Showing posts with label UAV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UAV. Show all posts

Monday, 11 April 2022

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By Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer
 
The following list attempts to keep track of heavy military equipment delivered or pledged to Ukraine during the 2022 Russian of invasion of Ukraine. The entries below are sorted by armament category (with a flag denoting the country of delivery), and due to the confidential nature of some arms deliveries they can serve only as a lower bound to the total volume of weaponry shipped to Ukraine. MANPADS, ATGMs and commercial UAVs are not included in this list. This list will be updated as further military support is declared or uncovered.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

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By Joost Oliemans and Stijn Mitzer
 
The still early but shockingly brutal invasion of Ukraine by Putin's Russia has thrown the historically tragedy-ridden country back into some of its darkest days. Besieged from three directions whilst a vastly larger military force rains down fire on any target with little to no regard for civilian life, it is struggling for its very right to exist – with Vladimir Putin repeatedly making allusions to his intention of essentially dissolving the country into Russia. Under these circumstances, and with this grim prospective, the Ukrainian people would be forgiven for feeling hopeless and abandoned.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans in collaboration with Jakub Janovsky, Dan, and COIN
 
Bin atlı o gün dev gibi bir orduyu yendik! - A thousand cavaliers, we beat a giant army that day! (Akıncılar, by Yahya Kemal Beyatlı)

The Bayraktar TB2 has changed the notion of how modern-day conflicts are being fought that, now that it has been tried and tested in at least three separate conflicts, cannot be reverted. The fact that a relatively light and inexpensive drone could not only evade but actively search out and destroy modern surface-to-air missile (SAM) and electronic warfare (EW) systems while suffering little losses in return has rightfully garnered worldwide attention. The result of the TB2's entry into combat was a stunning upset of the status quo, forcing many countries to rethink their approach to defence.
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By Stijn Mitzer
 
Turkey's rise to a global drone power has drawn attention from all corners of the world. While there likely have been few developments in the past years that have benefited NATO as much as the profileration of the Bayraktar TB2, others maintain that Turkish drones pose a threat to NATO or even world peace. Disregarding the fact that two NATO countries have so far ordered the TB2 and five more NATO member states are presently considering their acquisition, some of the claims from certain American politicians seem to be made on their personal background or family ties. [1]

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

The Malaysian government seeks to turn the country into Southeast Asia's testing ground for drones, in which international companies will design and produce unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for carrying out deliveries and to provide other unique services. [1] With these unmanned ambitions in mind, it is perhaps all the more surprising that the Malaysian government has invested little in the acquisition of UAVs for its armed forces, this despite the presence of an indigenous drone industry that has come up with several military-grade drone designs since the early 2000s.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
The success of Chinese-made unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) once seemed unstoppable, with countries in the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa acquiring ever larger numbers of Wing Loong and CH-series of UCAVs. This impressive sales record seems to have had little to do with an apparent preference for Chinese UCAVs however. Rather, the UCAV market featured very little competition during the first half of the last decade, particularly if the country looking to acquire UCAVs didn't have the luxury of being able to purchase arms from the United States.

Friday, 21 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

Vietnam has sought to address its security requirements by fielding a large military apparatus equipped with mostly Soviet-era weaponry that can be quickly reinforced by a massive reserve force armed with anything from World War II-era Soviet rifles to U.S. Main Battle Tanks dating from the 1960s. Modern equipment is relatively lacking in the inventory of the Vietnamese People's Army (VPA), with Vietnam instead preferring to upgrade existing weaponry to keep these combat relevant in the 21st century. A prime example of this is the T-54M3 tank upgrade project.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

During the 2021 edition of Teknofest in Istanbul it was announced that Turkey intends to organise its Teknofest technology festival in other countries as well. [1] Several nations come to mind that maintain a strong relationship with Turkey and are a recipient of Turkish arms and technology, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). One such country is Azerbaijan, which has made significant investments in the acquisition and production of various types of unmanned weapon systems and is currently looking to expand on its domestic technology base.

Monday, 17 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
As the number of nations operating unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) grows larger and larger each year, Jordan retired its entire inventory of UCAVs some two years after they first entered service. At the center of this drastic move was the performance of the country's fleet of six Chinese-made CH-4B armed drones, which's unreliability, incompatibility with other Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) assets and apparent inability to operate under jamming environments caused the RJAF to put them up for sale after barely seeing any operational use. [1]

Friday, 14 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

The Indonesian Air Force is currently undergoing a re-equipment programme with the aim of building up a qualitative force to defend its territory and counter an increasingly assertive China. Among planned acquisition such as multirole combat aircraft, tanker aircraft and new attack helicopters, the Indonesian Armed Forces are also investing in the acquisition and development of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs). This has so far included the purchase of six CH-4B drones from China and the design of the indigenous Elang Hitam (Black Eagle) system. [1]

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
The Bayraktar Akıncı is the world's first production multi-role unmanned combat aircraft. Arguably the most innovative aspect of the Akıncı is its capability to use air-to-air missiles (AAMs), consisting of the indigenous Bozdoğan IIR-guided AAM and the (fire-and-forget) Gökdoğan BVRAAMs. Another novel feature is the ability to use the 275+km-ranged SOM family of cruise missiles designed to be used against enemy command posts, SAM sites, hardened bunkers ships or any other target that requires a precision hit.

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
''Don't bother to devote your energy to achieving impossible dreams. Just establish a bridge between us and them [western defence manufacturers], act as our translators, that's enough.'' (Address to Selçuk and Haluk Bayraktar by a bureaucrat at the Presidency of Defense Industries, mid-2000s) [1]
 
The concept of swarm-UAVs could drastically alter the way wars are being fought, with swarms of nimble UAVs attacking ground and air targets, carrying out reconnaissance missions and conducting electronic warfare missions all the while remaining in close contact with each other, providing a layer of independent operations not yet seen on the battlefield before. For all their novelty, most swarm-UAV concepts that are currently being tested are still years away from being fielded operationally.

Monday, 10 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

In November 2021 it was announced that Kazakhstan had signed a contract with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for the delivery of three TAI Anka unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs). [1] Their purchase comes some six years after the Kazakh Air Force first acquired an armed drone capability in the form of four Wing Loong Is from China. [2] Rather than acquiring more Chinese-made UCAVs, in 2021 Kazakhstan turned to Turkey to press on its armed drone programme. Another supplier of UAVs to Kazakhstan is Israel, which however doesn't export UCAVs abroad.

Friday, 7 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer
 
A Ukrainian drone strike on a howitzer belonging to DNR seperatist forces in the contested region of Eastern Ukraine led several countries to voice their concern for the use of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) in the War in Donbas. [1] Interestingly, this not only included Russia, but also Germany and France. [2] [3] Since the strike, which took place on the 26th of October 2021, tensions between Ukraine and Russia have risen to their highest in years, with a large Russian troop build-up close to the border with Ukraine sparking fears that all out war could be imminent. [4]

Thursday, 6 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

The last few months have seen a remarkable reversal of fortunes for the Ethiopian government. After a large Ethiopian Army offensive against Tigray forces in early October 2021 backfired spectacularly, the Tigray Defence Forces (TDF) commenced a counteroffensive that at one point even threatened the security of the capital Addis Ababa. [1] Possessing little in the way of air defence systems that can counter (armed) drones flying high overhead, Tigray forces eventually succumbed to the pressure of unabated drone warfare and withdrew to the borders of the Tigray Region in mid-December 2021. [2]

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

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By Farooq Bhai in collaboration with Stijn Mitzer

Pakistan has been a prolific user of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) since the late 1990s. In 2004, the Pakistani Air Force (PAF) inducted the indigenous Satuma Jasoos II ''Bravo+'' UAV, becoming the first branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces to operate UAVs. The Pakistani Army (PA) soon followed suit with another indigenous type, the Uqab P1 UAV designed by Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS), which entered entered active service with the Pakistani Army in 2008. The design of the Uqab P1 was further refined after incorporating lessons learned during its service with the PA and an improved version, known as the Uqab P2, was later adopted by the Pakistani Navy (PN) in 2010.

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

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By Stijn Mitzer

Turkmenistan is a large recipient of Israeli arms and equipment, so far including weaponry like the TAR-21 assault rifle and several types of infantry mobility vehicles (IMVs). Arguably lesser known is Turkmenistan's inventory of Israeli-produced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This until 2021 consisted of familiar types like the Elbit Skylark and Aeronautics Defense Orbiter 2B, both solely used for reconnaissance missions. These were acquired in the early-2010s, presenting Turkmenistan's first UAVs that were not target drones inherited from the Soviet Union.

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
  
That Turkish-made unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) and Israeli-designed loitering munitions enabled Azerbaijan its striking victory during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War is well established. Less well known is that in addition to Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs and Israeli-designed loitering munitions, Azerbaijan operates a large fleet of Israeli-made surveillance UAVs that by the virtue of their capabilities rank amongst the most advanced in the world. The synergy between this extensive arsenal of UAVs, loitering munitions and UCAVs has meanwhile propelled Azerbaijan to the world's top in terms of unmanned aerial capabilities.
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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
 
Ukraine's acquisition and subsequent use of the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 has been a cause of significant concern for separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine, and for Russia, which has provided the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) with extensive military support. Although separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine operate significant numbers of anti-aircraft (AA) guns and surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems supplied by Russia, including the 9K33 Osa-AKM (NATO designation: SA-8) and the 9K35 Strela-10 (SA-13), these lack the range to target UCAVs like the Bayraktar TB2 flying overhead at some 5000 metres.

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

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By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Egypt has a long tradition of acquiring military equipment from a multitude of sources rather than solely relying on one country in case it's suddenly to be sanctioned, potentially cutting off its military from spare parts and munitions. The Egyptian Air Force currently operates jet aircraft sourced from Russia, France, Czechia, the U.S. and China, and the situation is little different within the other branches of the Egyptian Armed Forces. Although greatly complicating the inventory of spare parts and weaponry, this situation ensures that Egypt is never without a source of armament.