29 Jul 10. The Imperial Iranian Air Force (IIAF) has planned a major air exercise to demonstrate its air power and boost the combat strength of its different air force units. Air bases in Mehrabad (Tehran), Tabriz, Hamedan, Dezfoul, Bushehr, Bandar Abbas, Shiraz and Isfahan will take part in the exercise called Fada’eyan-e Harreem-e Vellayat from 31 July 2010 to 7 August 2010. IIAF’s 43 fighter jets and warplanes including F-4, F-5, F-7 and Sukhoi SU-24 fighter-bombers, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will take part in the exercise, according to FARS News Agency. The exercise will include test firing of all aircraft at different air-to-surface ammunitions and night bombing operations by F-7 and Sukhoi 24 aircraft for the first time. During the drill, the air force also plans to practice refuelling operations in a bid to exercise long-distance flights by its F-4 and Sukhoi 24 jets. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)
30 Jul 10. For over a decade the British Army’s Royal Engineers have attempted to set new world records for the fastest build time of a WFEL 5 Bay Medium Girder Bridge (MGB), during an annual competition held in Germany, in the hope of winning a Silver Trophy donated by Williams Fairey Engineering Ltd in the 1980s. In the past, the competition results have been published in the Guinness Book of Records and broadcast by the children’s TV programme Record Breakers. Previous world records for the build include times of: 8 minutes and 31 seconds set at Quebec Barracks, Osnabruck, Germany by 35 Engineer Regiment on 17th Oct 1989 and 7 minutes and 12 seconds set at Wouldham, Hameln by 21 Engineer Regiment on 2nd November 1992. This year’s competition took place in Hameln, Germany. Four military teams competed in the games. Each team consisted of one Non -Commissioned Officer and eight other men. Three teams were from British Army Royal Engineer Regiments and the fourth from a German Army Engineer regiment (Pionere Battalion). 21 Engineer regiment were unable to compete as they are currently committed to Operation Herrick in Afghanistan.
Two of the teams competed simultaneously aiming to build a 5 bay, 9.8 metre long, single storey MGB over the 8m gap in the fastest time while avoiding penalties. The time started with the bridge components strapped to a pallet, the teams then built, launched, ramped and decked the bridge with the clock stopping when a Land Rover crossed the completed bridge. This year’s competition was the first under the new rules which have been modified to reflect changes in Health and Safety Legislation. The winners this year were 32 Armoured Engineer Regiment from Hohne, Germany with a new ‘unofficial’ world record time of 23 minutes and 6 seconds. They were closely followed by the German Army Team with a time of 25 minutes and 45 seconds and then 28 Engineer Regiment with a time of 26 minutes and 9 seconds and 35 Engineer Regiment achieved a time of 29 minutes and 7 seconds. Colonel Callum Skeat RE, Commander Royal Engineers Germany hopes that the competition will continue to attract international teams and would like to see entrants from Italy, Holland and USA compete alongside the British in 2011. WFEL, the Heaton Chapel-based defence engineering company have manufactured the MGB since 1971 to be able to withstand the weight of a Main Battle Tank. The bridge is in operational use in Afghanistan today with several builds having taken place in the last few months. The MOD has recently purchased another 12 Bay Double Storey MGB.
Max Houghton, Sales and Marketing director, WFEL said: “The MGB is classic example of quality precision engineering that has stood the test of time since its inception in 1971 as it’s used by thirty-nine different armed forces across the world.
“Over 500 MGBs are currently in use as it is easy to transport and adaptable to a range of military operations. The speed at which the teams construct the bridges is testament to the bridges’ ease of use and adaptability.”