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Mexican Navy Shows Off Advanced Frigate At RIMPAC 2024

Mexico sent its advanced frigate the REFORMADOR-class vessel BENITO JUAREZ to participate in the U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2024 naval exercises which run from late June to Aug. 1. The frigate is one of the most advanced warships in Latin America, and the most powerful surface combatant in the Mexican fleet. Designed for long-range patrol the 2,833-ton ship is fitted with a combined diesel or electric (CODOE) propulsion system and can reach a speed of 27 knots, with a maximum range of 5,000 nm (9,260 km). The ship is fitted for AGM-84 Harpoon Block II missiles as well as RIM-116C and RIM-162 missiles, along with a 57-mm Sak 57 Mk 3 Bofors main gun and two 25-mm Mk 38 guns. Though initially planned as the lead ship of a class of eight, the BENITO JUAREZ, delivered in 2020, seems poised to be the sole ship of the class following budget cuts and shifting priorities in government.

Vuran 3

Turkiye Delivered Vuran 4x4 Armored Personnel Carriers to Georgia

The Georgian Defense Forces received 46 Vuran 4x4 armored personnel carriers produced by BMC. This delivery was in accordance with an agreement signed in 2022 with ASFAT, a company affiliated with the Turkish Ministry of Defense.

The Vuran is based on a monocoque-type design with a body shell built up from armor plates, rather than attaching them to a frame. The V-shaped hull is of all-welded steel armor construction that provides the occupants with protection against 5.56 × 45 mm small arms fire, although also available is protection against 7.62 × 51 mm armor-piercing small arms fire.

The roof of the vehicle can be fitted with a remotely operated weapon station armed with a machine gun up to 12.7mm caliber.

Other armament options include a 107 mm Multiple Rocket Launcher on the Vuran CNRA and a 120 mm mortar on the Vuran Armored Vehicle Mortar.


U.S. Approves Sale of 300 Altius Drones to Taiwan

The US State Department approved a $360 million sale of loitering munitions to Taiwan. This sale includes 291 Altius 600M-V aerial systems and related equipment, estimated at $300 million. This was the first mention of the -600M-V variant. Each Altius 600M-V system consists of a loitering munition with an extensible warhead and an electro-optical/infrared camera.

The Altius (Area-I Air-Launched, Tube-Integrated, Unmanned System) is a versatile family of drones designed for deployment by air, ground, or maritime forces. These modular drones can be configured for a range of missions including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, targeting (ISR&T), communications relay, cyber warfare, or kinetic strikes.

The baseline Altius 600 drone weighs up to 27 pounds, has a maximum range of 276 miles (around 440 kilometers), and can stay airborne for at least four hours.

The Altius 600M and 700M variants are specialized loitering munitions, utilizing a common software baseline and open system architecture to integrate various payloads and mission software suites.

Check Out What Else is New

Other updates this month include the Turkish Altay main battle tank, American F-35 Lightning II, Ukrainian An-22 Cock, Russian Su-27, French Ground Master sensor, American B61 nuclear gravity bomb and the American BGM-71 TOW missile.

Naval updates include the Chinese QING-class ballistic missile submarine and XIA-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, Argentine SALTA-class submarine, Venezuelan SABALO-class submarine, Mexican REFORMADOR-class frigate, Indian Nagan towed array sonar and French DRUA 33 Calypso naval radar.

Special Reports:

"Bolivia’s Controversial Coup Attempt Underscores Internal Tensions"

Tom Freebairn

A recent failed coup attempt in Bolivia has sparked outrage, concern and a conflict of narratives, as some observers doubt the origin of the uprising. Swirling allegations in a country already riddled with economic and social problems have underscored both longstanding and recent divisions in the Andean nation, and with a critical 2025 election looming on the horizon, the attempted takeover may have significant political ramifications that could alter the fragile power balance of the country...

"Netherlands Enhances Nuclear Arsenal with F-35A: A New Era in NATO-Russia Tensions"

Aja Melville

On June 1, 2024, the Netherlands made history, becoming the first country to officially assign its F-35A stealth fighters to the nuclear strike role, a significant milestone for NATO’s military prowess. This follows the F-35 A’s certification to carry the B61-12 thermonuclear bomb in October 2023. Introducing a 5th generation, nuclear-capable stealth fighter into Europe dramatically boosts NATO’s capabilities and is expected to elicit a strong response from Russia, which may leverage this development to justify advancing its own nuclear arsenal...

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