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Monday, June 18, 2018

Global Pointers For FMBTs

Given below are the weblinks of the show dailies published during this expo.

Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and France’s Nexter Defense Systems (KNDS) pitched a cross between a Leopard 2A7 chassis and a AMX-56 Leclerc turret at the Eurosatory 2018 expo in Paris on June 11. Officially dubbed the European Main Battle Tank, or EMBT, the vehicle is meant to showcase that German and French companies can work together on the path toward an envisioned Main Ground Combat System pursued by both nations, which is slated to see the light of day in the mid-2030s. Additionally, the developers believe that this “Frankentank” meets a real-life demand, and they hope a paying customer might take the idea and run with it. For now, the EMBT is a demonstrator project funded by the two companies’ joint venture, KNDS.
The benefit of the hybrid machine lies in the Leopard 2 MBT’s “very-high capability” chassis, which can carry up to 68 tonnes, and merging it with the lightness of the Leclerc’s turret, which needs only a crew of two to operate. As a result, potential customers get 10% of the weight, or 6 tonnes, to install additional kit on the EMBT as they see fit. In essence, the EMBT is a 62-tonne hybrid comprising a modified fuselage, a 7-axle chassis, a Leopard-2A7V propulsion unit and a twin, lighter version of the Leclerc’s turret with an ammunition autoloader and a 120mm CN1120-26 smoothbore cannon.
The crew thus comprises three members (commander, gunner and driver). The biggest challenge for the constructors was the foundation of the French turret on the German hull. Engineers struggled not only with incompatible drives, but also had to meet the requirements of German legislation that limit the transfer of military technologies abroad. The next stage in the EMBT project is to develop a prototype and launch pre-series production. To date, raction and firing tests of the EMBT demonstrator have been successfully carried out in the south of France.
KNDS was founded on December 15, 2015 in Amsterdam. It is worth noting that the German and French governments are intensely eyeing the concept disclosed by Rheinmetall in February 2016, named MGCS 2030+ (Main Ground Combat System) with a new 130mm gun. In turn, Nexter is working on a modernised AMX-56 Leclerc MBT as part of a wider Scorpion programme.
In terms of new revolutionary trends, MBT developers worldwide are now gravitating towards the construction of MBTs with weight-saving High-Nitrogen Steel (HNS), and the adoption of turret-bustles containing ammunition stored in autoloaders. In terms of both trends, the pioneer was Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which has since developed the HNS-built 48-tonne Type 10 MBT, which is powered by a four-strike V8 diesel engine developing 1,200hp, thereby offering a power-to-weight ratio of 27hp/tonne.
The 57.4 tonne AMX-56 Leclerc from Nexter Systems comes powered by a 1,500hp V8X SACM 8-cylinder diesel engine that offers a power-to-weight ratio of 27.52 hp/tonne.
To date, the French Army has acquired 406 Leclercs of which 320 of them make up four armoured regiments each with 80 Leclercs.
The UAE has ordered 390 Leclercs and 46 ARVs. These are all powered by 1,500hp MTU 883 V-12 diesel engines, coupled with the Renk HSWL295 TM automatic transmission. All Leclercs have autoloaders in the turret-bustles.
Even Russia has abandoned the hull-mounted horizontal carousal autoloader and by the mid-1990s the Omsk-based KBTM OKB and Omsktransmash JSC developed the Ob'yekt 640 Black Eagle MBT, whose turret rear contained the horizontal autoloader-cum-ammunition stowage compartment withblow-out panels.
Russia’s Uralvagonzavod JSC-built 48-tonne Ob’yekt 148 Armata MBT, however, has rejected the turret-mounted autoloader-cum-ammunition stowage compartment and has instead gone for a hull-mounted vertical autoloader.
The Armata, powered by a 1,350hp A85-3AX-diesel engine, has a power-to-weight ratio of 31hp/tonne (the highest among all present-day MBTs) and its 125mm 2A82-1M smoothbore cannon fires the Vacuum-1 APFSDS round that has a 900mm-long KE penetrator, which is said to be capable of penetrating 1 metre of RHA at a distance of 2km.
(to be concluded)

Sunday, June 10, 2018

When & How Religiosity-Inspired Distortions & Bigotry Gained Ground In Jammu & Kashmir

The roots of religiosity-inspired civil disobedience within the Kashmir Valley of India’s state of Jammu & Kashmir (J & K) can be traced back to the mid-1980s, when a proxy war between the overwhelmingly Sunni Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the overwhelmingly Shia-majority Islamic Republic of Iran was being waged on a global scale. It was at this time that Pakistan’s Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence two distinct Jihadi Tanzeems—Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen (HuM) headed by Fazlur Rehman Khalil and the Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) headed by Qari Saifullah Akhtar—that were the principal suppliers of Jihadi Mujahideens (sourced from Pakistan’s Punjab province’s eastern and southern areas) destined for Afghanistan. By 1989, the JuM and HuJi were vectored towards J & K by the ISI, with ideological support emanating from Pakistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party. This is clearly borne out by the videoclip below:
By late 1990, the Pakistan Army as a whole had been taught to believe that if a non-nuclear Pakistan could win a low-intensity conventional war against the nuclear WMD-armed USSR, then the same kind of success could very much be achieved against India as well. While studying at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, then Col Ashfaq Pervez Kayani had written a strategy paper dealing with how the Afghan and allied Mujahideen from across the globe defeated the USSR and how Pakistan had played its hand in managing the war in such a manner that it did not provoke a total war with the USSR. He later studied for a year at the Hawaii-based Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, and it was there that a now Brig Kayani used to ‘educate’ his fellow coursemates about Pakistan’s plan to capture J & K by applying the lessons learnt from the Afghan Jihad. All this has since been explained in greater detail in this book:

Pakistan’s grand designs for wresting J & K away from India received a shot in the arm in the early 1990s with the outbreak of the civil war in Yugoslavia, when countries like Iran, and Malaysia in particular, decided to get involved in total violation of UN-mandated sanctions. Malaysia’s gameplan was to finance the armed insurrections of the Muslim  Bosnians and Christian Croats against the Slavic Serbians, hoping that after the end of the civil war, the newly-independent countries of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia would reward Malaysia with lucrative post-war reconstruction projects worth tens of billions of US$. Consequently, Malaysia’s then Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, contacted Tan Sri Eric Chia Eng Hock, Chairman of publicly-listed Perwaja Steel, to mobilise RM3 billion for financing the civil war effort in favour of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. While this was done, Malaysia had one problem: how to source and supply weapons to these two countries. This is where the ISI stepped in not only with logistical expertise, but also with manpower supply options.
Accordingly, Lt Gen Javed Nasir ( who served as DG of ISI from March 14, 1992 till May 13, 1993, did the following: 1) He merged the HuM and HuJI to form the Muzaffarabad-based Harkat ul-Ansar. 2) He created two new training camps for this Tanzeem, with one at Zhawar Kili near Khost, and another at a 200-yard by 200-yard mud fortress along a river basin in Asadabad, Kunar province, where Pakistan-origin cadres of the HuA, along with mercenaries from Dagestan, Chechnya and Uzbekistan were trained in guerrilla warfare techniques that were to be applied inside both J & K and rump Yugoslavia. 3) He used the finances provided by Malaysia for running these two camps, as well as for procuring the NORINCO-developed and Dr A Q Khan Research Labs-assembled Red Arrow-8 (Baktar Shikan) ATGMs and Pakistan Ordnance Factories-produced RPG-7 LAWs meant for Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. In addition, few thousand RPG-7 rounds and a few hundred launchers ended up with the HuA for use inside J & K.
Even after Lt Gen Javed Nasir’s dismissal from the Pakistan Army, these activities continued under the stewardship of succeeding ISI DGs Lt Gen Javed Ashraf Qazi (from 1993 till 1995), Lt Gen Ehsan ul Haq (from October 7, 2001 till October 6, 2004) and Lt Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani (from October 7, 2004 till November 27, 2007). In addition, as part of a quid pro quo, Pakistan was rewarded by Malaysia through contracts being placed for the supply of Baktar Shikan ATGMs and Anza Mk.1 (Chinese QW-1) shoulder-launched MANPADS for the Malaysian Army.
However, Malaysia ended up as the nett loser in this whole affair, since the expected post-war reconstruction contracts from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia never surfaced, which in turn led to Perwaja Steel becoming bankrupt, and Tan Sri Eric Chia being declared a traitor and scamster by the largely ignorant Malaysian citizens. More about all this can be read here:
I came to know about the behind-the-scenes siphoning off of Perwaja Steel’s financial assets (on the instructions of Tun Dr Mahathir) sometime in mid-2007 when I had a chance encounter with Tan Sri Eric Chia at the Sheraton Subang Hotel in Malaysia’s Selangor State, during which the Tan Sri at last revealed to me the real story behind Perwaja Steel’s financial woes. Like a true patriot, he never went public with all that he knew about this sordid affair for as long as he was alive.
As for the HuM and Fazlur Rehman Khalil, the former is now known as the Ansar-ul-Umma, and is part of the Muzaffarabad-based United Jihad Council, while the latter was mainstreamed way back at the beginning of this decade. Since then, both, along with the JI, have been deeply involved in creating religiosity-inspired faultlines inside J & K, details of which are given below.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Pakistan Navy To Procure Two COSC-Built & CSTC-Supplied 4,000-Tonne FFGs

The two FFGs will be armed with the HARBA subsonic cruise missile, which is a clone of the the Ukraine-developed KORSHUN multi-role subsonic cruise missile (whose IPR is now owned by China), which in turn is a clone of the Nobator-developed 3M-14E subsonic anti-ship/land-attack cruise missile. The HARBA is presently on-board the PNS Himmat FAC-M. The missile cannisters are almost identical to those of the PLA Navy-specific YJ-62A subsonic anti-ship cruise missile.
The Pakistan Navy also has 40 TELs that are each armed with three subsonic C-602 anti-ship cruise missiles.
The two FFGs wsill be using SR-2410C S-band multifunction radarsm and not the China-developed clones of the Russia-origin Fregat-M2EM radar that presently equip the PLA Navy Type 054A FFGs.