Russia Standardizing Munitions Used on First-Person View UAVs

Russian Soldier with FPV UAV


“Previously, we had to independently manufacture, adapt, and “collectively develop” munitions. All this is unsafe. Now having a standard munition will make everyone’s job easier and safer…It’s no secret that some crews were blown up by their own munitions”


The accompanying excerpted article from the Russian military enthusiast website, Armeyskiy Standart, describes the role and importance of small first-person view (FPV) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are being used extensively in Ukraine. Many of these commercially produced UAVs have been repurposed from reconnaissance duties and modified to carry various munitions that can be effectively dropped on enemy personnel and/or equipment.[i] The second accompanying excerpted article from the Russian newspaper, Izvestia, discusses Russian efforts to further the FPV concept by developing standardized munitions for FPV UAVs. As the article explains, improvised explosives for use with small FPV UAVs are unstable and have resulted in crews being “blown up” by their own munitions. The impacts of the adoption of standardized munitions for FPV UAVs will likely extend long after Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine concludes. The en masse use of FPV UAVs is likely seen by the Russian military, and many others,[ii] as necessary for tactical success on the modern battlefield, especially in the conduct of close-range reconnaissance and fires. The adoption of standardized munitions will facilitate interoperability in the burgeoning Russian UAV industry and significantly lower already relatively low manufacturing costs. Standardization is a necessary step if Russia intends to place FPV UAVs into its table of organization and equipment structure, given their effectiveness and cost for delivering close-range reconnaissance and fires.


Sources:

Rustem Klupov, “FPV— дроны завоевывают поле боя: В ходе СВО впервые широко применены новые средства поражения (FPV— UAVs are conquering the battlefield: The new weapons were widely used in the SMO for the first time),” Armeyskiy Standart (Russian military enthusiast website), 7 December 2023. https://armystandard.ru/news/20231261712-o0qQy.html

In reports of special military operations [SMO], there are more and more reports of the use of so-called FPV (First-Person View) UAVs on the line of combat contact in the tactical depth at close-range. FPVs are quadcopters, or multi-rotor UAVs, equipped with a camera that transmits video to the operator-pilot’s control device. The pilot controls the UAV using this video feed, giving him the feeling of actually being in the UAV’s cockpit…

We can say that FPV UAVs are the “know-how” of SVO. They have wide ranging capabilities to destroy a variety of enemy targets. Having a small mass, they can lift a load several times their own weight and carry it at a speed of 120–140 km/h over a distance of 15–16 km… At the same time, the cost of one UAV is on average from 30 thousand to 60 thousand rubles [$330-660].

The versatility of FPV UAVs also lies in the fact that they can carry out additional reconnaissance of an object, deliver high-precision strikes and can carry munitions for various purposes — high-explosive, shaped-charge, fragmentation, thermobaric, incendiary, and kinetic…

The ability to use FPV UAVs in the tactical depth at close-range, which is most saturated with troops, allows these UAVs to always find their target, and having the capability to employ specialized munitions to ensure the reliable destruction of a variety of objects.The comparative effectiveness of FPV UAVs with other traditional means of destruction distinguishes this type as cheaper and more pragmatic in terms of accuracy and range of use.

Roman Kretsul, Alexey Ramm, and Dmitry Astrakhan, “С легким — на подъем: для FPV-дронов начали выпускать штатные боеприпасы (Easy goings — standardized munitions have begun to be produced for FPV UAVs),” Izvestiya (major Russian daily newspaper), 1 December 2023. https://iz.ru/1613625/roman-kretcul-aleksei-ramm-dmitrii-astrakhan/s-legkim-na-podem-dlia-fpv-dronov-nachali-vypuskat-shtatnye-boepripasy

…Several enterprises of the Russian defense industry have established serial production of ammunition for FPV UAVs, regular deliveries to the troops began this fall, two sources in the military department told Izvestia and confirmed by an interlocutor in the military-industrial complex.

The new ammunition is equipped with universal mounts that allow it to be suspended under almost all types of FPV UAVs used in the special military operation zone. Now the troops are receiving fragmentation, high-explosive fragmentation and cumulative warheads. In the future, their line is planned to be expanded.

Externally, a munition for an FPV UAV looks like a tube. New munitions are delivered to the troops in special protective plastic cases. As the publication’s interlocutors noted, the main advantage of the new products is their compactness combined with high power. This is achieved through the use of special explosives. Therefore, serial produced munitions are much superior improvised munitions…

“Previously, we had to independently manufacture, adapt, and “collectively develop” munitions. All this is unsafe. Now having a standard munition will make everyone’s job easier and safer…It’s no secret that some crews were blown up by their own munitions…” said Dmitry Uskov, a volunteer and contributor to the “13 Tactical” Telegram channel, told Izvestia…[i] FPV UAVs are one of the most dynamically developing areas of unmanned aviation. The operator controls such a device while wearing virtual reality glasses, like a pilot. With the proper skill, this allows you to deliver a UAV with a warhead precisely to the target, for example, to the door of a dugout or a vulnerable projection of an armored vehicle. For most other weapon systems, such precision is unimaginable…


[i] 13 Tactical is a pro-Russia site on the Telegram platform, as found at: https://t.me/s/tactical_13/2665


Notes:

[i] For other Russian uses of drones on the battlefield, see: Charles Bartles, “Russia Plans To Add Remote Mining UAV Platoons To Engineer Units,” OE Watch, 09-2023. https://fmso.tradoc.army.mil/2023/russia-plans-to-add-remote-mining-uav-platoons-to-engineer-units/

[ii] For a recent examination of Taiwan’s position regarding drones on the battlefield, see: John Lubianetsky, “Taiwan Addressing Drone Technology Gap With China,” OE Watch, 10-2023. https://fmso.tradoc.army.mil/2024/taiwan-addressing-drone-technology-gap-with-china/


Image Information:

Image: Russian Soldier with FPV UAV
Source:
Attribution: Russian Ministry of Defense, CC BY-SA 4.0


Taiwan Addressing Drone Technology Gap With China

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen attends the “Asian Drone AI Innovation Application R&D Center Opening Press Conference and Unveiling Ceremony” on August 13th, 2022.


“Taiwan seeks to manufacture 3,200 military drones, ranging in design from mini-drones under 2 kilograms to large reconnaissance aircraft with a cruising range of more than 150 kilometers.”


Taiwan has taken an interest in Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia. Namely, Taiwanese policymakers are researching how Ukraine continues to counter the military advantages of a significantly more powerful opponent. According to the first excerpted article from the Liberty Times Net, an influential Taiwanese news outlet, reports from a 77-page briefing given to the Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen, outlining the reason that Taiwan thinks Ukraine has been successful: drones. The briefing elaborates that, “At the beginning of the war, Ukraine was believed to lack air superiority but created their own partial air superiority through drones.” The briefing comes against the backdrop of increased tension between Taiwan and China. The Taiwanese briefing expresses concern that disparities between Taiwan and China’s drone capabilities could endanger Taiwanese national security, given the Ukraine conflict has demonstrated the importance of drones.

According to the article, the drone technology gap between China and Taiwan has developed into a “dangerous” stage.  China surpasses Taiwan in the fielded varieties and number of UAVs by a significant margin. China possesses over fifty types of drones with a fleet numbering in the tens of thousands while Taiwan has four types of drones in a fleet numbering in the hundreds. This gap motivated President Tsai to initiate the “Drone National Team” project, which aims to create a self-sufficient Taiwanese drone industry by mid-2024. The same article remarks that “Taiwan seeks to manufacture 3,200 military drones, ranging in design from mini drones under 2 kilograms to large reconnaissance aircraft with a cruising range of more than 150 kilometers.”

While Taiwan develops its drone industry, the United States is assisting Taiwan to close the drone gap.  As per the second article from The Central News Agency, Taiwan’s national news agency, in August, Taiwan received some $345 million in U.S. military aid, which includes the transfer of four MQ-9A unarmed reconnaissance drones.[i] The arms deal coincides with Taiwan’s national goal to bolster its drone fleet. Drones will play a significant part in Taiwan’s strategy to deter China. As China increases its aggression toward Taiwan, Taiwan will have more opportunities to increase security cooperation with like-minded countries. However, new Taiwanese security deals with foreign countries will likely provoke China’s ire. Growing tensions will place larger burdens on Taiwan’s diplomatic partners to support the island against external threats.  As demonstrated by other global conflicts with similar matchups, Taiwan believes that drones will make significant contributions to deterring Chinese aggression.


Sources:

“俄烏戰爭無人機成關鍵 台灣加速製造望明年擁3000架以上 (Drones Have Become Key to the Russia-Ukraine War, Taiwan is Accelerating Manufacturing and Hopes to Have More Than 3,000 Drones Next Year),” Liberty Times Net (independent Taiwanese news outlet), 22 July 2023. https://def.ltn.com.tw/article/breakingnews/4371980

According to Reuters, when President Tsai Ing-wen met with top leaders of the Democratic Progressive Party last summer, the 77-page briefing stated, ‘At the beginning of the war, Ukraine was commonly believed to lack air superiority, but created their own partial air superiority through drones.’ This is the reason that, while Russia’s initial advantages and military power are much greater than that of Ukraine, Ukraine was able to successfully resist the Russian army. However, this answer is not good news for Taiwan.

Reuters pointed out that in the face of China, which has more powerful capabilities and is arming drones, the drone development gap between Taiwan and China has entered into a “dangerous” stage. Two sources and an internal security report revealed that Taiwan currently has only four types of drones, and the number of drones in the fleet is likely in the “hundreds.” However, according to national defense analysis, Reuters’ review of China’s commercial military manufacturing information, Chinese Communist Party official media reports, and other sources, it is estimated that the Chinese People’s Liberation Arm’ has more than 5’ different types of drones, and the number of drones in its fleet is “tens of thousands.”

Therefore, President Tsai Ing-wen “pressed the button” and launched the drone program to narrow the gap with China. Within the “Drone National Team” plan, the government convenes commercial drone manufacturers, aerospace companies and the military to cooperate to quickly create a self-sufficient supply chain. According to the government plan, it is expected to be completed by mid-2024, Taiwan seeks to manufacture 3,200 military drones, ranging in design from mini-drones under 2 kilograms to large reconnaissance aircraft with a cruising range of more than 150 kilometers.


Kai-hsiang Yu, “知情人士:美對台軍事援助 包含4架MQ-9A無人機 (People Familiar with the Situation: US Military Assistance to Taiwan Includes 4 MQ-9A [RG1] Drones),” Central News Agency (Taiwan’s national news agency), 14 August 2023. https://www.cna.com.tw/news/aipl/202308140105.aspx

Following the military’s purchase of MQ-9B, people familiar with the situation told CNA reporters in the morning that the $345 million in military assistance announced by the United States at the end of July to Taiwan includes four MQ-9A unarmed drones used for reconnaissance. The United States is currently adjusting the MQ-9A advanced agility and sensitive equipment, and the delivery date has not yet been finalized. This will help improve intelligence, surveillance, and intelligence link abilities in the airspace around Taiwan…


Notes:

[i] The deal also comes with an intelligence sharing agreement including Taiwan, the United States, the Philippines, and Japan. See; Kathrin Hille & Demetri Sevastopulo, “US to link up with Taiwan and Japan drone fleets to share real-time data,” Financial Times, 8 June 2023. https://www.ft.com/content/bde0db76-a7f8-4ecd-b5d5-03de0b5a8659


Image Information:

Image: Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen attends the “Asian Drone AI Innovation Application R&D Center Opening Press Conference and Unveiling Ceremony” on August 13th, 2022
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/presidentialoffice/52282054928
Attribution: CCA-SA 4.0 Intl


Saudi Arabia Continues Buying Missiles and UAVs From China as Part of Broader Foreign Policy Rebalancing

A Chinese DF-21A transporter erector vehicle on display at the "Our troops towards the sky" exhibition at the Beijing Military Museum.

A Chinese DF-21A transporter erector vehicle on display at the “Our troops towards the sky” exhibition at the Beijing Military Museum.


“Saudi foreign policy has adapted to international multipolarity…”


Saudi Arabia’s continued unwillingness to act against Russia in global energy markets should understood in the context of a broader Saudi foreign policy recalibration, formulated prior to the Ukraine conflict and in response to a perceived geostrategic transformation in which it views China playing a key role. Early in the Ukraine conflict, Saudi leadership countered U.S. pressure to undermine Russian interests in global energy markets with demands that the U.S. bolster security assistance for the kingdom. Looming behind these demands was the prospect of turning to China as a complementary, if not alternative, security partner. As detailed in the first excerpted article, a columnist in the influential Saudi daily al-Riyadh recently noted: “Saudi foreign policy has adapted to international multipolarity,” leading the kingdom to strengthen political, economic and military relations with several countries, including China. Chinese-Saudi military cooperation, which is likely to come under increased scrutiny in coming months, primarily involves weapons and technology transfers, most notably involving ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

At the core, Chinese-Saudi defense cooperation is rooted in missiles, and has been a relationship shrouded in secrecy from the start. Such cooperation began with a 1986 deal for around 50 medium-range DF-3 (Dongfeng 3) missiles, conducted surreptitiously and before the establishment of official bilateral relations in 1990.[i] In 2007, following a landmark visit to China by King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia purchased the upgraded DF-21 ballistic missile system; however, neither country publicly admitted to the deal, which was reported on several years later. Today, the secret China-Saudi missile development program appears to continue evolving, with recent media reports and analyses claiming that Saudi Arabia, with Chinese assistance, has begun producing missiles domestically.

In contrast to the clandestine missile program, Saudi-Chinese cooperation on UAVs and counter-UAV systems is mostly in the open. In the past decade, Saudi Arabia has purchased the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group’s Wing Loong II and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation’s Rainbow CH-4 UCAVs, employing them in the Yemen conflict and signing cooperation agreements for CH-4s to be coproduced in Saudi territory. Saudi military industry has also contracted with the China Electronics Technology Group to jointly develop drones and counter-drone systems.[ii]  Last February, during the first edition of the Saudi World Defense Show, the Saudi government signed a deal with China’s Poly Technologies to purchase an anti-UAV laser system called “Silent Hunter”[iii] amid Saudi accusations that the United States was an unreliable security partner. As a prominent journalist wrote at the time in the regionally influential Saudi daily al-Sharq al-Awsat: “When Houthi terrorism targets Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles and Iranian drones, Washington rushes to Vienna to complete the nuclear agreement,” in reference to negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal. A few weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, the defense ministers of China and Saudi Arabia met virtually and, per the accompanying tweet by the Saudi Defense Minister, “explored ways to strengthen our military and defense cooperation.”  Similar discussions took place in June 2022, on the sidelines of the 2022 Shangri-La Asian Security Dialogue. There was much expectation that Chinese President Xi Jinping would visit Saudi Arabia last summer, but the visit never materialized. If such a visit takes place, defense and security cooperation will very likely be on the agenda.


Sources:

المملكة وسياسة الرصانة.. تنويع التحالفات وتعزيز التوازن الدولي

Fahim al-Hamed. “The Kingdom and its Sober Policy… Diversifying Alliances and Strengthening International Balance,” al-Riyadh (influential Saudi daily), 15 October 2022. https://www.alriyadh.com/1977312


The kingdom is governed by mutual strategic interests, but has always set limits to its flexibility and to being pressured. At this stage, the kingdom maintains its interests in light of a changing international system and major international conflicts, to ensure its leading role in the global scene. Saudi foreign policy has adapted to international multipolarity; thus, the kingdom has strengthened its political, economic and military relations with China, Russia and India, and has recently been restoring the relationship with Turkey.

حان وقت العقلانية السياسية

Tariq al-Hamid. “It is time for political rationality,” al-Sharq al-Awsat (regionally influential Saudi daily), 23 March 2022. https://tinyurl.com/4663yaye


It is unreasonable for the price of oil to rise, so Britain and the United States rush to contact Saudi Arabia, and when Houthi terrorism targets Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles and Iranian drones, Washington rushes to Vienna to complete the nuclear agreement…
Is there a serious stance from the US administration, which is now talking about “partnership” and “alliance” with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states? Where is the serious American position on the security of the Gulf, as the Americans demand the Saudis and the Gulf states now to reduce oil prices and support international stability?

@kbsalsaud (Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Minister of Defense), Twitter, 26 January 2022. https://twitter.com/kbsalsaud/status/1486308204455804932

Upon the direction of HRH the Crown Prince, I met with the Minister of National Defense in the people’s republic of China General Wei Fenghe. We reviewed the historic ties between our two countries and explored ways to strengthen our military and defense cooperation.

@defensearabia (Defense Arabia, Arabic-language military news and analysis website), Twitter, 11 June 2022. https://twitter.com/defensearabia/status/1535634061141725184Saudi Assistant Defense Minister meets Chinese Defense Minister in Singapore, to discuss defense and military cooperation relations.


Notes:

[i] The DF-3 missiles were expensive and inaccurate, to the point of allegedly making them unusable during the first Gulf War. Yet, according to the memoirs of former deputy defense minister Khalid bin Sultan—the key Saudi official involved—the deal marked a turning point in Saudi military development and in its relations with China.

[ii] See: Lucas Winter, “UAV Technologies Proliferating in Yemen and Saudi Arabia,” OE Watch, Issue 7, 2022.

[iii] See: Lucas Winter, “Saudi Arabia Turns to China for Low-Altitude Air Defense,” OE Watch, Issue 4, 2022.


Image Information:

Image: A Chinese DF-21A transporter erector vehicle on display at the “Our troops towards the sky” exhibition at the Beijing Military Museum.
Source: Max Smith, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DF-21A_TEL_-_Chinese_Military_Museum_Beijing.jpg
Attribution: Public Domain

Commercial UAVs Creating “Revolution in Artillery”  

General of the Army (ret.) Yuri Baluyevsky, former chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (2004-2008).

General of the Army (ret.) Yuri Baluyevsky, former chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (2004-2008).


“Simple Chinese-made commercial quadrocopters have made a real revolution in the use of traditional cannon and rocket artillery, almost completely solving the age-old problem of reconnaissance, target designation and adjustment of artillery fire.” 

– former General of the Army Yuri Baluyevsky


The accompanying excerpted article from Russian government news agency RIA Novosti features an interview with General of the Army (ret.) Yuri Baluyevsky, the former chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (2004-2008).  General Baluyevsky states that commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have created a “revolution in artillery.”  He particularly notes the enhancement of reconnaissance, target designation, and adjustment of artillery fire for tube and rocket artillery systems, saying that UAVs are “almost completely solving” these “age-old problems.”  In today’s restricted environment of open-source information in Russia, such comments from a former senior officer serves as a signpost to future Russian military considerations.


Source:

“Генерал Балуевский рассказал о революции в артиллерии (General Baluyevsky discussed a revolution in artillery),” RIA Novosti (Russian government news agency), 11 August 2022. https://rb.gy/o4uxn

Simple Chinese commercial quadrocopters have made a real revolution in the use of traditional cannon and rocket artillery, said the former chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (2004-2008), General of the Army Yuri Baluyevsky. 

Earlier in August, the Almaz-Antey East Kazakhstan concern announced the creation of a new multifunctional drone.  According to experts interviewed by RIA Novosti, it can be used for reconnaissance and target designation during a special military operation in Ukraine. 

“Simple Chinese-made commercial quadrocopters have made a real revolution in the use of traditional cannon and rocket artillery, almost completely solving the age-old problem of reconnaissance, target designation and adjustment of artillery fire.”  Baluyevsky says in the author’s preface to the CAST [Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies] book “Alien Wars – a New Paradigm” published on Wednesday. 

The general noted that when adjusted with the help of a drone constantly hovering over the target area, it is possible to use artillery with conventional projectiles with accuracy and efficiency comparable to firing precision-guided munitions.  In particular, the number of shells and guns required for destruction has sharply decreased. 

“This, ironically, contributed to the return (most likely, still temporary) of traditional artillery to the pedestal of the god of war in a meaning comparable to its value during the First World War… 

“There is no doubt that the integration of UAVs with high-precision weapons has not yet exhausted the possibilities,” the former chief of the General Staff noted…  


Image Information:

Image: General of the Army (ret.) Yuri Baluyevsky, former chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (2004-2008) 
Source: Russian Ministry of Defense, https://rb.gy/o4uxn
Attribution: CC BY 4.0

Algerian Media Dismissive of Morocco-Israel Security Cooperation

IAI Harop UAV at Paris Air Show 2013.

IAI Harop UAV at Paris Air Show 2013.


“China controls 80 to 90 percent of global capacity. This is an extremely dominant position for a country at a time when everyone is trying to expand.”


Security cooperation between Morocco and Israel has expanded rapidly since the two countries formalized relations as part of the 2020 Abraham Accords.  As reported in the Saudi daily al-Sharq al-Awsat, the two militaries will institutionalize regular joint training and education programs.  In addition, Morocco has agreed to purchase Israeli weapons systems, including the BARAK MX Integrated Air & Missile Defense System, Heron unmanned aerial vehicles, and Harop loitering munitions[RG1] .  Seeking to bolster its domestic defense industry with Israeli know-how, Morocco is set to eventually manufacture Harop munitions domestically. 

Against this backdrop, Algerian media outlets have been dismissive of the extent to which deepening Israeli-Moroccan security links will shift the balance of military power in North Africa.  A recent opinion article in the Algerian daily El Chorouk interprets Moroccan outreach to Israel as a sign of desperation and insecurity within Morocco’s ruling elite, due to both regional strategic challenges and uncertainty over royal succession.  In this view, Israel is the only party willing to “rescue Morocco from Algeria’s military power,” something that in the author’s view it will not accomplish.  Algerian pundits may be dismissive of Morocco’s growing power, but Algerian military leaders are undoubtedly paying attention to the challenge of the Israel-Morocco security partnership. 


Source:

“كيف يستفيد المغرب من التجربة الإسرائيلية؟ 

(How does Morocco benefit from the Israeli experience?),” al-Sharq al-Awsat (influential Saudi daily), 22 July 2022. https://tinyurl.com/n5ntt67x

Kochavi’s visit to Morocco resulted in a series of technical and strategic agreements between the two armies and the two governments. At the core of them is cooperation in various security fields, as well as an active and persistent exchange of experiences, including study exchanges and joint training of combat units throughout the year… Morocco also agreed to buy a set of [Harop kamikaze drones] and to start manufacturing them domestically…

Source:

“الصهاينة لنجدة المخزن ضدّ قوة الجزائر العسكرية

(Zionism to rescue the Makhzen from Algeria’s military force),” El Chorouk (Algerian daily), 9 August 2022. https://tinyurl.com/4k6ew5zb

As for its dispute with Algeria, it led Morocco to an accelerating arms race in which it was difficult to keep pace with its eastern neighbor, leaving it far behind due to the strength of the latter’s resources, in contrast to the scarcity of Moroccan resources… [Morocco] has found no refuge except in the Zionist entity, which cannot provide what Rabat is looking for.


Image Information:

Image: IAI Harop UAV at Paris Air Show 2013
Source: Julian Herzog, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IAI_Harop_PAS_2013_02.jpg
Attribution: CC 4.0

Kyrgyzstan Conducts Exercise with Its New Bayraktars

Bayraktar TB2 S-IHA of the Turkish Army in Teknofest2021at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, Turkey.

Bayraktar TB2 S-IHA of the Turkish Army in Teknofest2021at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, Turkey.


“The Bayraktars entered service with the Border Guards in mid-December last year…”


Kyrgyzstan rarely acquires new weapons and equipment, so when the Kyrgyz government recently announced it had received a set of Turkish Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), it marked an upgrade in the capabilities of Kyrgyz forces.  The accompanying excerpted articles report on a recent field exercise with the new drones as well as additional new equipment.

The article from the independent news website Kloop reports on an exercise involving Kyrgyzstan’s new Bayraktars.  The article notes that the scenario of the exercise involved eliminating a group of criminals with fire support from the UAVs.  Kyrgyz units in the Ministry of Defense, not the Border Guards, typically carry out this type of exercise.  The article mentions that it is unknown how many Bayraktars Kyrgyzstan purchased, but the UAVs and new vehicles are a notable upgrade specifically for the Border Guards.  There have been a number of clashes on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border over the past 10 years, including clashes in April-May 2021 that resulted in a few dozen people killed (border guards and civilians) and clashes on 12 April 2022.

The excerpted article from the Kyrgyz semi-independent newspaper Vecherniy Bishkek reports on the delivery of “50 new KAMAZ vehicles and 55 Tigr armored personnel carriers to the Border Guards Service of the National Security Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic” and notes that it is “the largest acquisition of equipment for Kyrgyzstan since its independence.”  The article also mentions that the Kyrgyz government purchased the new military equipment with state funds, which one political scientist believed was possible partly because of the government’s takeover of the Kumtor gold mine last year.  In May 2021, the Kyrgyz government took steps to take ownership of Kumtor a Canadian company that had operated and held majority ownership of the mine.  As of April 2022, Kyrgyz authorities now have ownership and control operation of the mine, which makes up a significant percentage of the country’s GDP.


Source:

Munduzbek Kalykov, “Одним видео: «Байрактар», бронетехника и президент в полевой кухне (One video: “Bayraktar”, armored personnel carriers and the president in a field kitchen),” Kloop (independent Russian-language news website in Kyrgyzstan), 31 March 2022. https://kloop.kg/blog/2022/03/31/odnim-video-bajraktar-bronetehnika-i-prezident-v-polevoj-kuhne/

The special tactical exercise “Kalkan-2022” has started at the “Edelweiss” training center in the city of Balykchy…

According to the exercise scenario, an “international criminal group” infiltrated Kyrgyzstan from a neighboring state, having already seized weapons, mortars, a tank and other equipment.

During the exercise, special units of the Border Guards blocked off and eliminated the mock enemy. Their captured armored vehicles were destroyed with the use of the Bayraktar…

The Bayraktars entered service with the Border Guards in mid-December last year. They were bought within the budget, but it is unknown how much was spent on them. Also, the number of drones was not specified.

Source: Bakyt Basarbek, “Благодаря правильной экономической политике мы закупили военную технику (We purchased military equipment thanks to the right economic policies),” Vecherniy Bishkek (semi-independent, Russian-language newspaper in Kyrgyzstan), 25 March 2022. https://www.vb.kg/doc/416032_blagodaria_pravilnoy_ekonomicheskoy_politike_my_zakypili_voennyu_tehniky.html

Today, on 25 March, in Bishkek, a ceremony was held to present 55 modern fire engines to the Ministry of Emergency Situations and 50 new KAMAZ vehicles and 55 Tigr armored personnel carriers to the Border Guards Service of the National Security Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic…this is the largest acquisition of equipment for Kyrgyzstan since its independence.

…the KAMAZ trucks and the armored personnel carriers were purchased with funds from the state budget…

“Now we can buy equipment ourselves. The privatization of Kumtor and general economic policy played a role in this,” said political scientist Mars Sariev…he recalled that Kyrgyzstan previously purchased the strike-capable unmanned aerial vehicle Bayraktar from Turkey…


Image Information:

Image: Bayraktar TB2 S-IHA of the Turkish Army in Teknofest2021at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, Turkey
Source: CeeGee via Wikimedia, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bayraktar_TB2_S-IHA_TurkishArmy_Teknofest2021_(3).jpg
Attribution: CC by 4.0

Yemen’s Houthis Employ Iranian “358” Loitering Anti-Aircraft Missile

One of the five, near-fully assembled uniquely Iranian-designed and manufactured Three-Five-Eight surface-to-air missiles that were a part of the shipment seized by the USS FORREST SHERMAN in November (2019).

One of the five, near-fully assembled uniquely Iranian-designed and manufactured Three-Five-Eight surface-to-air missiles that were a part of the shipment seized by the USS FORREST SHERMAN in November (2019).


“… It seems that Iran has transferred this type of missile to its allies in Yemen to test it against the American planes owned by the Saudi and Emirati air forces participating in the war…”


The Iranian “358” missile appears to be an increasingly important weapon for Yemen’s Houthi-led military forces.  The 358 missile is classified as surface-to-air, but in early January, it was seemingly used as a surface-to-surface missile to target the provincial leader of the pro-secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC) in Shabwah Province.  On 14 January, a 358 was used to shoot down a Chinese-manufactured Wing Loong II unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) belonging to the Saudi-led coalition, according to several open-source analysts on Twitter.  It is unclear how many of these missiles are in Houthi possession.  Since 2019, several of them have been seized from Yemen-bound vessels in the Arabian Sea.  A 358 was also found in Iraq last October. 

According to an October 2021 article from the prominent Yemeni news website al-Masdar Online, the 358is a key Iranian weapon developed to counter U.S. aircraft, particularly UAVs.  The missile ships in three parts and once assembled can be launched from mobile positions, such as small trucks.  It does poorly against fast-moving targets but can be effective against helicopters and some UAVs.  The article from al-Masdar Online implies that it may be the Houthi-led military forces’ most effective air defense missile, potentially having been used to bring down a variety of aircraft, including an Apache helicopter, Wing Loong UAVs, Scan Eagle and RQ-20 UAVs manufactured by the United States, and the Karayel UAV manufactured by Turkey.  This sentiment is echoed by analysis from the Egyptian think tank Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies, which considers the 358’s presence in Yemen and Iraq as indicative of “a new shift in Tehran’s strategy in using its proxies in the region,” one which puts new emphasis on defending against aerial attacks.


Source:

@3Mr_o_o (pro-Houthi, Iraq-based “Observer of political and military affairs”), Twitter, 3 January 2022. https://twitter.com/3Mr_o_o/status/1478359982097813511

#Yemen

The mercenary Ali al-Jabwani, head of the Transitional Council in Shabwa governorate, survived an attack in the Usaylan area yesterday. The images released from the attack show a missile similar to the famous 358 missile.

Source: @AlgerianAircra1 (Algeria-focused “Aircraft Tracker” account interested in “Aircraft News and Novelties related to Defense and Aviation”), Twitter, 14 January 2022.  https://twitter.com/AlgerianAircra1/status/1481988325774925825

It appears that the Houthis in Yemen have shot down another Wing Loong II UCAF aircraft from the Saudi coalition. Judging by the video, it seems that an Iranian missile known as the 358 was used – a large, relatively slow missile with large wings.

Source:

“من “صلاح الدين” العراقية الى “مارب” اليمنية.. صواريخ دفاع جوي إيرانية بأيدي مليشيات طهران

(From Iraq’s Salahuddin to Yemen’s Marib… Iranian Air Defense Missiles in the Hands of Tehran’s Militias),” al-Masdar Online (prominent Yemeni news website), 24 October 2021. https://almasdaronline.com/articles/239284

But the situation has changed significantly since mid-2019, when the Houthi militia announced in June that its air defenses had managed to shoot down a U.S.-made MQ9 drone in Hodeidah Governorate, using a “domestically developed” missile. In August of the same year, the militia’s military spokesman said: “We have the ability to neutralize a large number of enemy aircraft.”… It seems that Iran has transferred this type of missile to its allies in Yemen to test it against the American planes owned by the Saudi and Emirati air forces participating in the war. Iran considers this missile as its armor against American aircraft…

Source:

“تهديد الأجواء.. ما وراء حائط الصواريخ الإيراني في الشرق الأوسط

(Threat to the skies… Behind the Iranian missile wall in the Middle East),” Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies (Egyptian think tank), 2 November 2021. https://marsad.ecss.com.eg/64307/

The unique design of this missile, and its subsequent reappearance in other regions in the Middle East, was an indication that it might be the main player in all the shootdowns that have taken place in Yemen recently, such as the downing of a “Scan Eagle” drone last June, in Serwah District, Marib Governorate … In sum, the appearance of the “358” missile in Iraq, and before that in Yemen (and it may have been used recently in Syria), indicates a new shift in Tehran’s strategy in using its proxies in the region. This strategy now includes air defense, after it was previously limited to missile power, and then drones.


Image Information:

Image: One of the five, near-fully assembled uniquely Iranian-designed and manufactured Three-Five-Eight surface-to-air missiles that were a part of the shipment seized by the USS FORREST SHERMAN in November (2019).
Source: CENCTCOM, Steve McLeod, https://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/NEWS-ARTICLES/News-Article-View/Article/2087998/us-dhow-interdictions/
Attribution: Public Domain

Iran-Backed Iraqi Group Attacks Abu Dhabi with UAVs in Support of Yemen’s Houthis

Map of the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula.

Map of the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula.


“… the UAE has become vulnerable to attacks from more than one direction…”


A little-known group calling itself the “True Promise Brigades” claimed a 2 February attack on Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), involving multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  The group’s only other known prior activity was an early 2021 UAV strike on the Yamama Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  The Abu Dhabi attack caused no known material damage.  It came on the heels of a two-week span that saw Yemen’s Houthi-controlled military forces launch three separate missile and UAV attacks targeting Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the two main cities in the UAE.  The timing of the True Promises Brigades’ attack implied a potential link between them and the Houthis, reinforced by supportive tweets from the Houthi-led forces’ influential military spokesman, such as the first accompanying tweet, in which the spokesman thanked the group.  On social media, the True Promise Brigades eschew national identification and call themselves “sons of the Arabian Peninsula.”  The second and third accompanying passages from pro-Iran outlets hint that the group operates from the Iraqi desert, is associated with Iran-backed Iraqi militias, and is under the command of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ international wing, the Quds Force.  The article from the pro-Iran Lebanese influential daily al-Akhbar argues that the Abu Dhabi attack is directly tied to Iraqi politics.  Specifically, the article’s author sees it as a response to perceived Emirati meddling in Iraqi politics and its support for factions opposed to Iranian influence in Iraq.  The article from the pro-Iran Lebanese media channel al-Mayadeen, meanwhile, places the attack in the context of Yemen and sees it as a response to coalition escalation in Yemen.  The attack’s key message, according to the article, is that Iranian allies are capable of linking the Yemeni and Iraqi arenas and conducting semi-coordinated actions targeting Saudi Arabia and the UAE from both directions.


Source:

Yahya Sare’e (Houthi-controlled military spokesman), Twitter, 3 February 2022. https://twitter.com/army21ye/status/1489295787616047106

We send our congratulations on the jihadist operation carried out by the True Promise Brigades-Sons of the Arabian Peninsula against the Emirati enemy yesterday, Wednesday. We thank them for this honorable, responsible and solidary stance with our dear people against the client Emirati enemy.

Source:

“المأزق الإماراتيّ يتعمّق: جبهة جديدة… من العراق

(The Emirati Impasse Deepens: A New Front… from Iraq),” al-Akhbar (pro-Iran influential Lebanese daily), 4 February 2022. https://tinyurl.com/w7xb8a88

Whatever the group’s identity, the event itself confirms that the UAE has become vulnerable to attacks from more than one direction. This creates greater risks for Emirati security, against the background of its aggression in Yemen and its blatant interference in the internal affairs of Iraq. Washington seems to have handed over the file of the new ruling arrangement to the UAE following the October 10 elections, in which Muqtada al-Sadr, Massoud Barzani and Muhammad al-Halbousi achieved the largest victory, all of whom are allies or friends of Abu Dhabi. The latter has also moved closer to Turkey, allowing for arrangements to be made resulting in the unification of the al-Halbousi and Khamis al-Khanjar blocs, and the re-election of al-Halbousi, who is considered the UAE’s man in Iraq, as Speaker of the House of Representatives. This in turn opened the way for the installation of a “majority coalition” that excluded Iran’s allies, which is a great risk for Iraqi security and for which the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, bears responsibility…

Source:

“دخول “ألوية الوعد الحق” العراقيّة على خطِّ حرب اليمن.. اشتباك أو تشبيك؟

(Iraq’s ‘True Promises Brigades’’ Entry into the Yemen War… Clashes or Linking),” al-Mayadeen (pro-Iran Lebanese media channel), 8 February 2022. https://tinyurl.com/3p4skytc

This Iraqi group is very interested in the Yemen war, and it is almost specialized in it. In addition, it seems that it is interested in standing up to Saudi Arabia and the UAE in particular… It is very likely that the strike on Abu Dhabi carried a political message: “Don’t forget that the arenas can be linked when the time comes.” Let us note that the strike came after a crazy escalation carried out by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and after American supplies to Abu Dhabi, including warplanes, and the dispatch of the American destroyer “USS Cole” to the Gulf to support the UAE navy, and talk of a possible ground attack from the Yemeni coast… These intensive messages, whether military or political, come in the context of a clear linking of the arenas, especially since leaders in Ansar Allah wrote on their Twitter accounts that the confrontation would not be with Sanaa alone in the event of any major US invasion of Yemen.


Image Information:

Image:  Map of the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula.
Source: Abuk Sabuk via Wikimedia Commons
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Middle_east_CIA.jpg
Attribution: Public Domain

Russia Modifies Short-Range Air Defense Systems To Combat UAVs

9K333 Verba MANPAD.

9K333 Verba MANPAD.

Missile of the 9K333 Verba MANPAD.

Missile of the 9K333 Verba MANPAD.


Pantsir-SM.

Pantsir-SM.


“Today, the Russian defense industry manufactures two types of anti-UAV weapons – soft-kill (electronic suppression) and hard-kill (physical destruction). According to the manufacturer, the new Pantsir-S1M is capable of operating in both modes.”


“With its [the “Verba” man-portable anti-aircraft missile system] help, they will try to create an “anti-drone dome” and intercept not only drones, but also precision guided aircraft munitions…”


The accompanying excerpted articles from Russian government news agency TASS and Russian newspaper Ivestiya discuss how existing close-range air defense systems are being modified to defeat small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  According to TASS, the Russian defense industry manufactures soft-kill (electronic suppression) and hard-kill (physical destruction) anti-UAV weapons.  The latest version of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ (VKS) Pantsir self-propelled anti-aircraft gun and missile system is the Pantsir-S1M, which will reportedly be capable of physically destroying UAVs while also electromagnetically interfering with their operation.

The Izvestiya article explains how the Russian Ground Forces intend to physically destroy small UAVs by way of the Verbaman-portable anti-aircraft missile system (MANPAD).  According to Izvestiya, the 9K333 Verba (SA-25), a modernized variant of the 9K38 Igla (SA-18) produced by KB Mashinostroyeniya, has a more sensitive seeker, enabling it to find smaller targets, such as small UAVs.  In addition, the Verba may be used as part of an integrated air defense system and can acquire data from other sensors to facilitate targeting.  Although the Verba has no reported soft-kill capability as with the Pantsir-S1M, this does not mean that the Ground Forces are not pursuing soft-kill capabilities.  Russian Ground Forces’ air defenses usually work closely with, and are close to, electronic warfare units that practice this skill; therefore, adding it to air defense systems is not necessary.


Source:

Vasily Kuchushev, “Панцирь-С1М и электромагнитные ружья: Как армия России будет бороться с беспилотниками (Pantsir-S1M and Electromagnetic Weapons: How the Russian Military Will Fight Drones),” TASS (Russian government news agency), 13 December 2021. https://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/13166705

It is difficult to imagine a modern army of any state without unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The tactics of their application are constantly being improved.  Already today, there is a concept of using a whole swarm of drones, when one large target can be attacked by hundreds of small and cheap UAVs.  The experience of modern military conflicts in Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh has shown that attacking UAVs are one of the most effective strike weapons. At the same time, small and ultra-small UAVs are actively used not only by the military, but also by terrorists…

According to the chief designer of “Pantsir” Valery Slugin, the anti-drone functions were originally part of the air defense missile system’s concept.  However, at the time the system was created in the mid-90s, they were quite large.  Over time, the dimensions and flight altitude of the UAV decreased, which became a serious problem for most radars.  The main difficulties arose in the detection, tracking and guidance of missiles at such a target.  To intercept smaller drones, the Pantsir’s radar was upgraded.  The new radar can see up to 75 km, and simultaneously detect and track up to 40 targets…

Today, the Russian defense industry manufactures two types of anti-UAV weapons – soft-kill (electronic suppression) and hard-kill (physical destruction). According to the manufacturer, the new Pantsir-S1M is capable of operating in both modes.  With the help of the latest electronic equipment, the Pantsir-S1M can suppress the operation of drone navigation equipment at a distance of 15-18 km.

According to Sergei Mikhailov… the modernized air defense missile system is capable of becoming the basis of tactical air defense.  “On the basis of Pantsir-S1M, an effective modular air defense network can be built, capable of covering military units from small-sized and attack UAVs, high-precision weapons and, of course, military aviation – aircraft and helicopters.  The complex fully complies with modern A2/AD [anti-access and area denial].  (The theory of the formation of air defense, allowing to block the enemy’s access to critical areas)”, – said Sergei Mikhailov.

For the most effective defense against unmanned aerial vehicles in Russia, an echeloned electronic countermeasures system for small-sized UAVs is being developed.  The system provides reliable protection of territories and facilities from both individual drones and their groups, including swarms of drones.

Source: Anton Lavrov, Bogdan Stepovoy, Andrey Fedorov, “Укрыться под «Вербой»: над Белоруссией проверят «антидроновый купол» (Taking Cover Under ‘Verba’: An ‘Anti-Drone Dome’ Will Be Over Belarus),” Ivestiya (large circulation Russian newspaper), 21 January 2022. https://iz.ru/1280053/anton-lavrov-bogdan-stepovoi-andrei-fedorov/ukrytsia-pod-verboi-nad-belorussiei-proveriat-antidronovyi-kupol

Russian and Belarusian troops will be covered from the drones of a potential enemy.  The Verba  man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS) will be used for at the upcoming “Union Resolve-2022” large-scale maneuvers for the first time.  With its help, they will try to create an “anti-drone dome” and intercept not only drones, but also precision guided aircraft munitions…

The crews of these complexes will be distributed over a large area in order to create a protective dome.  In addition to intercepting the drones themselves, they will also experiment with intercepting aviation weapons – guided bombs and missiles…  According to the developers, the new, much more sensitive homing head has dramatically increased the ability to deal with small objects, such as UAVs. Compared with the anti-aircraft systems of the previous generation, the capabilities of the new missile have doubled, especially at a distance of more than three kilometers.  In addition, they can be linked into a single system with long-range air defense systems and receive external target designation [data]…

The Verba complex is capable of hitting aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles and drones at altitudes from 10 to 4500 meters and at a distance of up to 6 kilometers.  MANPADS received a missile with a unique three-spectral homing head, which sees targets in the ultraviolet, near and mid-infrared ranges.  It is capable of distinguishing an airplane or helicopter from a thermal decoy on approach and choosing the right target…For the first time, the [command-and-control system] set includes a ‘Garmon’ portable radar, which, depending on the modification, monitors the airspace within a radius of 40-80 kilometers… two types of radars have been developed.  The first one is lightweight, and can not only be transported by motor vehicles or armored vehicles, but also carried.  The second is mounted, as a rule, on a tracked chassis and has higher target detection characteristics.  The Barnaul-T automated tactical air defense complex integrates the Verba into the overall air defense system and can use information about air targets coming from other, more powerful radars.  It allows you to create a scenario for the actions of anti-aircraft gunners, allocate targets based on capabilities, positions, combat readiness and the state of ammunition…


Image Information:

Image: 9K333 Verba MANPAD.
Source: Vitaly Kuzmin, https://photos.smugmug.com/Military/ARMY-2016-Static-part4/i-GXpqd8Q/0/a8347be1/M/Army2016-552-M.jpg
Attribution: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Image: Missile of the 9K333 Verba MANPAD.
Source: Vitaly Kuzmin, https://photos.smugmug.com/Military/ARMY-2019-Exhibition-pavilions/i-nXrbftn/0/ec20d1fe/X3/Army2019Pavilions-069-X3.jpg
Attribution: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Image: Pantsir-SM.
Source: Vitaly Kuzmin, https://www.vitalykuzmin.net/Military/ARMY-2019-Static-part-3/i-GMsTdcm#
Attribution: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

China Issues Fifth Mobilization Order To Kick Off Annual Military Training

“Chairman Xi Jinping issued a mobilization order to the entire armed forces to begin training in the new year, clearly requiring that “[troops] comprehensively advance the transformation and upgrade of military training, resulting in elite forces capable of fighting and winning.”


The accompanying article published by the Central Military Commission’s (CMC) official newspaper Jiefangjun Bao is a possible indication of a heightened level of urgency and war preparedness in China.  The article discusses a training competition that the 82nd Group Army held in early 2022, with higher requirements and more rigorous standards.  This marks the fifth year in a row that President Xi Jinping, Chairman of the CMC, has issued a mobilization order to kick off military training.  These exercises have become more refined and high tech, adding cutting-edge technologies such as big data, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and artificial intelligence on the frontline of training.  They have introduced advanced simulators, including bio-simulation and virtual reality technologies, which simulate various types of combat injuries, creating a more realistic combat scenario. 

According to Jiefangjun Bao, participants broke 16 training records during the competition.  The article attributes some of the records to new processes, technologies, and equipment, such as new command-and-control equipment that has been in service for just over a year.  A system of rewards and punishment, meant to increase the soldiers’ level of confidence and motivation, is also in place.  While the article focuses on the specific exercise of only one group army, it describes the training activities as “a microcosm of troops from the entire armed forces obeying Chairman Xi’s orders and focusing on military training.”


Source:

Geng Tao and Zhou Yuan, “第82集团军某旅群众性练兵比武拉开新年度训练序幕——奖牌之争折射训练之变 (Mass Training and Competition Held by 82nd Group Army Brigade Kicks off the New Year of Training),” Jiefangjun Bao (People’s Liberation Army Daily. The official newspaper of the Central Military Commission), 20 January 2022. https://www.81.cn/sydbt/2022-01/20/content_10124683.htm

At the beginning of the new year, Chairman Xi issued a mobilization order to the entire armed forces to begin training in the new year, clearly requiring that “[troops] comprehensively advance the transformation and upgrade of military training, resulting in elite forces capable of fighting and winning.” This was the fifth year in a row that Chairman Xi has issued a mobilization order to kick off training, sounding a contemporary bugle call for troop training and war preparedness, and undoubtedly advancing the military training of our armed forces toward a new stage of all-round transformation and overall improvement. The gratifying scene that took place on the competition ground of a certain brigade of the 82nd Group Army was a microcosm of troops from the entire armed forces obeying Chairman Xi’s orders and focusing on military training. At a new starting point in the new year, units throughout the armed forces must use higher requirements and more rigorous standards to continue to set in motion a wave of enthusiasm for combat-realistic military training, and greet the opening of the 19th Party Congress with high spirits and first-rate training results.

On the competition ground, while operating a new command and control equipment that had been in service for only a little over a year, Staff Sergeant Xie Kun was the first to complete the subject [of competition] and set a new record. Faced with multiple obstacles, heavy equipment transport vehicle driver Zhao Pengcheng drove the vehicle with speed and broke the training record that had been maintained at the brigade for many years…  At the beginning of the new year, a certain brigade of the 82nd Group Army held a mass training and skills competition, unfurling the curtain on the new year’s training. One after another, officers and soldiers broke 16 training records of the brigade.

… The combat-realistic level of the units’ training has been constantly rising. Many gratifying changes were taking place on the training ground.

… Last year, the brigade introduced bio-simulation and virtual reality technologies to simulate various types of combat injuries, making battlefield rescue training more closely adhere to actual combat.

… the brigade took the initiative to apply cutting-edge technologies such as big data, UAVs, and artificial intelligence on the frontlines of training. It upgraded and rebuilt eight new-type training fields, set up terminals for military vocational education and study, and established multiple types of high-tech training facilities that adhere closely to [the requirements of] actual combat. Multiple training courses on dangerous and difficult subjects can be carried out in all weather conditions and in high efficiency.

… This brigade focused on training and combat readiness to establish a reward and punishment mechanism. More than 90 percent of the meritorious service indicators were used for military training, allowing training elites to be commended and to receive rewards. This [mechanism] motivated officers and soldiers to actively exert efforts to fight and win on the battlefield. Since its establishment, the brigade has participated in various types of military skills competitions organized by the higher-ups and won 38 first place awards.