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Issue No. 23 - 18 November 2019

The Pathfinder is a subject-oriented watch for prospective studies on air-land operations, currently conducted by the Command Doctrine and Training Centre (CDEC).

This document is based solely on unclassified sources. Its purpose is to provide a quick fortnightly overview of the information disseminated in the media and likely to be of interest to the world of defence. The briefs collected are limited to raw summaries of the documents analysed and cross-checked whenever possible by interviews conducted by its editors. It is therefore up to each reader to contextualise this information, particularly when it comes from official foreign sources, according to the use he or she wishes to make of it and the nature of the conclusions that he or she must draw from it.





"Robotic mules set to modernize U.S. infantry brigade combat teams"

Army recognition, 4 November 2019

(single source)

TheUS Army has chosen General Dynamics' MUTT(multi-utility tactical transport), as part of its S-MET (Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport) programme, to equip its infantry combat brigades. This robot, autonomous or remotely controlled, would be capable of transporting a 450 kg load over a distance of 95 km. Generating a power of 3 kW when stationary and 1 kW in motion, it would be able to recharge the various batteries of the infantry soldier's equipment. The contract calls for the delivery of 624 MUTTs in the spring of 2021 at a cost of $162.4 million.

Availability : Spring 2021



"Japan may deploy upgraded Patriot PAC-3 missiles to protect olympic games"

Army Recognition, 5 November 2019

"Japan may deploy upgraded PAC-3 missile interceptors in Tokyo area ahead of Olympic."

Japan Times, October 31, 2019

(source cross-checking)

Japan could deploy an upgraded version of the Patriot Advanced Capability PAC-3 ground/air defence systems in the Tokyo metropolitan area between April and July 2020 as part of the Olympic Games. This equipment, produced by the American Lockheed Martin, would make it possible to neutralise ballistic missiles or unidentified aircraft.

Availability : April-July 2020



"S-400 air defense missiles to be jointly produced by Russia and Turkey."

Army recognition, 4 November 2019

"Turkey to continue deploying S-400 missile systems until spring of 2020."

TASS, October 31, 2019

(single source)

Russia's delivery of the second batch of the S-400 missile defence system to Turkey could be delayed beyond 2020. Moscow and Ankara are said to disagree on the sharing of technology and joint production of the system. The first batch of S-400 was delivered on 12 July 2019 and is expected to be fully deployed around April 2020.



"Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) - M1A2T Abrams Tanks and Related Equipment and Support"

US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, 8 July 2019

"Government has received letter on tank sale: official"

Taipei Times, 14 November 2019

(source cross-checking)

The Taiwanese Ministry of Defence intends to purchase 108 M1A2 Abrams heavy battle tanks from General Dynamics Land Systems. A letter of offer and acceptance is reportedly being written. The value of the contract would be $2.2 billion. The first batch of a dozen tanks was to be delivered to the Taiwanese army in 2023.

Availability : 2023



"Airbus developing in-flight smoke screen to protect hovering H145M helos"

Jane's, November 4, 2019

(single source)

Airbus Helicopters would develop a camouflage system capable of creating a smoke screen to conceal the H145M in a hover. This system would operate using smoke generators mounted on the sides and under the fuselage. This smoke would mask both the visual and infrared signatures of the helicopter. This technology, already used for land vehicles, had never been applied to helicopters before.



"British Army poised to buy 500 Boxer MIVs"

Army technology, 5 November 2019

(source cross-checking)

The British Army has confirmed the signature of a contract for the acquisition of 500 8x8 Boxer MIV armoured vehicles with the German consortium Artec and its British partners. These will equip the Strike mechanised infantry brigades in addition to the Ajax already present. The Boxer MIVs would replace the Bulldogs and Mastiffs from 2023. The value of the contract would amount to more than 3.2 billion euros.

Availability : 2023



"India to produce 670,000 AK-203 assault rifles under licence"

Army recognition, 7 November 2019

(single source)

The Indo-Russian consortium IRRPL was established in March 2019 to produce 670,000 AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles for the Indian Army. After an initial delivery of 100,000 weapons, all the components of this rifle could be produced in India.



"Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer plant Nationalen Sicherheitsrat"

"Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is considering the creation of a National Security Council."

Die Zeit, 7 November 2019

"Germany should take more responsibility for defence, security, ministry says"

Jane's, November 11, 2019

(source cross-checking)

During her speech at the Bundeswehr University in Munich, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called for the creation of a National Security Council. The aim of the Council would be to coordinate the government's diplomatic, military, security, economic and industrial instruments. The Minister also announced that she wanted to strengthen the powers of the existing Federal Security Council(Bundessicherheitsrat). Finally, she reaffirmed her desire to see Germany assume greater responsibility, particularly in the fight against terrorism, while recalling that the objective of 2% of GDP for the defence budget should be achieved by 2031 at the latest.



"Indian MoD awards OFB USD 2.8 billion contract to licence-build 464 additional 7-90S MBTs"

Jane's, November 11, 2019

(single source)

India's Ministry of Defence has announced that it has signed a $2.8 billion contract with the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for the production of 464 additional T-90S battle tanks (export version of the Russian T-90 tank). As a reminder, as part of a technology transfer agreement with Russia, in 2006 India obtained a licence to produce a total of 1 000 T-90 tanks. This new order will bring the number of tanks in service in the Indian army to around 4 000, taking into account the 2 400 T-72s in service, 1 000 of which have been upgraded to the M1 standard.



"Russian eastern military district receives first batch of new generation fuel trucks"

Army recognition, 13 November 2019

(single source)

The press office of the Russian Ministry of Defence announced the delivery of the first batch of new ATZ-12-10-63501 and ATs-7-5350 tankers mounted on the 8x8 Kamaz-63501 Mustang chassis. They could cross a ford 1.75 m deep and pass an obstacle 0.6 m high. They would be covered with a polymer coating that would protect them against 7.62 mm fire. They would be able to refuel up to 10 vehicles at the same time, halving the refuelling time.




"War memorial for France in external operations (OPEX)"

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 11 November 2019

(single source)

On 11 November 2019, on the occasion of the commemoration of the armistice of 1918, a monument to the dead for France in external operations was inaugurated by the President of the Republic and the Minister of the Armed Forces in the heart of André-Citroën Park. Representing six anonymous soldiers carrying an invisible coffin symbolising absence, the sculpture pays tribute to the 549 soldiers who have died for France since 1963 in 17 theatres of external operations. At the same time, a plaque in homage to them was inaugurated at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe by the Secretary of State to the Minister of the Armed Forces, Mrs Geneviève Darrieussecq.



"LYNX 6: First exchanges between SGTIA soldiers and Czech airmen of the Baltic Air Policing mission"

Ministry of the Armed Forces, 8 November 2019

(single source)

On October 18, about thirty Czech airmen went to meet the French soldiers of the Lynx 6 mission. This day began with an inter-allied exercise, during which the French simulated a laser bombing guidance(specify). The immersion of the Czech pilots then continued within the SGTIA with a presentation of French equipment such as the VBCI, in which the aviators were able to embark. On 30 October, it was the turn of the Czech detachment to welcome about thirty French artillerymen. As a reminder, France has been involved in the Lynx mission in Estonia since 2017 and has been participating since 2007, within the framework of NATO, in air policing mandates in the Baltic States.




"Tacit Alliance: Russia and China Take Military Partnership to New Level".

Carnegie Moscow Center, 22 October 2019

Vassily Kashin, a researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences, analysed the speech made by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the forum organised on 3 October by the Valdaï Club think tank on China. On this occasion, Russia officially confirmed that it had helped China in the creation of its missile launch detection system. Shortly after the start of the crisis in Ukraine in 2014, Russia showed a clear willingness to strengthen Sino-Russian military cooperation, which materialised in 2017 with the signing of a three-year roadmap. In the future, this new level of cooperation could extend to other more sensitive areas, such as strategic missile defence, hypersonic technology and the construction of nuclear submarines. This step is a milestone in the perspective of the future Sino-Russian agreement on military cooperation, which should replace a document signed in 1993.



"Russian A2/AD capability overrated"

JTF [Swedish Defence Research Agency], March 2019

The Swedish Government Defence Research Agency has published a report which qualifies the threat posed by Russia's A2/AD(anti-access, area denial) system, which has often been overestimated in recent years, in particular because of Russia's threat to the Baltic Sea. However, JTF researchers show that the Russian A2/AD capability is far less effective than the international military press claims. On the one hand, the real range of the new S-400 anti-aircraft system would be 150 to 200 km, whereas it had initially been evaluated at 400 km. On the other hand, this technology would not prove its worth: the Syrian army, despite being equipped with the latest version of the Russian system, has not shot down any Western aircraft on its territory in recent years. On the other hand, the threat remains and both active and passive counter-measures are needed to deal with the A2/AD systems: firstly, passive measures such as flying around the coverage area or stationing troops in a place at the right time, and secondly, active measures such as electronic jamming or destruction of capabilities.



"Media and the military: a matter of professionalism"

War Room, United States Army War College, 23 October 2019

The author Jonathan Shine, a colonel in the US Army and a member of the Department of National Security and Strategy at War College, analyses in this article the link between the press and the military. The military relies on the press to maintain a link with the population, to disseminate messages or to contextualize the public narrative. For the media, working with the military allows them to obtain the most accurate information possible to fulfill their obligations to the public. The U.S. military's mistrust of the media in the aftermath of the Vietnam War has shifted to the belief that most of the challenges could be met with a properly designed communications plan. Both sides are encouraged to cooperate and put pressure on each other, which complicates their relationship, especially when their own values compete (right to information and right to secrecy) or when certain media are privileged because of their political views, such as Fox News. Particular attention is paid by the author to the duty of reserve, which would not apply to retired or retired military personnel making statements in the media that could be problematic for the army.



"Betraying the Kurds makes things harder for US operators everywhere."

Defense One, November 10, 2019

Researcher Jerry Meyerle shows in this article how the reputation of the United States has been tarnished by the brutal withdrawal of American troops from Syria. For nearly 20 years, the U.S. military has worked closely with local forces in the region (Afghanistan and Iraq). They have carried out essential missions: intelligence, interpreting, protection of bases, etc. By fighting together, the American troops and their Kurdish partners had established a relationship of trust based on promises that the United States had always tried to keep. The Americans then enjoyed a reputation as "people of honour". This episode could durably affect the reliability of the American army with future local partners.




Presentation of the Bleuet de France

ONACVG

From November 4 to 13, 2019, the Œuvre du Bleuet de France conducted its annual donation campaign for the war wounded and victims of attacks. Integrated since 1991 into the National Office for Veterans and War Victims, this campaign has its origins in the inter-war period, when the violence of the First World War conflicts (10 million dead and 20 million wounded) called for citizen mobilization in favor of the wounded. In 1925, Charlotte Malleterre, daughter of the commandant of the Hôtel national des Invalides, and Suzanne Leenhardt, Nurse Major, set up a workshop at the Institution nationale des Invalides in which the residents made cloth blueberries that they sold on the public highway to raise funds. The colour of this flower, which grew in the trenches, is reminiscent of the horizon blue uniform that young recruits wore on the battlefield.



Origin of the Française des Jeux (FDJ)

The "Broken Mouths"

The French State is currently selling 50% of the capital of La Française des Jeux (FDJ). 86 years after the birth of the French National Lottery in 1933, it is interesting to look back at the particular history of the FDJ. Heir to the Royal French Lottery, the National Lottery was founded by decree on 22 July 1933 with the aim of helping the war invalids and veterans on the model of the "Gueules cassées" association, created in the aftermath of the First World War. During the Second World War, the Lottery survived. In the second half of the 20th century, it expanded by opening up to all veterans' associations. An Issuer's contract signed in 1988 guaranteed "Gueules Cassées" the payment of a royalty for the "Gueules Cassées" on the Lottery and Euromillions bets, until 23 September 2008. In addition, the Union des Blessés de la Face et de la Tête was until today the largest private shareholder of the FDJ, in which it held 9.23% of the capital. These organisations are attached to their position as shareholders insofar as they provide a strong social and moral guarantee to the company.


 


 
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