The King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) in Jordan has produced an 8 x 8 wheeled armored vehicle for domestic service. The Al Mared is based on a Tatra truck chassis equipped with an all-welded steel hull. The hull is V-shaped to protect against mine blasts, enabling the Al Mared to survive explosions equal to 18 pounds (8 kg) of TNT under the chassis. Up to eight soldiers can be carried in the rear troop compartment. There are four firing ports on each side. The APC configuration can be equipped with a Snake Head cupola with a 5.56-mm, 7.62-mm or 12.7-mm machine gun.
KADDB first unveiled the Al Mared at the SOFEX conference in Jordan in 2018. At the time, the bureau had completed 11 vehicles. Jordan had acquired 50 Tatra chassis for modification in the initial phase of the program. The infantry fighting vehicle configuration (at left) features a new 30-mm cannon in a turret with a coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun. A 12.7-mm machine gun can be pintle-mounted on the roof. In 2019, images emerged of the Al Mared apparently in service with the Libyan National Army faction in Libya.
The Dassault business jets have long been used as government VIP and military special mission platforms. The latest variant, the Falcon 7X, is in service as a government transport around the world. France is also developing electronic and signals intelligence variants under the ARCHANGE program. An enlarged configuration, known as the Falcon 8X, is also available. The Falcon 7X was first unveiled in 2001, with initial deliveries to commercial customers following in 2007.
France ordered three ARCHANGE aircraft (at right), based on the Falcon 8X, in 2019, to replace the air force's aging C-160 Gabriel intelligence platforms. The ARCHANGE is equipped with the Thales universal electronic warfare capability (CUGE) payload for signals and electronic intelligence missions. The system includes a canoe fairing under the fuselage, multipolarization antennas and artificial intelligence software for enhanced automated data processing.
The Indian coast guard is acquiring a new class of offshore patrol vessels for coastal and inshore missions. Seven Vikram-class boats (at left) were ordered in 2015, with the first entering service in 2018. As of September 2020, five had been commissioned, one was undergoing trials and the seventh was under construction. They replace a previous class of multirole patrol ships of the same name. The latest Vikram-class ships are the first vessels for the Indian armed forces to be built by a private shipyard.
The ships in the class are armed with a 30-mm CRN-91 cannon and two 12.7-mm machine guns. A high-power external firefighting system is fitted. A hangar and flight deck aft accommodate a single Dhruv light helicopter. Two rigid-hull inflatable boats and two other small craft are carried. Two diesel engines provide a top speed of 26 knots. The Vikram class is intended for various maritime security missions, including counter-piracy, anti-smuggling, pollution response and search-and-rescue.
Iranian WiGs Monitor Strait of Hormuz
Other new records this month include Iran's Bavar-2 wing-in-ground-effect reconnaissance aircraft, Japan's Type 99 tracked and Type 19 wheeled howitzers and Georgia's Sokhumi-class patrol boat.
Ground vehicle records are front and center this month, with several notable updates, including the Chinese PLZ-45, Singapore Primus and German PzH 2000 tracked self-propelled howitzers and the French AMX-13 and AMX-30 and Italian Ariete tanks.
Shedding Light on Right-Wing Extremists
This month's terrorist database updates are focused on right-wing extremist groups, including the U.S.-based Atomwaffen Division and The Base and Britain's National Action.
Belarusians Take to the Streets
Belarus has seen a popular uprising against long-time dictator Alexander Lukashenko after elections on Aug. 9 were widely seen to be rigged. Reuben Johnson reviews the situation in this strategic region in "Uprising in Belarus."
Right-wing extremism is a growing threat in the U.S. and beyond. Nations Editor Kevin Ivey takes a look at some of these groups and how they operate in "The Terrorists Among Us."
Israel saw a major foreign policy win in September with the signing of agreements to normalize relations with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Weapons Editor Brody Ladd dives deeper into these milestone agreements in "Israel Forges Ties In Gulf."
Finally, the nuclear standoff between the U.S. and Iran continues. Andy Oppenheimer has the latest on the story in "Iran, U.S. Nuclear Stalemate Grinds On."