Jul 04, 2012 18:42 UTC
Latest updates: Australia commits to more – up to 214 more, incl. a new role.
Bushmaster & ASLAV
Australia’s “Hardened and Networked Army” push led them to adopt the v-hulled, mine resistant Bushmaster vehicles, long before allies like the USA and Britain awoke to the need. Bushmasters have been deployed to East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
“Bushmaster Bonanza at Bendigo” read the August 2007 DoD headline, as Liberal Party Minister for Defence Dr. Brendan Nelson announced that Australia would buy at least 250 more Bushmaster vehicles. The final contract was actually larger than that, in order to meet Protected Mobility Medium requirements for Project Overlander’s Phase 3. In 2011, the government placed an order for even more Bushmasters. Now 2012 has seen that intention repeated, in order to keep the workforce occupied…
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Jul 04, 2012 15:06 UTC
Latest updates: Manufacturing in USA, but defensive systems are lacking.
Urban fights are thought of as the future of warfare in many countries, but to Israel, urban fighting is a very current reality. At the same time, conventional defense requires well-protected forces that can maneuver and survive with the country’s heavy armor, out in the tank-friendly environs of the Middle East. The Israelis had long depended on the M113 to fill these roles, but heavier options were needed. The resourceful Israelis turned to their stock of captured Soviet T-54/55 tanks for initial solutions, producing the Achzarit APC. They liked the results so much that they decided to do the same thing with their older Merkava tank hulls, creating the 60 tonne Namer (“leopard”). That’s more than twice the weight of the USA’s M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), but Namers are mostly used as ultra-heavy but lightly-armed armored personnel carriers. Unmanned turrets that would add a 30mm cannon and Spike missiles are also under consideration, which would turn them into true IFVs.
Even in an APC role, experiences during the 2006 war in Lebanon against Syria and Iran confirmed the Namer’s value. The Israelis decided to build more using new Merkava IV hulls. That creates some manufacturing issues for the Israelis, who are trying to quickly build up their Merkava IV fleet, per the long-range “Tefen” plan. Israel would also benefit financially from having more manufacturing done in America. The solution? Find an American partner…
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Jul 04, 2012 14:40 UTC
June 28/12: The US DSCA announces [PDF] Kuwait’s request for 300 AGM-114R3 Hellfire II missiles, with the new triple-mode fragmentation/ blast/ armor piercing warhead. The Kuwaitis are also requesting missile containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, repair and return support, training, Quality Assurance Team support services, and other engineering and technical support. The estimated cost is $49 million.
The prime contractor is Lockheed Martin Corporation in Orlando, FL, and implementation of this proposed sale won’t require the assignment of U.S. Government or contractor representatives. The Kuwaiti Air Force owns 16 AH-64D Apache attack helicopters that already use these missiles, just not the latest version.
Jul 04, 2012 11:06 UTC
Latest updates: New helicopters arrive; Crash in Afghanistan.
RAAF & US CH-47Ds
After decades as a largely unheralded workhorse, the distinctive, twin-rotor CH-47 Chinook medium-heavy lift helicopter has suddenly become the belle of the ball. Nations that have them are keeping them, and upgrading them. Boeing’s main customers in the US military plan to keep versions of the CH-47 in service past 2030. Nations that don’t have Chinooks, want them; but like a Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Fat Boy, those who step up to buy one know that second hand models aren’t exactly plentiful – and if you want new, you’ll probably have to wait a bit.
Australia has ordered CH-47Fs, but in the mean time, the 6 CH-47Ds in 5th Aviation Regiment, C Squadron have received defensive upgrades, lost a helicopter in Afghanistan, and rose to 7 machines under a new deal.
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Jul 04, 2012 01:17 UTC
DID does not publish on July 4th. We hope our readers in Canada and the USA have enjoyed the period from Canada Day on July 1st to Independence Day on July 4th, celebrating freedom, friendship and long-standing peace across the world’s longest undefended border.
Fortunately, the Americans elected not to hold a grudge over the 1814 expedition that put the Presidential residence and other nearby landmarks to the torch during the burning of Washington. That residence was later restored and painted in white, hence its current name. North of the border, the war’s events prompted Upper Canada to move its administrative center from York (now Toronto) on Lake Ontario, to the frigid swamps of Ottawa near Lower Canada. Ottawa is now the world’s 2nd coldest national capital, ahead of Moscow and behind only Mongolia’s Ulan Bator. America’s second most divisive war had left little appetite for further hostilities, and some wags quip that its “capital punishment” on both sides of the border was seen as sufficient requite by both sides.