October 2015

Israel’s Defense Forces Look to the Future

Namer

Israel Defence Industries is hard at work developing two new infantry fighting vehicles to be supplied to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and designed to replace several aging systems that have outlived their usefulness. The first is a fully-tracked vehicle, dubbed the Namer (“Leopard”), and also a syllabic abbreviation of “Nagmash” (APC) and “Merkava” is an Israeli armored personnel carrier based on a Merkava tank chassis. Namer was developed by and is being assembled by the Israeli Ordnance Corps. It has already entered service in limited numbers with the Israel Defense Forces since the end of 2008. According to the IDF, it is the most heavily armored vehicle in the world.

 

Also in development is the Eitan (“Jew”), which is an 8×8 wheeled vehicle that will accompany and weigh just half as much as Namer APCs. “Sources here said it will weigh no more than 35 tons and will incorporate a new generation of active protection, an advanced turret and a full complement of munitions and sensors,” Defense News reported. The choice of name seems a bit peculiar, given its potential for export in the foreign market, even if its design is cutting edge.

 
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The LRS-B: And the Winner is…

LRSB3a

Northrop Grumman. So says Defense Secretary Ash Carter and the Air Force leadership on Tuesday night, which is expected to top $55 billion over the life of the program. According to Defense News, “Northrop now has the Pentagon’s blessing to build a new fleet of aircraft to replace the Air Force’s aging B-52s and B-1s. As builder of the B-2 stealth bomber, Northrop beat out a joint Lockheed Martin-Boeing team in a closely watched competition that has lasted months longer than anticipated.”

The Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) will undoubtedly incorporate stealthy characteristics, much like the B-2 Spirit bomber it will eventually replace, yet cost substantially less per plane. “LRS-B’s projected unit cost is higher compared to the B-1, but significantly lower relative to the $1.5 billion price tag of Northrop’s B-2, according to an Air Force handout. The expected development cost overall for LRS-B is also lower than for the B-2, at $23.5 billion,” according to Defense News.

Thus far the new plane has yet to be revealed to the public, even though Northrop Grumman unveiled a brand new web site touting the aircraft within hours after being awarded the contract. By choosing the Northrop-Grumman design over the one espoused by the Boeing-Lockheed-Martin team, the DoD maintains the traditional selection process fostered by the military-industrial complex, and likely keeps Northrop-Grumman afloat who might very well have had to look for a suitor to take over its flagging business should it have lost the contract.

 
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New Payment Option: Checkout with Amazon

Amazon Payments

We’ve been approved to begin accepting online payments through Amazon’s “Checkout with Amazon” payment system. You can now pay for your purchases through your Amazon account, or, if you prefer, use PayPal or the four major credit cards (AMEX, VISA, MasterCard, Discover). A “Pay with Amazon” button will appear at the bottom of your shopping cart, which will then take you to your Amazon account and enable you to pay for your purchase through Amazon’s secure wallet. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us by phone during normal business hours or via email.

 
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Put a Corgi Plane in Your Jack-o-Lantern!

AA27501

We were about to close the books on October since nothing further was expected, however, we have since learned that three eagerly awaited Corgi Aviation Archive aircraft are winging their way to us as we speak. The first up, is the incredible Short Sunderland flying boat (AA27501), a huge model that’s probably going to need its own shelf to display it properly.

AA33714

Also coming is the Heinkel He-111 medium bomber (AA33714) as well as a sweet-looking Typhoon ground attack aircraft (AA36509). All are already sold out at the manufacturer’s level and, with the holidays looming, we expect these favorites to sell out fast.

AA36509

 
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Wings of the Great War Embarks Upon a Bombing Run

WW11101

It was just a matter of time before Wings of the Great War branched out from fighters and float planes to include the unwieldy bombers of WWI. Their first foray will be a British-built Airco DH4, which was attached to a US Marine Corps squadron during the latter stages of the War (WW11101).

WW11101a

Priced at just $39.99, we can probably expect more bombing subjects, and perhaps a dirigible, in the months ahead.

 
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Eaglemoss Warps In with Two New Pix

EMST0063

Lately, there seems to be a preponderance of Eaglemoss-related stories, but sometimes that’s the way it goes and we have to roll with the punches. In their Star Trek Starships Collection, images were posted for their latest pair of starships that are expected by the end of the year.

EMST0064

Up first is a the Star Trek Federation Antares Class Star Ship – Antares NCC-501 (EMST0063), which was a 23rd century Antares-type Federation starship operated by Starfleet, while the latter is a Star Trek Earth Space Ship – Phoenix (EMST0064), a 21st century space ship. In related news, we are still awaiting news from our distributor regarding some of the latest items to appear in the Star Trek product portfolio, which includes plaques, mirror universe variant star ships and multi-pack gift sets.

 
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Fabbri Maintains, “They’re Cheaper by the Dozen”

EMR0084a

Earlier today, we learned that another dozen 1:72 scale Russian military vehicles are being released into the North American marketplace by Fabbri. There’s loads to choose from in this tidal wave, including armored cars, half-tracks, tanks, self-propelled guns, and anti-tank guns.

EMR0082a

Priced at just $11.99 apiece, you simply cannot go wrong with any or all of these little gems.

 
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Eaglemoss Enters the Graveyard of Sunken Ships

EMGC73

In a departure, of sorts, from their heavily slanted look at the warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Eaglemoss announced plans to raise the USS West Virginia from the dead this fall (EMGC73) and add it to the ranks of the Warships of the World Collection. The West Virgina has a storied past, sunk at the Battle of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, raised, drained and refitted by the US Navy over the following months, so it could eventually rejoin the fleet in several important actions at the end of the war. A Colorado-class battleship, the West Virginia was first laid down after WWI in April 1920, and eventually struck from the US Navy’s roster some 27 years later after making three trips to Asia to return thousands of US servicemen to friendly soil.

 
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Dragon Orders its Panzers Forward

DRR60656

First hinted at several years ago in their print catalog, Dragon is finally idling its engines no more and ordering its newest family of panzers forward. Expected some time before the year is out, two new PzKpfw IV Ausf. J medium tanks are in the offing (DRR60656 and DRR60657), both featuring schurzen side armor skirts and turret girdles. We don’t see any unit insignia on either of these vehicles and their descriptions are rather vague, indicating they are from unidentified units serving on the Western Front in the latter half of 1944.

DRR60657

We’re hoping that Dragon is back at producing scale, pre-assembled vehicles, which seems to have become an on-again, off-again passion of theirs over the past few years.

 
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