As we enter the final days of September, here are the top stories from last week as well as the stories that we’re investigating this week. Stay tuned on the latest updates by subscribing to our Situation Report email and subscribing to SOFREP+ to further support veteran journalism. And to get the most updated news, you can also download SOFREP on your Android or iOS devices.

#5: The B-21 Raider, US Air Force’s Futuristic Strategic Bomber

B21
(Source: Twitter/Northrop Grumman)

The United States Air Force has just announced that they have chosen the B-21 Raider as their next-generation strategic bomber. This aircraft is aimed to replace the aging B-52 Stratofortress and B-1 Lancer fleet and will be a significant part of American air warfare for years to come. The B-21 Raider is still in development, but it promises to be a formidable weapon against our enemies…

The B-21 is shaping up to be one of the most versatile and important weapons in the US arsenal. It is designed for global strike missions and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The Air Force has not released much information about the B-21, but it is believed to be a stealth bomber that will be capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear weapons.

Read more of our coverage here.

#4: ‘Leak’ of Rand Report is an Obvious Fake. Here’s Why.

On September 15th a Swedish newspaper, Nya Dagbladet published what it purported to be a leaked report by the Rand Corporation that describes a secret plan to destroy not only Russia but the EU as well, first by provoking Russia to war and then forcing the EU to impose harsh sanctions that would cripple the European economy and bring about the collapse of the Euro. Germany was singled out as the main target in Europe for supposed US aggression against the EU. Germany was perceived as a threat to the US for attempting to exercise its sovereignty in seeking better relations with Russia.

The stated goals were to create US diplomatic and economic dominance over Europe.

Read our full analysis here.

#3: T-90 Tanks Arrived in Russia Despite Sanctions, but Some Have Been Abandoned by Troops Already

Indian Army T-90
An Indian Army T-90S Bhishma is shown here. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/cell 105

Despite what some people may think, there have been no specific international prohibitions against Russia building main battle tanks. This misunderstanding may have arisen because, early in the war, Ukrainian officials were talking to the press and saying that international sanctions were keeping Russia from building new tanks or repairing the ones damaged in the war thus far.

Business Insider reports that the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, way back in March, took to Facebook and said that work had stopped in two Russian tank manufacturing facilities _“due to the lack of receipts of foreign-made components.”_ The Uralvagonzavod Corporation (or Open Joint Stock Company) and Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant “specialize in the manufacture and repair of tanks and other armored vehicles for the needs of the armed forces of the Russian Federation,” the post went to say.

Read the full update here.

#2: Terror Alert! Kyrgystan-Tajikistan Conflict Brewing, While Russia’s ‘Too Occupied’ to Mediate

Kyrgyzstan–Tajikistan
Image source: Twitter

A six hundred plus miles border and water disputes are two main reasons for the long-standing clash between neighbors Kyrgyz and Tajiks. The seemingly never-ending conflict escalated when the latter allegedly broke the ceasefire agreement on September 14, 2022, killing and injuring dozens of people.

The two former Soviet Union nations have had a long-running border skirmish since the collapse of the transcontinental communist state in the early 90s, which renewed in a series of firefighting that began in late April last year near the village of Kök-Tash, Batken District. It resulted in at least 55 deaths and dozens of wounded, while more than 33,000 residents surrounding the conflicted area were evacuated. Despite joint security controls being signed by both countries a week following the clash, small fire exchanging incidents continued until January this year, when the sporadic border dispute escalated again.

Read our coverage here.

#1. Norwegian Self-propelled Howitzers Used by Ukraine, and Attacked by Russian Forces – [WATCH]

M109A3GN
Source: @UAWeapons/Twitter Screengrab)

In June, Norway donated M109A3GN 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine to be operated by the 72nd Mechanized Brigade. The initial convoy used MAZ-537 trucks to deliver the howitzers to Kyiv. Now, we are seeing more of these in action.

The B-21 Raider: The Future of Air Warfare

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The M109A3GN is the latest version of the M109 howitzer, and it’s the current service tank of the Norweigian Army’s Artilleribataljonen. 126 M109Gs were acquired from West Germany between 1969 to 1971, and the new version is a configuration from that original design. There were still 56 M109A3GN in the Army’s inventory in 2006, so more than 70 were terminated by the end of the Cold War. Then in 2007, the Norweigian army upgraded the M109A3GN again, which now features a new dashboard and software for intercom, positioning systems, and intercom. By 2020, 14 units were tagged “A3GNM” while the other had the “A3GN” specs (currently placed in storage).

Watch our compilation here.

Watch out for:

The SOFREP team will continue to update you with the SITREPs on Ukraine as new air defense systems arrive in the country. We will also investigate Russia’s mobilization as well as their military’s potential aerial strategies. Our SOFREP community is also exploring the “New Nuclear Doctrine.”

You can join the team room and our exclusive forum by subscribing to SOFREP+.