We hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving weekend. Here is a number of articles from the past week or so related to tanks and AFVs Click on the headline to read the full article.
As the mild-mannered Private Godfrey in the hit TV show and film Dad’s Army, actor William Arnold Ridley won a place in the nation’s hearts. He actually served in the Home Guard for real in the Second World War after being evacuated from Dunkirk as the Germans pushed the British back across the Channel in May 1940. But even before that time, Ridley has seen action in the trenches during the First World War with the Somerset Light Infantry.
IRBIL, Iraq — As they battle to hold on to the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, Islamic State militants have added a new weapon to their arsenal: tanks made of wood. The life-size replicas are intended to confuse air support from the U.S.-led coalition backing the Iraqi ground offensive for the city, commanders said. Although they may look far from realistic when viewed from close quarters, it’s harder to tell what they are made of from the sky. Iraqi forces discovered a building used to manufacture the decoys when they retook the village of Sada, north of Mosul, last week. In addition to three fake tanks, they found five wooden Humvees.
WARSAW, Poland — Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos has announced that the country’s Defence Ministry is planning to award a contract for the delivery of armored personnel carriers (APC) to Germany’s Rheinmetall Defence. The company is to team up with a state-run Romanian manufacturer and launch a plant in Romania that will produce the APCs. “There will be a partnership, a Romanian-German joint venture, which will allow Rheinmetall to obtain the contract from the Ministry of Defence and build an armored personnel carrier that will be first supplied to the Romanian military,” Ciolos told local broadcaster Europa FM in an Nov. 17 interview.
The Brazilian Army’s Logistics Command (CoLog) will award Iveco Latin America a contract for 1,580 serial production VBTP-MR Guarani 6×6 amphibious armored vehicles on 22 November, the service’s Projects Management Office told IHS Jane’s . The fleet, to be delivered from 2016-35, will comprise troop transport, communications, command post, ambulance, and 120 mm mortar vehicles. CoLog is buying the platforms in batches of 723, 547, 275, and 35 vehicles, as well as associated equipment and services totalling BRL5.9 billion (USD1.76 billion). Several will be armed with manned protected weapon mounts and ARES Aeroespacial & Defesa’s REMAX and UT-30BR remote weapon stations.
Morocco has taken delivery of a consignment of 155 mm M109A5 self-propelled howitzers, local media reported on 21 November. The reports were accompanied by photographs showing at least 12 M109s that had been unloaded at Casablanca’s port. The US Excess Defense Articles database shows that Morocco has requested 70 surplus M109A5 howitzers. Morocco is already an M109 user, having imported 42 M109A2 howitzers from Germany in 2008, as well as three M109A3s and a single M109A4 from the United States in 2013, according to the UN Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA) information.
Russia is reportedly preparing to upgrade its Soviet-era T-80 battle tanks in order to bring them back into service. Up to 3,000 of the tanks, which entered service in 1976, will be updated to bring their combat power closer to the current T-90 model. “At present, the preparative works to start the modernisation of the first T-80BV MBTs are at a final stage,” a defence industry source told military magazine Jane’s Defence Weekly. The “overhaul and modernisation” of the tanks “will be launched next year” the source added. They said the number of tanks to be upgraded will be determined by the military.
The Pakistani government has signed an agreement with Ukraine for the supply of 200 engines to equip the country’s highly anticipated next-generation main battle tank (MBT), which is commonly referred to as the Al Khalid-Improved (I) MBT, according to Pakistani defence officials. The deal was signed on 23 November during the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS), which is held every two years in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi. While the exact type of engine was not revealed, a senior official of Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) told IHS Jane’s that it will be larger than the Ukrainian 6TD-2 engine generating a maximum 1,200 bhp that powers the 420 Al Khalid MBTs operated by the Pakistan Army’s Armoured Corps.
A 20-year old IDF soldier was killed when his tank overturned during an exercise on the Golan Heights shortly after midnight Wednesday, the IDF announced on Thursday morning. The accident victim was Sgt. Ido Ben- Ari from Ramat Sharon, a tank commander in the 9th Battalion of the Armored Corps’ 401 Brigade. He was posthumously promoted to staff-sergeant. Three other soldiers suffered minor injuries in the incident and were discharged from Rambam Medical Center in Haifa after receiving medical treatment. Ben-Ari’s tank brigade was taking part in a wide-scale training exercise along with the Givati Brigade and its engineering forces when the accident occurred at around 1 a.m. on Mount Shifon on the northern Golan Heights.
CUTS being planned by army chiefs would see the country’s defence force lose a third of its frontline tanks, leaving it with fewer than Serbia. The plan, expected to be revealed in the coming months, would see one of the army’s three tank regiments have all of its 56 Challenger 2s replaced with Ajax fighting vehicles. If the plan was sanctioned it would leave the country with just 40 more tanks than neutral Switzerland. The move would see the UK’s tanks drop from 227 to 170, with 112 on frontline duty while the rest would be used for training in the UK and Canada.
Several former IDF commander have come out against a bill proposal that would result in the IDF integrating women in combat roles that are currently not open to them. MK Merav Michaeli, a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, introduced the legislation that would require the IDF to design a model to fill personnel needs regardless of gender. “What the American armed forces are doing now is what the IDF was recommended to do ten years ago,” said Michaeli. “Every day that goes by without exhausting human resources is a waste of quality manpower and motivation. Instead of giving female soldiers with high motivation every opportunity, the IDF is dragging its feet because of prejudice and pressure from rabbis.”
Mainland agents tipped off Hong Kong customs about nine Singaporean military vehicles after the boat carrying them docked in the mainland port of Xiamen, prompting their seizure and impounding in the city last Wednesday, a report has claimed. Before the latest twist in the diplomatic row, Singapore stepped up efforts to recover the armoured vehicles, with a delegation arriving in Hong Kong on Friday night to expedite their release and quell the potential political fallout. Sources said Singapore would need to contact the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get the vehicles back, adding that the discovery had been reported to Beijing already and the decision on whether to release them was no longer in Hong Kong hands.
MANBIJ, Syria (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdish-led military command in the northern Syrian town of Manbij on Thursday announced they destroyed four Turkish army tanks in the western countryside of the township. In a statement, the Manbij Military Council (MMC), a Syrian Arab-Kurdish coalition allied to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said the Turkish army airstrikes and shelling had changed the course of their battle against the Islamic State (IS) since last week. The MMC statement said the Turkish airstrikes were supposed to be against IS in al-Bab town in northern Syria, but the Turkish warplanes and artillery were targeting the liberated areas around Manbij. “Our forces [MMC] blew up four Turkish tanks around the village of Sheikh Naser, west of Manbij,” the statement said.