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Robles: VCR 8×8 'Dragon' Wheeled Combat Vehicle Will Help 'transform Spanish Army'

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Robles: VCR 8×8 ‘Dragon’ wheeled combat vehicle will help ‘transform Spanish Army’. Image: Spain’s Ministry of Defence/Flickr Official

SPAIN’S Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles, said that the production of the VCR 8×8 ‘Dragon’ wheeled combat vehicle will help to ‘transform the Spanish Army’.

Production of the VCR 8×8 ‘Dragon’ wheeled combat vehicle is in progress at the Trubia Weapons Factory in Asturias and is set to revamp the Spanish Army.

The production of the military vehicle, which is being carried out at the headquarters of the GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas factory, is already in the first stages of production.

“This is an essential project for the Army, and therefore for the Armed Forces,” said Robles at the production plant on Friday, September 9.

The VCR 8×8 Dragon will “contribute to the transformation of the Spanish Army so that it can respond to the demanding and complex security environment of the 21st century.”

The contract for “manufacturing supply of 8×8 wheeled combat vehicles” was signed between the Ministry of Defence and TESS Defence S.A., a company formed by Indra Sistemas, S.A., Santa Bárbara Sistemas, S.A., Sapa Operaciones and ESCRIBANO EM&E in 2020.

Santa Bárbara Sistemas’ General Manager, Juan Escriña, said: “The VCR 8×8 Dragon is a very exciting project because it provides a very significant technological transformation and knowledge, which will help us to face the challenges we face in the future.

“We are proud to be able to work for our Armed Forces and, in particular, our Army and protect our soldiers.”

Senior Director of Operations of Santa Bárbara Sistemas, Beatriz Gómez, said: “The factory’s occupancy capacity is around 65 per cent of what it could handle, which is allowing us to work with four contracts at the same time.”

In addition to the VCR 8×8 Programme, Gómez said they are also producing the “CASTOR” Sapper Combat Vehicle, the AJAX Tracked Vehicle Programme for the United Kingdom and the ASCOD Light Tank Vehicle Programme for the Philippines.

The contract for the first production phase of the VCR 8×8 programme comprises the delivery of 348 vehicles, with the full number of contracted units expected to be completed in 2027.

The first of the seven VCR 8×8 vehicles, to be delivered in 2022, will soon roll off the production line.

Robles said: “This entirely Spanish development provides the national industry with technological sovereignty over a strategic system that represents a priority factor in the defence sector with a view to its projection, both internally and externally, promoting the development of its own technological industries.”


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Russian Draftees And Their Families To Be Paid Lump Sums Of Up To 300,000 Rubles

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Russian draftees and their families are to be paid handsome sums, in Russian terms, according to state media site Kommersant.

A report by the media company said that authorities in regions where servicemen are being drafted are offering them and their families lump sums in compensation for their being drafted. Sums of up to 300,000 rubles (€5,300) are being offered whilst monthly wages of up to six times the average wage are being offered.

The Head of the Sakhalin region Valery Ponomarenko told Kommersant: “At this difficult time, we must do everything so that the families of Sakhalin and Kuril residents called up for service do not need anything. We will provide them with the necessary assistance and support until their fathers, husbands and sons return home.”

Payments will be made to:

  • wife of a called citizen,
  • his parents, if he does not have a lawful spouse,
  • his children, if he does not have a legal spouse and parents.

Social media reports suggest that not Russians are not willing draftees, but the offer of money will help to appease loved ones in deprived areas who don’t want their partners, sons and fathers to be sent to the front.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for 300,000 reservists to be called up, claiming that these men are shooters, artillerymen, tankers, mechanics and drivers. Footage online suggests few have such skills and that they are in danger of being sent into active service with little or no training.

Russian draftees and their families have, however, little say in the matter and face the choice of jail or the army.


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UPDATE: Iran's Army Vows To Crush The Demonstations And Deal With The Instigators

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14:30 (September 24) – Iran’s army vowed on a day that pro-government demonstrations were staged following Friday’s prayers.

The pro-government rallies called for an end to the protests with some calling for the execution of those involved. As with past demonstrations against the government the army has threatened to step and in to bring the organisers to “justice.”

That could see the demonstrations and the open defiance of clerics and the morality police come to an end, but posts by locals say this time feels different with the extent of feeling far deeper than during previous riots.


12:50 (September 24) – Human Rights Watch has accused the Iranian government of detaining journalists in an effort to stop coverage of the increasing number and size of protests that are sweeping the country.

Attempts have been made by the leadership to shut down access to social media sites without success and now they are targeting journalists as they seek to hide what is happening in the country. But the news is getting out and the anger within the country is growing in scenes reminiscent of the deposal of the Shah.

Iranian regime is arresting journalists faster than ever. It’s another effort to hide the truth https://t.co/3z7ajmPcqG

— Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) September 23, 2022


12:20 (September 24) – At least 35 people have died during protests against the Iranian regime following the death of Mahsa Aminii (21) in police custody.

The report on Saturday, September 24 by AFP News Media follows three consecutive nights of protests and running battles that have seen locals pitted against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

Posts online show many scenes of women abandoning the restrictive headdress and clothing that they are ordered to wear by the clerical rulers in a show of absolute defiance. Ordinarily, such displays would be dealt with swiftly by the so-called morality police, but as they are the target of investigations into the young woman’s death and the ensuing protests they have all but disappeared from the streets.

Despite attempts to crack down on protestors, the number of cities, towns and villages affected has grown to almost 100. Statues of leaders are being toppled and burned in scenes reminiscent of the Arab Spring some years back, and police stations and vehicles are being targeted in increasingly violent attacks.

Courageous protestors in Iran have taken control of the city of Oshnavieh, chanting “Freedom” and “Death to the Dictator.”

Please be the voice of Iranian people. #MahsaAmini #IranProtests2022 #IranRevolution #مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/i8ih5wui2f

— Dr. Nina Ansary (@drninaansary) September 24, 2022

Although Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has said that the case will be investigated, this has done little to quell the riots or the level of anger towards the government and the police.

What makes this uprising different is that in a world where women are treated as second-class citizens, men are taking to the street in support of those protesting Aminii’s death. At the same time, women are throwing caution to the wind and are discarding traditional wear and openly flaunting their “newfound freedom.”

Poesia: la dona iraniana asseguda sense mocador davant els antiavalots, mentre sona “El poble unit mai serà vençut” en farsi. I els silèncis còmplices de molts que callen la vulneració de drets elementals. #IranProtests2022

pic.twitter.com/vi43EZeeOp

— Enric Morera (@enricmorera) September 23, 2022

That open defiance is spilling over into everyday life with women and men increasingly defying clerics and chasing them away, accusing them of having no morals.

Mujeres valientes grabando a clérigos que les intentan obligar a que se pongan el velo en Irán. ¡Y no lo consiguen!

Las protestas están dando resultados poco a poco y el miedo se está reduciendo. pic.twitter.com/DPU0jtON4q

— #PorQuéTT (@xqTTs) September 23, 2022

The news that at least 35 people have died in the protest will only add fuel to the situation, which at this time shows no sign of abating. How long and how far protestors are prepared to go is the question on everyone’s lips, as it is what the international pariah government is prepared to do to hang on to power.


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Workman Dies After Falling From The Pool Deck Of The Polytechnic University Of Valencia

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Image of Valencia Polytechnic University. Credit: Google maps – J. Ignacio del Saz

A 24-year-old workman died after falling from the pool deck of the Polytechnic University of Valencia.

A 24-year-old man died in a work accident this Friday, September 23, at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV). According to sources from the emergency services, the incident occurred at around 11:30am when the victim was repairing the cover of a heated pool.

The deceased young man is a worker from an external construction company that was carrying out maintenance work on the university’s facilities. He was known to have been wearing a harness when the accident happened.

According to UPV sources, an occupational health and safety technician had apparently supervised the work that the victim was doing just half an hour before the event.

A team from the Urgent Medical Aid Service (SAMU) managed to stabilise the injured man after performing advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation manoeuvres for about half an hour. According to sources from the Information Centre and Emergency Coordination (CICU), he died on arrival at the University Clinical Hospital of Valencia.

A team of forensic police investigators attended the scene to inspect the cover where the tragic accident was recorded. The body of the deceased worker was transferred to the Institute of Legal Medicine of Valencia to perform the corresponding post-mortem examination. The National Police has taken charge of an investigation to determine the causes of the accident.

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