avangard HGV.

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On the 26th December 2018, President Putin announced a flight test of the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV)

Putin claimed that the HGV was launched from the Dombaroskoye missile base in the southern Ural mountains. It flew for about 6,000km, manoeuvring both vertically and horizontally at hypersonic speeds. It engaged a simulated target at the Kura Range in Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula.

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The UR-100UTTKh ICBM launched from the Dombarovskoye airbase.

By Mil.ru, CC BY 4.0

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Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Forces, Vladimir Putin watches the launch of the UR-100UTTKh carrying the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle at the National Centre for State Defence Control in Moscow on the 26 December 2018.

By Kremlin.ru

The claimed engagement speed of the Avangard, powered by a solid propellant scramjet engine,  is Mach 27 (32,202 km/h).

The reports are that the HGV can be integrated as a multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) with the Russian Strategic Rocket Force’s ICBMs.

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An UR-100N UTTH ICBM system with the Avangard HGV before installation into a silo launcher..

Photo credit – Janes.com

The Avangard system has been integrated with several dozen brand new UR-100N UTTH ICBMs, with which the Avangard fits well.

The base-line variant will be fitted with six HGVs. General Karakayev stated that the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces will stand up to two missile regiments, each equipped with six Avangard systems by 2027.

The first missile regiment is expected to be operational in 2019.

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The first carriers of the newest Russian weapon, the Vangard HGV, will be the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) UR-100N UTTH.

Photo – Vitaly Kuzmin

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An UR-100N UTTH ICBM system with the Avangard HGV before installation into a silo launcher..

Photo credit – Janes.com

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Photo – The Rand Corporation

Post copyrighted to Harvey Black

Military/Intelligence Bulletin 03/2019 – Belarus upgrades its APCs.

Belarus upgrades its APCs with the new BTR-70MB1

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The Belarusian armed forces are upgrading their fleet of armoured personnel carriers. Their current BTR-70 APCs are being modernised to the standard of the BTR-70MB1.

By the end of 2019, 32 of the BTR-70MB1s will have been delivered to the Belarusian armed forces.

This will replace the current older BTR-60s and BTR-70s in the Belarusian army’s first-tier units.

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BTR-70MB1 Manufactured by a Belarusian company

Photo source 42.TUT.BY

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The BTR-70MB1 APC during an Independence Day parade in Minsk.

Photo credit – Janes.com

The BTR-70MB1 weighs 13 tonnes and mounts a 14.5 KPVT and Kalashnikov 7.62 PKT. There is no change from the original BTR-70. The main improvement is the replacement of the two ZMZ-4905 petrol engines with a KAMAZ-7403 Russian-made diesel engine, which also powers the BTR-80. This gives it a top road speed of 90 km/h and a range of 700km.

In addition, it carries six 902V Tucha 81mm smoke dischargers on the rear turret.

The R-123M radio has also been changed to a Belarusian made radio.

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The older BTR 60PA

Post copyrighted to Harvey Black

Military/Intelligence Bulletin 02/2019 -Spanish Army’s Pizarro combat engineer vehicle.

Spanish Army’s Pizarro combat engineer vehicle ready for testing.

General Dynamics European Land Systems – Santa Barbara Sistemas is completing the first of their 36 Pizarro combat engineer vehicles.

Following trials, the vehicle is being handed over to the the Spanish Army for formal qualification. If accepted, it will be followed by a further 35 production vehicles. Final deliveries are due in 2021.

 

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Combat Engineer Vehicle – Pizarro

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It has a new all welded steel hull design with a higher level of ballistic and mine protection than that of the Pizarro Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).

At the front there is a Pearson Engineering Common Interface Attachment, which enables a variety of engineer equipment to be quickly attached.

All will be fitted with the hydraulically operated Pearson earth Anchor Dozer Blade.

Mounted on either side at the rear is an obstacle marking system. When deployed they swing out to the side and dispense marker poles into the ground as the vehicle moves through the cleared minefield.

The crew consist of a Commander, Gunner and driver. It can also carry six additional engineers.

For defence, it has a Mini Samson remote weapon station armed with a stabilised .50 calibre M2 machine gun. The sensor pod on the left consists of a day camera, thermal camera and a laser rangefinder. There is also a bank of four electrically operated smoke grenade launchers mounted on each side.

The power pack is different from that in the IFV. The CEV uses a German MTU 8V-199 TE-20 V8 diesel developing 721 hp.

The CEV has a gross weight of 33 tonnes and a speed of 65 km/h with a range of 500km.

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The Pizarro IFV with appliqué armour..

Post copyrighted to Harvey Black

Military/Intelligence Bulletin 01/2019 – Despite Brexit….Anglo-French bilateral defence …..

Despite Brexit….Anglo-French bilateral defence and security remains important to both nations, as well as NATO and Europe.

So what does the Anglo-French bilateral defence and security co-operation consist of?

Systematic joint operations – Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF), set to be fully operational in 2020.

Ad Hoc Military Operations – Improved interoperability leading to joint counter insurgency operations. Operation Barkhane for example,  ongoing anti-insurgent operation in Africa’s Sahel region. There is a already a 3,000 strong French force in situ.

Naval Co-operation – From 2019 onwards, we can expect to see increasing cooperation in regard to carrier deployments and mutual support and joint command during coalition naval operations.

Nuclear – Continued Co-operation between the UKs Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Commission (CEA).

Intelligence Sharing – Bilateral Intelligence sharing; for example the counter-terrorism casework between MI5 and DGSI

Strategic Oversight – The UK-France Defence Ministerial Council, created in January 2018, a forum created to maintain communication.

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France’s Marine Nationale aircraft carrier FS Charles De Gaulle (R 91). US Ospreys have landed aboard the French vessel.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Maj. Joshua Smith

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Members of the French army’s elite mountain infantry are training with soldiers from their sister battalion in Scotland during Exercise Joint Warrior 2019.  Members of the Chasseurs Alpins units are taking part in live firing exercises with the Second Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Credit BFBS

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French soldiers getting to grips with the SA-80 rifle – standard issue weaponry for the British military.

Credit BFBS

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The French Ministry of the Armed Forces have given their assurances that Brexit will have no direct effect on the bilateral defence relationship.  France wishes for this special relationship to be strengthened.

France and the UK are considered to be two of the three biggest NATO powers and play a key role in the UN. The UK and France are the only two European permanent members of the UN Security Council, who both have a desire to maintain their global power status. Both countries continue to co-operate on nuclear weapons technology.

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Nuclear submarine HMS Vanguard arrives back at HM Naval Base Clyde, Faslane, Scotland following a patrol.

By CPOA(Phot) Tam McDonald – Defence Imagery

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The French Triomphant-class submarine –Téméraire

Credit – CC BY-SA 2.0 fr

 

British and French Marines on Exercise together.

Naval co-operation between the two countries continues in the Indian Ocean, the Asia-Pacific region, and the Caribbean. In 2019, will be functional, involving our aircraft carriers. British and French officers will resume joint command of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), a multinational coalition conducting counter-terrorism operations in the Indian Ocean.

Paris and London made an importance announcement in January 2018, when the two countries announced a series of measures. The most significant being the formation of a UK-France Defence Ministerial Council, its purpose to provide strategic oversight and direction to the bilateral defence relationship. This ensures a permanent regular forum maintaining a strong defence co-operation, despite Brexit.

Post copyrighted to Harvey Black