January’s top stories: Indonesia-Australia relations, US troops in Poland

Indonesia reportedly suspended military cooperation with Australia over 'insulting' training materials and US troops arrived in Poland to enhance the security of the European country. Army-technology.com wraps up key headlines from January.


Indonesia suspends military cooperation with Australia

Indonesia reportedly suspended military cooperation with Australia over the use of training materials that the Southeast Asian nation allegedly found 'insulting'.

In a statement, Australia Defence Minister Marise Payne said: "Late last year concerns were raised by an Indonesian TNI (Indonesian National Armed Forces) officer about some teaching materials and remarks at an Army language training facility in Australia.

"The Australian Army has looked into the serious concerns that were raised and the investigation into the incident is being finalised.

"Indonesia has informed Australia that defence cooperation would be suspended. As a result, some interaction between the two Defence organisations has been postponed until the matter is resolved. Cooperation in other areas is continuing."

US Army deploys third ABCT troop to Poland

Around 3,500 soldiers from the US Army’s fourth infantry division's third Armoured Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) were deployed to Poland under Operation Atlantic Resolve (OAR).

The OAR is expected to strengthen the US Army’s ties with Nato allies.

CACI wins position on $6bn contract for DLA

CACI International secured a position on a $6bn multiple-award contract to support the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

The company will provide a full range of IT support to advance DLA enterprise functions under the indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity contract.

CACI will also provide technical and management support for the DLA's Information Operations Office (J6), programme offices, and other Department of Defense (DoD) agencies.

BAE Systems secures $542m contract to supply M777 howitzers to Indian Army

The US Department of Defence (DoD) awarded a $542m contract to UK-based BAE Systems to deliver 145 M777 ultra-lightweight howitzers to the Indian Army.

The howitzers will be supplied to the Indian Army through a foreign military sale between the governments of the US and India.

The Indian Army will join the US, Canadian and Australian forces in possessing the ultra-lightweight M777 howitzers.

Saudi Arabia requests $525m sale of 74K PTDS Aerostats from US

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a potential $525m sale of 74K persistent threat detection system (PTDS) aerostats to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

As part of the sale, Saudi Arabia requested 14 ground moving target indicator (GMTI) radars, 26 MX-20 electro-optic infrared (EO/IR) cameras, and ten communications intelligence (COMINT) sensors.

The procurement will increase the Royal Saudi Land Force’s interoperability with US forces, as well as Saudi Arabia’s ability to combat current and future threats.

UK to continue training support for Afghan Armed Forces

UK Armed Forces Minister Mike Penning said that British troops will continue to train the Afghanistan defence and security forces in their fight against terrorism.

British troops will continue to train Afghan soldiers and act as advisers to the Afghan Security Ministries.

The UK also deployed an additional 50 personnel to Afghanistan, bringing the total number of personnel in the country to 500.

Amnesty urges UK to halt arms exports to Iraq

A new report from Amnesty International urged the UK Government to halt arms exports to Iraq due to a risk of militias acquiring them.

The Iraqi Government-supported Shia militias receive arms from at least 16 countries, including the UK, the US, Russia and Iran, according to the human rights organisation.

The report claimed that paramilitary militias operate as part of the Iraqi armed forces to combat ISIS.

It also argued that militias use Iraqi military arms to commit war crimes, revenge attacks and other atrocities.

India conducts second test-firing of guided Pinaka rocket launch system

The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired the guided Pinaka rocket for the second time this year, from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha, India.

The latest test on 24 January followed a similar test-firing conducted earlier in the month.

The guided Pinaka is a modified version of the Pinaka Rocket Mark-II, equipped with a navigation, guidance and control kit, the Indian Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

Pakistan completes flight test of Ababeel surface-to-surface ballistic missile

Pakistan successfully completed the first flight testing of its surface-to-surface ballistic missile, Ababeel.

The test launch validated the various design and technical parameters of the weapon system, according to Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Development of Ababeel Weapon System is aimed at 'ensuring survivability of Pakistan’s ballistic missiles in the growing regional ballistic missile defence (BMD) environment', ISPR stated.

BAE develops new laser-developed atmospheric lens for observing enemy activities

BAE Systems is developing a new laser solution in order to enhance commanders’ ability to observe enemy activities over greater distances.

According to the company, the laser-developed atmospheric lens (LDAL) can also be used as a ‘deflector shield’ to protect friendly aircraft, ships, land vehicles and troops from incoming attacks by high-power laser weapons.

BAE Systems Futurist and Technologist professor Nick Colosimo said: “Working with some of the best scientific minds in the UK, we’re able to incorporate emerging and disruptive technologies and evolve the landscape of potential military technologies in ways that, five or ten years ago, many would never have dreamed possible.”