Here is part 2 of the Chieftain’s look at the Swedish Stridsvagn M/42 tank.
From Radio Free Europe comes this short video about a man in Belarus that built his own version of a WWII era T-60 light tank.
Over at the AFV News Dicussion Board, user “clausb” posted these rather intriguing photos from the Bundesarchiv website of what looks like a German A7V . Another forum member provided some information on this vehicle, quoting the authors Hundleby and Strasheim who state:
“In January 1919 a modified A7V minus gun but with four revolving machine gun mounts, one on each corner, was used by the Freikorps in Berlin. This machine was not an original A7V, as various details show, but a Geländewagen of the Tank Training Detachment fitted with surplus armour plates, possibly from 524, A7V-U…This vehicle was used only on a few occasions. It was later named Heidi, and for some time was commanded by 2nd Lieutenant Theunissen. In July 1919, the tank was required to be delivered to the Allied Control Commission, but was afterwards scrapped, of which there is photographic evidence.”
Here is our final installment of AFV News from around the Net for 2016. Click on the article headline to go to the full piece.
ANKARA, Turkey — A new multinational venture featuring Turkish, German and Malaysian manufacturers is in talks with Qatar to produce 1,000 armored vehicles — just one component of an aggressive marketing strategy that targets Gulf, Middle Eastern and Middle Asian markets. In August, Turkish manufacturer BMC, Germany’s Rheinmetal and Malaysia’s Etika Strategi joined forces to launch a Turkish subsidiary. RBSS, the new joint venture, will offer armored solutions to the Turkish and other militaries. The companies say the joint venture would focus on wheeled and tracked armored vehicles.
KIEV, Ukraine, Dec. 15 (UPI) — Ukraine’s state-owned defense contractor Ukroboronprom announced plans to create a new production workshop for its BTR-3 armored vehicles. The new site will aim to boost vehicle production, reduce manufacturing costs, and explore new technological opportunities, according to a statement released by the company. Ukroboronprom calls the move an important step forward for armored vehicles produced in the country.
Russian state-owned technology conglomerate Rostec has taken over heavy armoured vehicles manufacturer Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) following a decree from President Vladimir Putin on 27 December. The corporation said the move is likely to be the precursor to the formation of an integrated armoured vehicle business. Rostec will acquire 100% of the stock of UVZ, the manufacturer of the T-14 Armata main battle tank, in a process to be complete in 18 months, the company said. Rostec director general Sergei Chemezov said that the handover of UVZ would allow formation of an armoured vehicle holding likely to include other enterprises including infantry fighting vehicles producer Kurganmashzavod.
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) announced on 21 December that it has been awarded a contract to supply five Leguan armoured vehicle launched bridges (AVLBs) to the Royal Netherlands Army (RNLA). Under the terms of this agreement these Leguan AVLBs, converted from existing Leopard 2 main battle tank (MBT) chassis, will be delivered to the RNLA between 2019 and 2020. The new AVLBs will replace the RNLA’s existing Biber AVLBs, which are based on a Leopard 1 MBT chassis. KMW said the contract had been placed by the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment (BAAINBw) on behalf of the Dutch Procurement Office (DMO), but did not specify the value of the deal.
On October 12, 1999, then acting Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Eric Shinseki, outlined his vision of the future of the U.S. Army when he stated that it must be, “light enough to deploy, lethal enough to fight and win, survivable enough to return safely home . . . and lean and efficient enough to sustain themselves whatever the mission.” His comments echoed the desire of Donald Rumsfeld, acting Secretary of Defense the following year, to totally transform the U.S. Military into a force that could deploy and fight faster than ever before, anywhere in the world, and that could leverage new technologies and information systems as force multipliers that would ensure that this lighter and more nimble force could prevail over existing conventional forces of adversarial nations. This concept and the $200 billion dollar defense acquisition program that would aim to bring it to reality were christened the “Future Combat System” (FCS).
TEL AVIV – The US government is refuting Israeli assessments that US-supplied troop carriers to Lebanon have made their way to Hizbollah forces operating in Syria on behalf of the Bashar Assad regime. The State Department and the Pentagon insist that Hizbollah-flagged vehicles in question – photographed last month in the Syrian city of Qusayr – did not come from Lebanese Armed Forces stocks. “The Department of Defense assesses that a small number of M113s have likely been in Hizbollah’s inventory for a number of years and could have come from a range of different sources, as the M113s are common in the region. But they did not come from the LAF,” said Christopher Sherwood, a Pentagon spokesman.
As we get to the end of the month, we thought it worth looking at what the blog Below the Turret Ring has posted in December. They have two posts for this month, both dealing with German armored vehicles in the Middle East. On December 15 they posted about the Leopard 2 MBT in Syria. On December 22 they posted about a sale of German Marker IFVs to Jordan. We have posted excerpts and links below. Click on the headline to go to the full article over at Below the Turret Ring.
Turkish Leopard 2 tanks are actively operating in the war in Syria. The tanks have been photographed at different locations near the town of Al Bab, which is located about 35 kilometres (21.7 miles) north-eastern of Aleppo. A few photos were shared on Twitter, apparently taken by Turkish soldiers. More detailed photos and video footage was provided by the SMART news agency, which is said to have ties to Syrian rebels.
The Turkish Army is operating the Leopard 2 main battle tank (MBT) since 2005, when an initial batch of 298 Leopard 2 tanks was ordered. A further 56 tanks were purchased in 2010 and 2013. The Turkish military previoulsy tested the Leopard 2 Improved (Leopard 2A5/6 prototype), the Leclerc with additional armor package, the Ukrainian T-84-120 Yatagan tank (a version of the T-84 fitted with 120 mm gun and bustle-mounted autoloader) aswell as the M1A2 Abrams fitted with the MT883 diesel engine (as the gas turbine proved to be a main issue for potential buyers). The Leopard 2 Improved performed best, however the Turkish government didn’t purchase the tanks in the originally planned volume and version (up to a thousand Leopard 2A5 tanks were wanted by the military). Instead the Turkish goverment favored the local production of MBTs, where the bid by the South-Korean company Hyundai-Rotem was chosen over Krauss-Maffei Wegmann’s offer, because it included the full transfer of technology instead being a licence production agreement. This lead to the Altay main battle tank, based on South-Korean technology used on the K2 Black Panther MBT.
Jordan has received an initial batch of 16 ex-German Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) on the 11th December of 2016 as part of German military aid. The delivery also included 20 mm RH202 autocannons, spare parts and a Marder driver training vehicle. It must be noted that the permission for an export of 24 Marders, 28 Rh 202 autocannons and one Marder driver training vehicle to Jordan was given for 2016. The costs of this equipment is €12.8 million. This means that most likely a second batch of Marders will be shipped this year. A total of 50 Marder IFVs are being delivered to Jordan until end of 2017. Furthermore Jordan is set to receive surveillance equipment, 56 vans and 70 trucks.
The military aid to Jordan is part of a bigger initiative, which costs about €100 million in 2016 and €130 million in 2017. Other recipients of the German military aid are the Iraq, Tunesia, Mali, Nigeria and Niger. Jordan received about €25 million from the German government in order to be able to purchase the Marders.
The Marder IFV is an older design, being introduced into German Army service in 1971. It replaced the HS.30 Schützenpanzer lang, the first infantry fighting vehicle of the world. While offering only average firepower for it’s time, the Marder was designed to feature a higher degree of armor protection, being heavier than all other IFV counterparts of the same era.