News Briefs

Abrams Superseded?

The US Army admits the Abrams, which reigned supreme on battlefields for decades, no longer has ‘overmatch’ against potential adversaries, particularly Russia and that a number of foreign tanks are equal or nearly equal to the M1 Abrams main battle tank. In testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Lt Gen John M Murray, deputy chief of staff for financial management, listed a number of tanks he thought were as good as the M1 Abrams. The list included the Israeli Merkava IV, British Challenger 2, and Russia’s T-90A and T-14 Armata main battle tanks. Of course this could be politics at play as President Donald Trump has made it clear that he wants to invest in military might.

Indigenous Iranian Tanks

Iran’s Fars news agency is announcing that the country has unveiled a domestically manufactured tank and has launched a mass-production line. Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan is reported to have said ‘the tank has the capability to fire missiles and precisely guide them’. Fars says the tank named Karrar is equipped with an electro-optical fire control system and laser range-finder and is capable of firing at both stable and mobile targets day or night. Dehghan also says the tank can compete with the most advanced tanks in the world in the three main areas of power, precision and mobility.

Melting Mortars

Laser weapon researchers at the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory say that their developmental system is already able to destroy a mortar bomb, with a full demonstrator anticipated within two years. In a video posted by DSTL on the UK government’s web site, the laser weapon is shown quickly melting a hole in the thick metal casing of a static 8mm mortar bomb. These early test demonstrations come after the UK’s Ministry of Defence confirmed late last year that it had awarded the ‘Dragonfire’ development programme to a consortium led by the missile systems company MBDA Systems. These weapons could be used to bring down hostile drones, detonate fuel tanks, or cut through the hulls of aircraft, ships, and armoured vehicles, and if their development continues successfully, be operational