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20 Jul 17. Thales and GDELS shortlisted for UK MRV(P) Bid. Sources close to BATLESPACE say that Thales with its Bushmaster and GDELS with its Eagle 6×6 vehicle have been downselected for the UK’s MRV(P) Category 2 Requirement, an ITT is expected to be issued shortly. (See: BATTLESPACE ALERT Vol.18 ISSUE 09, 15 June 2016, UK MoD Makes MRV(P) Selection)
Category 2 Is the Requirement for the Ambulance and Personnel Carrier vehicles. 12 contenders bid for the Programme and a down-select of five companies was made on June 9th which included BAE Systems with the Penman/Creation 6×6 vehicle, Thales with Bushmaster, Rheinmettal with the Survivor ‘R’ vehicle which has a chassis common to the MAN Support Vehicle and General Dynamics European Land Systems with the Eagle 5 6×6 vehicle. The fifth choice was Mercedes with the Unimog. Other contenders included Renault with a team which included Morgan Specialist materials and Ricardo, Otokar and Nexter.
20 Jul 17. Iraqi T-90 tank order confirmed. Vladimir Kozhin, the presidential aid for military-technical co-operation, had confirmed that Iraq has placed an order for T-90 tanks, the Izvestia newspaper reported on 20 July. Kozhin did not reveal how many tanks have been ordered, but said “the number is large”. The Izvestia report followed the release of an annual report by Russian tank manufacturer UralVagonZavod (UVZ) that revealed various T-90 orders to customers that were only identified by code numbers. Russian defence analysts identified Iraq as customer ‘368’ that had ordered 73 T-90S/SK tanks. Without citing a source, Izvestia said that this is expected to be the first part of a much larger order that might be worth more than USD1bn. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Jul 17. US armored vehicles seen pouring into Syria. Over the last week videos and pictures posted by Kurdish activists on social media show flatbed trucks delivering U.S.-made MRAP, M-ATVs, and up-armored bulldozers into Syria. Military officials say these vehicles are not part of the U-S.-led coalition’s aid to Kurdish allies on the ground who are currently engaged in a tense street-by-street urban battle in Raqqa — ISIS’s self-proclaimed capital. The images of heavily armored American vehicles flowing into Syria emerge as the Kurdish fighters attempt to push closer to Raqqa’s city center and their progress has slowed in recent days.
“The SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] has reportedly encountered intensified resistance and ‘better-emplaced defenses’ over the past four weeks following initial rapid gains in districts on the outskirts of Ar-Raqqa City,” according to a report of the latest assessment from the Institute for the Study of War.
Nevertheless, progress continues, according to Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. The American-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria have taken heavy casualties, Davis said. Last week, three westerners, including two Americans who were not active-duty military service members, were killed in what was described as a mine explosion by sources on the ground. In all, Kurdish fighters with the People’s Protection Unit, or YPG, have lost 35 fighters in the month of July alone, according to YPG press releases. The Campaign for Ar-Raqqa City: June 20 – July 17, 2017.Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Institute for the Study of War“ISIS has extensively leveraged innovative tools to slow coalition advances, including drone-borne munitions and a new type of motion-activated IED,” according to the ISW report.
Officials with Operation Inherent Resolve, which oversees American operations in Iraq and Syria, have push backed on claims that progress has slowed or stalled, calling the reports “not true.”
“The SDF have not suspended military operations. In fact, over the course of the last week, the SDF have cleared more than 35 [sq