April's top stories: Ukrainian military training, 12th CAB restructuring

The US Army paratroopers started training of the Ukrainian National Guard personnel at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Ukraine and BAE Systems incorporated F1 suspension technology into its CV90 vehicle family. Army-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from April 2015.


paratroopers

US paratroopers start training of Ukrainian National Guard

Paratroopers from the US Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade started the Ukrainian-US command post exercise, Fearless Guardian 2015, at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Lviv region, Ukraine.

The six-month programme will see approximately 300 US paratroopers train 900 Ukrainian national guardsmen during three training rotations, as part of a long-term strategy to improve Ukraine's defence potential and increase professionalism of the country's armed forces.

Defensive and civil military operations will include, instruction on how to shoot, how to move, how to communicate and other individual soldier skills.

Indian Army completes winter and summer trials of Dhanush artillery gun

The Indian Army's indigenously designed and manufactured 155mm x 45mm calibre artillery gun, Dhanush, successfully completed winter and summer trials at an undisclosed location.

Addressing the members of Parliament's Consultative Committee, Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar confirmed that the gun successfully met all technical parameters during the trials.

While the trial location was kept undisclosed by the Indian Defence Ministry, The Times of India reported that the tests were carried out at ranges in Sikkim and Pokhran, Rajasthan.

Pentagon set to restructure 12th Combat Aviation Brigade in Germany

12th CAB

The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced plans to restructure the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) and subordinate units in Illesheim, Ansbach, Wiesbaden and Stuttgart, Germany.

Undertaken as part of the Army's Aviation Restructuring Initiative (ARI) in Europe, the restructuring will result in the reduction of approximately 1,900 soldiers and an estimated 2,850 associated family members in the country.

Approximately 1,000 soldiers will remain in the Ansbach and Illesheim area by autumn 2016, including rotational forces, and will embark on short deployments to Eastern Europe in support of training and exercises supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve.

BAE integrates F1 suspension technology into CV90 armoured vehicles

CV90

BAE Systems incorporated Formula One (F1) suspension technology into its CV90 infantry fighting vehicle family to help improve the vehicle's handling and speed across the battlefield.

Fitted with the 'active damping' system, the vehicle can reportedly travel up to 40% faster than the existing main battle tanks (MBTs) on a rough terrain course.

Initially introduced into F1 racing in the 1990s, the system is also credited to have increased the CV90's agility by reducing the vehicle's pitch acceleration by approximately 40%.

US and Japan unveil new guidelines for bilateral defence cooperation

The US and Japanese national security leaders unveiled new guidelines for bilateral defence cooperation during the Security Consultative Committee meeting in New York City, US.

The revised guidelines create a solid basis for more effective and credible cooperation between the US and Japan under normal circumstances, and in case of an armed attack against Japan, while updating the roles and missions of the two countries and paving ways of cooperation and coordination.

US State secretary John Kerry said: "The guidelines will enhance Japan's security, deter threats and contribute to regional peace and stability.

UN Security Council imposes arms embargo on Yemen's Houthi rebels

Yemenis

The UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted a resolution that imposes an arms embargo against the Houthi rebels amid rapid military escalation by the group in several parts of Yemen.

Passed with 14 votes, with Russia abstaining, the resolution called on all member states to immediately prevent direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to, or for the benefit of Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, the son of Yemen's former President, whom it blacklisted along with top Houthi leader, Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, Abdullah Yahya Al Hakim, Abd Al-Khaliq Al-Huthi.

Australian soldiers deployed to support BPC training mission in Iraq

Australian soldiers

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) deployed 300 soldiers to support the international building partner capacity (BPC) training mission in Iraq.

Primarily drawn from the Brisbane-based 7th Brigade, Royal Australian Regiment, the soldiers will form a combined Task Group Taji alongside 100 New Zealand Defence Force personnel as part of the international effort to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in the country.

Deploying under Operation Okra, Australia's contribution to the military intervention against the terrorist group, Task Group Taji will be supported by a training team as well as command, force protection and support elements.

Australian Defence Force chief air chief marshal Mark Binskin said the task group started preparations for the BPC mission in March, after securing approval from the government.

Lebanon receives first batch of French weapons under $3bn Saudi-funded deal

The Lebanese Defence Ministry reportedly taken delivery of the first batch of French weapons and military equipment, which will boost the Lebanese Army's warfighting capabilities.

A security source from Lebanon said that the first shipment was 48 'Milan' anti-tank missiles.

Overseen by French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Lebanese counterpart, Samir Mokbel, the delivery is part of a $3bn agreement signed between France and Saudi Arabia in November 2014.

Australian Defence Force conducts live firing trials of APKWS rocket

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) conducted the first ever live firing trials of the BAE Systems advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS) from its Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH) in the country's Northern Territory.

Conducted by an integrated test team from the Defence Materiel Organisation and Royal Australian Air Force, as well as operational units from 16 Aviation Brigade, the trials were aimed at examining the potential for APKWS rocket use by the Australian Army.

During testing, the APKWS rocket scored ten hits out of ten, using a Forges de Zeebrugge (FZ) rocket motor, warhead, and launcher.

Israel and US conduct third test launch of David's Sling Weapon System

David's Sling

The Israel Missile Defence Organisation's (IMDO) Directorate of Defence Research and Development conducted a new trial of the David's Sling Weapon System (DSWS) in central Israel.

Conducted in collaboration with the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the trial was the third in a series of tests of the Stunner interceptor for the weapon, and witnessed successful intercept of threat representative targets.

Launched both from the ground and the air, the targets were identified by DSWS's multi-mission radar (MMR), which passed the data to the firing centre before the David's Sling interceptor was launched to destroy its target as planned, as reported by Ynetnews.