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Quick Guide to Turkish Tanks

The Turkish Armed Forces posses the largest tank fleet in Europe, only dwarfed by the Russian reserve stocks beyond the Ural mountains. The Turkish fleet is a mixture of American and German armor with indigenous upgrades.
The Turkish active tank fleet is currently composed of: - 354 Leopard 2A4 tanks - 397 Leopard 1A3 tanks with 170 upgraded to Leopard 1T standard with new fire control system - 932 M60 Pattons, out of which 104 are aging A1 variants, 658 are A3 TTS and 170 are fully modernized M60T Sabra-models, upgraded with Israeli technology. - 758 M48 Pattons with an unknown distribution of M48A3 and M48A5T2 variants.
Out of these tank models the Leopard 2A4 and the M60T Sabra are the most capable ones. Both are clearly superior to the aging Soviet T-72, T-62 and T-55 tanks primarily fielded by the Syrian Arab Army. Both the Leopard 2A4 and M60T have roughly comparable 120 mm main guns, capable of knocking out all armor in the neighborhood.
Both the Leopard 1 and the M48 show the…
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Countering Hybrid War 2019

"Unidentified troops have taken over several government buildings, an harbor and airports across Finland. Finnish army has alerted it’s available conscripts, mobilized the reserve local battalions and sent them to support police and border guard units engaging the hostile forces. The local authorities have began transitioning into a crisis mode."
That's how my March 11, 2017 article "Countering the Hybrid War - The Finnish Way" begun.


It has now been two years since that article. So has the Finnish approach of comprehensive security, combined with conscript based military, evolved during the past two years?
From the military perspective the framework laid before has remained the same. The proposed changes in the legislation have mostly been passed and they include: - Comprehensive intelligence laws that cover both military and civilian intelligence - Laws regarding the use of force against unmarked military formations - Laws that allow the military to use fo…

From Tsentr to Union Shield, Russian fall exercises in 2019

The Russian army loves it’s grandiose main exercises. Not only do they present a great venue for strategic signaling and shows of force, but they also allow Russia to test its mobilization, logistics, command and communication capabilities with a realistic amount of forces.

The this years main exercise Tsentr 2019 ( Center 2019), was announced last December. The exercise will have foreign components from following countries:
- China
- India
- Kazakhstan
- Kyrgyzstan
- Tajikistan
- Pakistan
- Uzbekistan

The largest foreign participant will be China. The PLA will send over 1600 men into Russia. The Chinese force will consist of mechanized infantry and air-force units. During the previous similar exercise, the Vostok 2018, the Chinese mechanized units operated withing the Russian formations, but it’s unknown how well the integration actually works and whether or not these composite units are actually capable of conducting demanding combat operations.

Based on the preliminary information…

Buying Greenland: Trump’s Gaffe With a Point

President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, has entertained the idea of purchasing Greenland from it’s current owner Denmark. Both the Danish and the autonomic Greenland’s governments have promptly dismissed the idea. The spokesman of Greenland’s government stated that "Greenland is not for sale." But is that actually true?
China has been heavily buying in to Greenland and its vast natural resources. The true quantity of the resources is only slowly getting revealed as the continental ice is melting due to the climate change. At Kvanefjeld Chinese companies are planning to begin mining both Uranium and rare earth elements, the production if which China is trying to monopolize. The Chinese companies are also investing in zinc and iron mines on the island.
The Chinese investments in export commodities production in Africa have always been coupled with a complex scheme of co-operation. These deals connect the economic investments to infrastructure projects and p…

Crackdown on Hong Kong: the Black Swan to rule them all?

The Beijing’s paramilitary arm Chinese People's Armed Police Force is concentrating its light mechanized infantry formations into the areas surrounding Hong Kong. The force is equipped with wheeled APCs and it’s supported by at least PLA combat engineers.


The ongoing wave of protests in Hong Kong doesn’t seem to run out of steam and the city’s own police force seems to be unable to contain the protesters. The Hong Kong administration seems to be equally inept at resolving the underlying conflicts between Beijing and Hong Kong.


The Chinese communist regime will certainly not accept any solutions that would increase the freedoms or rights of the Hong Kong's citizens. The already huge disparity between the western styled society of Hong Kong and the developing dystopian police state in the mainland China is becoming a tough sale to the Chinese citizenson the mainland trying to cope with the mass surveillance and the social credit systems.
With the prolonged protests affecting…

Is the Finnish security environment deteriorating?

Two rather ominous news broke form Russia on7.8.2019. Russian Northern Fleet has deployed Bal anti-ship missiles to Keskisaarento (полуостров Средний).These missiles are within striking range from the most important Norwegian radar station at Vardo. They also have the capability to interdict all shipping to the Kirkenes habour.



Russia has also established a new helicopter / forward base to Gogland island (Suursaari) on the Gulf of Finland. This base allows the Russian armed forces to rapidly airlift their SOF units to either the Finnish or Estonian territory. The base also allows Russia to exert increasing control over the waters of the gulf.Its noteworthy that both of these territories belonged to Finland before the start of the World War Two. From the Finnish point of view the message is clear, Russia is staging forces to the old Finnish soil.


On the western side of the border, the usual calm of the Finnish defense discussion is experiencing a rare storm. While there have always be…

Fracturing alliances - from Hormuz Strait to the Baltic Sea

The ongoing escalation of hostilities in the Strait of Hormuz may have effects far beyond the middle east. The capture of the British flagged oil tanker Stena Impero by the Iranians forced the UK to step up their presence in the region.

The reinforcements the Royal Navy was able to send to the Persian Gulf were hardly enough to escort the number of tankers in need of protection. The present day 80-ship Royal Navy no longer rules the waves and is actually struggling to deploy enough combat ships to cover the existing commitments, let alone to take on a possible fight against the Iranian navy or even provide the dozen or so escorts needed.
The British government then sent a proposal to create a European naval mission to escort the vital tanker traffic through the Hormuz. The response frhciting the wish to avoid further escalations as the main reason, both also have limited amount of shirps and other operations to cover.
USA, under the Trump administration, has declined to escort non-…