IDF re-emphasizes importance of tank/infantry cooperation

merkava 4The Jerusalem Post has an article about recent new training programs of the Israeli Defense Forces designed to boost cooperation between infantry and armored units.  According to the article, infantry officers from the Nahal Brigade trained with tank crews from the 196 Battalion of the 460 Armored Brigade, at the Shizafon Advanced Armor training base in the South.  “As part of lessons we learned from Operation Protective Edge [in the Gaza Strip last summer], we learned the necessity of close cooperation between tanks and infantry,” Lt.-Col. Rafi Wolfson, commander of the 196 Battalion, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.  “For two days, Nahal commanders learned about our tanks, driving, firing and commanding over them. Full article here.

Italy begins disposing of massive armor inventory at Lenta

Lenta m113L’Espresso is reporting that the Italian army has started to decommission and dispose of a large part of their surplus armor inventory.  The article notes that unlike some other European countries, for nearly twenty years Italy has not released any tanks removed from service.  Many of these vehicles are stored in the rice fields near Lenta, an area with contains more than 3,000 tanks and APCs.  Italy has started to sell or scrap this massive collection of vehicles, said to be the largest concentration of non-operating tanks in the world.  The article notes that some vehicles will be given to friendly countries, and many will be auctioned off.  Included in the collection are hundreds of Leopard I MBTs, M113 APCs, M-109 SPGs and Centauro Wheeled AFVs .  It is reported that both Pakistan and Jordan are in negotiations to purchase some of these vehicles.  To read the L”Espresso article and photo gallery, click here (in Italian).

From our Readers: Sexton wrecks in Italy

A Tank and AFV News reader from Italy has submitted some interesting pictures of some Sexton SPGs used as range targets in Italy.  These vehicles differ from standard Sexton SPGs in that they were re-armed with the 105mm Obice da 105/22 gun (but still retaining the original 25 pounder gun recoil system.)  These two wrecks are located at Cape Teulada, at the Italian Army training range.  The reader who submitted the pictures states that he and two others of the 1st Regiment were ordered to select 14 vehicles from the Italian army armor storage area at Lenta in November of 1986 to be transported to the firing range.  Of the 14 Sexton SPGs that were selected, one was retained as a monument at the barracks while the others were used as range targets.  (This information was sent to us written in Italian, we have translated it as best as possible using Google translate.)

Bradley IFV stops traffic in Houston

622x350The Houston Chronicle is reporting that yesterday a Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle slide off the trailer it was being carried on causing traffic to be shut down as well as providing an interesting sight for passing motorists.  According to the article TranStar spokeswoman Dinah Massie said the Bradley IFV partly fell off a trailer that was transporting it. Photos from the scene indicate the trailer may have collapsed under the tank. The article may be viewed here, including a small gallery of photos of the incident.

New issue of ARMOR released

armor journalThe October-December 2014 issue of ARMOR was posted online on March 20th.  ARMOR is the official magazine of the US Armor Branch and has been published in one form or another for 125 years.  As the Armor Branch’s professional-development bulletin, ARMOR issues will vary in terms of how much they will be of interest to the average person interested in tanks and armored vehicles.  Fortunately, there is a search feature on the eArmor page and select back issues are available for download.  Of particular interest is a series of articles from past issues collected as eArmor Heritage Historical Series.  It is worth noting that this list includes an article by  Richard Ogorkiewicz titled “The Ten Ages of Tank” from the May-June 1952 issue.  Considering that Ogorkiewicz just recently had a book on tanks published by Osprey, it’s fair to say he much hold the record for longest writing career on the topic!

The newest issue of ARMOR may be downloaded here.  Back issues are available here.

Kurganets BMP-25 shown in photo

SBCw5E6_6yUSputnik News has posted a brief article about the new Russian Kurganets BMP-25 infantry fighting vehicle.  The article features a picture of these vehicles rehearsing for the upcoming May 9th Victory Day parade.  The article notes that the Kurganets-25 weighs 25 tons and is protected with modular armor that can be adapted to meet specific mission requirements. It is armed with a 30mm cannon and four Kornet-EM anti-tank guided missile launchers, all of which will reportedly be controlled by an onboard automatic firing system capable of choosing its own targets. The turret is remotely operated by the three-man crew.  Full article here.

Turkish firm to produce tank engine

altay-tankDefense News is reporting that a privately owned Turkish engine maker has signed a contract to produce an engine for the Turkish Altay tank.  TUMOSAN’s Power Group Development program signed the US $206.35 million contract on March 17 with the country’s procurement office, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM).  The program involves the indigenous design, development, prototype production, testing and qualification of an engine for the Altay. TUMOSAN also says it will design and develop a transmission for the tank and produce critical parts for its engine, including the diesel pump, electronic control unit and injector.  TUMOSAN set a goal of 54 months for the project.  This announcement follows news from earlier this month that Turkey’s months-long negotiations with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for joint development and production of an engine for the Altay have failed largely due to the Japanese government’s near total ban on arms exports.  Full article here.