Japan is building a new class of frigates as part of a naval modernization. The Mogami class, expected to total 22 units, will replace two classes of aging destroyers and frigates. Designed for anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, peacekeeping and counter-piracy missions, the ships feature a reduced radar cross-section, an aft flight deck and hangar for SH-60-type helicopters and a ramp to deploy uncrewed surface and underwater vehicles. Automation is emphasized, allowing a crew of around 90 to operate the frigates.
Armament includes a 5-inch Mk 45 main gun, Type 17 anti-ship missile launchers, SeaRAM surface-to-air missile launcher, 324-mm torpedo tubes and a minelaying capability. Initial work on the Mogami class (at left) began in 2015. The program was formally launched in 2017 and contracts for the first two frigates were signed in 2018. Construction for those warships began in 2019. Due to issues with the engines on the Mogami, the lead ship, the second frigate, Kumano was launched first in November 2020. The Mogami was put into the water in March 2021. Both are set for commissioning in 2022.
Singapore has procured an armored recovery vehicle based on the German MAN 8 x 8 SX45 truck. The Wheeled Armored Recovery Vehicle replaced the aging MB 2636A recovery truck. It is said to offer twice the capability of its predecessor. The WRV can recover vehicles weighing up to 77,160 pounds (35,000 kg), enabling it to support all Singapore army wheeled vehicles in service, such as the Terrex infantry fighting vehicle.
The recovery vehicle features a rotating crane, a winch, deployable stabilizers and an armored cabin for crew protection. A multifunction controller with wireless capability allows the commander to operate all vehicle subsystems simultaneously. On startup, the controller launches an automatic diagnostic test. There are three rear-view cameras for additional situational awareness. The Wheeled Armored Recovery Vehicle (at right) was first unveiled publicly during a military parade in August 2019.
Bombardier’s Global 6000 business jet has been in commercial service for years. More recently, it has begun to receive attention as a potential platform for military missions, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic warfare and airborne early warning. The twin-engine aircraft carries a crew of four and up to 13 passengers and has the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite. The baseline aircraft can carry up to 14,000 pounds of mission equipment.
The United Arab Emirates became the first customer for a militarized Global 6000, ordering two Saab GlobalEye airborne early warning and control aircraft (shown at left) in 2015. It has since ordered three more GlobalEyes and two more Global 6000s in a signal intelligence configuration. Turkey has also selected the platform for its Hava standoff jammer program, while Germany has chosen it for an airborne reconnaissance capability. The U.S. Army is considering it as a platform for an airborne ISR capability.
China’s Shipbuilding Breakthrough in Africa
New to the database this month is Nigeria’s Centenary-class offshore patrol vessels, the first such vessels to be exported to Africa by China. Other naval updates include the Russian Moskva-class cruisers; Israeli Torbuster torpedo decoy; British Type 675 Guardian active/passive electronic countermeasures system; Russian 130-mm AK-130 naval gun; and the South Korean Haeseong anti-ship missile.
Aviation updates are focused on attack aircraft, including the Soviet-era Su-7 Fitter, Argentinean IA58 Pucara, which is getting a second life as an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform, and Romanian/Yugoslav J-22 Orao.
The latest ground platform information includes a new record for the Chinese Type 84 scatterable anti-tank mine, which is deployed by 122-mm rocket; German Leopard 1 main battle tank, which remains in service around the world; South Africa’s StealthRad family of surveillance radars; and the British S711 air defense radar.
Ottawa Eyes Future Naval, Air Capabilities
Canada is in the midst of a major military modernization, with new warships and replenishment ships planned for the navy and an ongoing search for a replacement for its F/A-18 Hornet fighters. The Canada armed forces record has the latest developments.
Chaotic Conclusion to Afghan Mission
The U.S. wrapped up its 20-year mission in Afghanistan this month. Andy Oppenheimer looks at the chaotic end of the mission as resistance to the Taliban rapidly collapsed in mid-August in “The End of the Road.”
At the same time, the Pentagon has been planning a new command-and-control infrastructure to tie together weapons and systems from across the military services. Weapons Editor Brody Ladd has the story in “Building A New Net.”
Finally, Tunisia’s young democracy suffered a blow when President Kais Saied disbanded the Parliament and removed immunity for lawmakers in July amid ongoing economic difficulties, the COVID-19 pandemic and security concerns. Nations Editor Kevin Ivey digs into the situation in “Tunisia’s Democracy in Peril.”