Sam Cranny-Evans Profile picture
Comms and Government Affairs Manager at Helsing AI. All views my own.
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Dec 1, 2022 7 tweets 3 min read
These are some images of Ukrainian BTR-4s from back in March. I came across them doing some research on wheeled mobility and thought I would use them to illustrate some elements of terramechanics. In 2000 Ogorkiewicz wrote about the Vehicle Cone Limiting Index, a measure developed in the UK at the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) to determine the go/no-go strength of a soil for wheeled AFVs of certain weights.
Jun 28, 2022 34 tweets 9 min read
Lots of good stuff coming from the @RUSI_org Land Warfare Conference today a few things following:

Oleksandr Danylyuk: The west and Russia made some assessments that were poor.

Russia's military demonstrations throughout 21 were designed to get Ukraine to accept Russia's view The Russians thought this had worked and the West believed Russia would succeed in a matter of days.

Despite Western aid, it was Ukrainian heavy weapons that created the initial Russian reverses.

Failure to decapitate Ukr's political and mil control meant its goals failed.
May 9, 2022 8 tweets 3 min read
I do like the M777, this apparently shows some of its first shots in anger in Ukraine. However, there is something to bear in mind: They are pretty slow to move and set up. Why is this a problem? Consider the following: “The Ukrainian artillery team was moving into position in the northern Donbas region, along the front line near Izium. The soldiers did not even have time to orient their guns before they were found by a Russian drone...
May 7, 2022 7 tweets 3 min read
There seems to be some defence development occurring in Ukraine still. This video is the Bohdana truck mounted howitzer participating in the war in Ukraine for the first time. It was in development on Feb 24th.… Image It’s a 155mm howitzer first revealed in 2018 and it conducted firing trials in October 21. I remember some reports indicating that its development had stalled, but don’t have specifics.
Apr 26, 2022 11 tweets 4 min read
"Not long ago we were shot at by BTR main gun. It to me is the worst...Wounds from these are horrible. A whole leg can be removed. A shot to the body makes someone almost explode. They are easy to destroy but not good to fight directly.” The above is an account of a BTR's 30 mm 2A72 cannon collected by @BattlesandBeers it recounts the challenge posed by these weapons in combat - the same account remarks that they prefer to engage Russian tanks than their BTRs. So, let's look into this weapon:
Mar 3, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Artillery duels will begin to grow in importance now, especially as the Russian forces increase the use of indirect fires. However, Ukr will have to marshal its forces carefully. Now this system is unmasked, it will need to relocate and hide. There are additional limits on Ukr's ability to keep this up; availability of counter-battery radars, other ISR assets like UAVs, and amount of ammunition available. I would imagine that they are being careful about what they engage and when - being sure of success.
Mar 1, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
A brief explainer on thermobarics for anyone interested: The name of this weapon describes what it does thermo – heat, baric – pressure, it is designed to create a lot of heat and a lot of pressure. The warhead is filled with an aerosolised fuel and metal components, when it detonates, the fuel disperses very quickly (microseconds) from the centre of the blast and then ignites – again, within microseconds. This effect also lends the weapons the name of Fuel Air Explosive. Image
Aug 23, 2021 16 tweets 5 min read
Camouflage Concealment and Deception (CCD) - a thread: Ever looked at these types of things and wondered if they are any good? Or what impact they would actually have on formation survivability? The following is from the @JanesINTEL archive: "CCD involves several techniques designed to work together: hiding a target to conceal its presence, blending it into the background, disguising its identity, disrupting its outline by changing regular patterns or features in the scene, and using false targets as decoys."
Aug 20, 2021 29 tweets 8 min read
Right-oh, so a few details on the @USMC tests of NMESIS - that unmanned JLTV thing with some lovely anti-ship missiles on the back in this @JanesINTEL article by @ashroque13:… Image What did they do? “During the exercise, forward-deployed forces on expeditionary advanced bases detected and, after joint command-and-control collaboration with other US forces, responded to a ship-based adversary...
Jul 16, 2021 24 tweets 7 min read
A thread on shaped charges, building upon yesterday's theme of ATGMs, which you can find here: Shaped charges are essentially a type of hollow charge explosive, designed to magnify the explosive's effects on a target. Image A hollow charge is an explosive with a hollow cavity facing the target - this section can be a cone, hemisphere, or a number of other shapes. The cavity causes gaseous products formed during detonation of the explosive to focus, concentrating the blast's energy.
Jul 15, 2021 13 tweets 4 min read
A little thing on ATGMs based on a past conflict. So, in 2006 the Israeli Defence Forces deployed Merkavas to Lebanon as part of Operation 'Change of Direction'. There, they were subjected to a very high number of ATGM attacks by Hizbullah. The key points (if you don't fancy reading further) are that modern MBTs can have high levels of survivability against HEAT missiles even when penetrated. And, that small packets of armour are not a good thing to use against dispersed infantry - but you already knew that right?
Jul 15, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
Some artillery related things for your Thursday morning tea/coffee/energy drink: First up, @BAESystemsInc has revealed details of UK trials of its extended range 155 mm artillery round that were conducted last year:… It offers a range increase over the current suite of ammo available to the AS90, and also provided a range in excess of 40 km with an L52 firing stand, showing it will be compatible with MFP.
May 13, 2021 15 tweets 7 min read
A little thread on the PLA's Xinjiang Military District (MD). Affiliated with the Western Theatre Command (WTC) as this Jamestown image shows. Primary role is likely related to internal security, but also with responsibility for defending against India. Image It is thought to actually host more troops than the Tibet MD, around 70k vs 40k according to the Belfer Center. It is presumed that Xinjiang would be one of the first responders to support Tibet in the event of conflict with India because of this, along with the WTC.
Apr 8, 2021 10 tweets 4 min read
It has taken a day or two but @tom_bullock_ has brought together this @JanesINTEL article on observed Russian troop movements to the border with Ukraine:… Image Tom has identified at least 14 separate Russian units, including what may be the 119 Missile Brigade with Iskanders. The moves at present appear benign and somewhat leisurely. And, as others have observed, there are few signs of an offensive nature at present. Image
Sep 28, 2020 12 tweets 4 min read
A quarterly reminder that tracking and engaging UAVs is not a simple or easy task. These videos release by an Azeri YouTube outlet show what are supposedly Baryaktar TB2 strikes against Armenia: A lot of the targets shown are short range air defence assets, notionally designed to protect a forces against low flying aircraft and helos. Some limited ability to engage missiles could be present too.
Sep 26, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
I think a few analysts might dispute this. The PLA airports are outnumbered by Indian ones in the LOAC region, and the PLAAF is aware of this. There’s a rail route under construction, but the short term stuff would depend on which side had control of the sky. This kind of rhetoric is partially fuelled by the last war; China had to relinquish its territorial gains as it could not support its troops. This may be intended to signal that it won’t be the same next time. There have definitely been improvements eg the joint logistics force Image
Sep 25, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
So it seems that Project Convergence got off to a rocky start. Of the two Excalibur rounds fired, one failed in flight and missed its target, the other one came close. A UAV replicating a future VTOL capability engaged one target with a GBU, the second GBU-69 failed and was lost. Image In the third phase the mortars used by deployed infantry intended to replicate NGCV missed all targets with all shots fired. The network, which utilised MEO and LEO satellites as well as Prometheus AI seems to have performed adequately.
Sep 25, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
Some more info on that USMC force concept for 2030 from General David Berger: He states that the USMC is still set up for a conflict on the Korean peninsula, and that this isn't optimal for any future conflict. However, conventional large amphibious assault ships will remain. Image Berger adds that the decision to divest tanks and towed artillery has been difficult. But it is unlikely that the USMC will need to land multiple brigades across multiple beaches. Marines will be located on multiple ships, rather than one, and able to go ashore whenever they want
Sep 24, 2020 5 tweets 3 min read
Whilst I am waiting for something to load, here are some pictures of an MLRS on a Chinese EQ2050. New developments are coming thick and fast for the PLAGF - especially in the indirect fires segment. ImageImage Recent developments include a new 4x4 122 mm GOAT, as well as an ATGM carrier for Tibet as well as PLC-181 GOATs for a few theatre commands, Janes articles here:… and here respectively:… ImageImage
Sep 24, 2020 5 tweets 2 min read
There aren’t many ways to interpret Beijing’s sentiments here. I’ve been thinking recently of some analysis I have read that suggests the coming decade will be the one in which China makes its big moves on Taiwan etc. The theory is as follows: Beijing has apparently calculated that the US/West has a short memory. The CCP supposedly realises that following the Tiananmen Square massacre in 89, it took around 20 years for this to be forgotten, which was marked by the 08 Olympics, the theorists claim.
Sep 22, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read according to this report via BMPD, the Thai navy is set to procure/receive the FK-3 air defence system from China. Another indication of the growing defence ties between the two countries. Is it a genuine relationship, or one of convenience for Thailand? Image I have read that the country's VT4s may have been bought with dried fruit, and perhaps other Thai resources. This kind of relationship allows the country to rearm at a lower cost than would be the case with a Western nation. It also helps make a friend of China. Image