25 Jul 07. HM Naval Bases: Review Concluded. The Defence Secretary announced (25 Jul 07) the conclusion of the Naval Base Review. All three Bases, at Clyde (Faslane), Devonport and Portsmouth, are to be kept open. As previously announced, Portsmouth is to become the home port for the two new aircraft carriers.
Comment: On 18 Sep 06 the Defence Secretary announced that a review of the Naval Bases had started. Of the various options, Ministers have concluded that an “optimised” three Base solution is desirable (and the least politically embarrassing!). The Defence Secretary told the House of Commons that “some reductions” in the 17,600 personnel currently employed in the Bases will be necessary. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0730, 30 Jul 07)
01 Aug 07. Alenia Aeronautica: the first block 5 Typhoon delivered to the Italian Air Force. The first of the five block 5 Eurofighter Typhoons for the Italian Air Force has entered into service. The five block 5 Eurofighters, whose configuration represents a further progress in terms of functionality and operational capability, will complete, during 2007, the deliveries of the 29 aircraft of the tranche 1 production, envisaged for the Italian Air Force.
25 Jul 07. Ballistic Missile Defence: Upgrade. The Defence Secretary announced (25 Jul 07) that the Government had agreed to a US request for
RAF Menwith Hill to be incorporated into the American missile defence system. The Defence Secretary also said that the radar upgrade at RAF Fylingdales was complete and that US operators would start using the new equipment during August 2007.
Comment: As recently as 16 Apr 07, the Defence Secretary said that the UK had received “no request from the US to use RAF Menwith Hill for missile defence-related activities”. On 5 Feb 03, the then Defence Secretary announced the Government’s agreement to a US request to upgrade the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System at RAF Fylingdales. Although the MoD states that “both sites remain under UK command”, Menwith Hill and Fylingdales are only nominal RAF Stations. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0730, 30 Jul 07)
30 Jul 07. Austria has taken delivery of its first Eurofighter aircraft. The aircraft AS001 successfully deployed to its new home base at Zeltweg, Styria, where it formally entered service in the Austrian Air Force. With the Eurofighter, the Austrian Armed Forces will operate one of the most advanced multirole fighters available. In Austria, however, they will be used as interceptors only. In total, the Air Force will receive 15 aircraft. The first flight of the second jet, AS002, took place at Manching, Germany, on 9 July 2007, while aircraft AS003 through AS006 are in the final assembly process. AS001 is the 125th Eurofighter to be delivered to the five customer Air Forces in Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
(Source: MoD Defence Contracts Bulletin)
JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
27 Jul 07. Israeli military suspends company. The Israeli military has suspended from duty an entire army company following the shooting of an unarmed Palestinian man in the West Bank on Thursday. The army said the soldiers, on a foot patrol near Hebron, had commandeered a Palestinian taxi and had shot a man who had come near them. It said the troops had then failed to give first aid to the wounded man or report the incident. (Source: BBC)
27 Jul 07. Israeli Navy Commander Resigns. Israel’s naval commander Adm. David Ben Bashat has resigned earlier than expected, the army announced on Friday amid continued fallout from last summer’s Lebanon war. Ben Bashat served the regulation three years but as a commanding officer was entitled to remain in the job for an extra year. As a result, his decision to go was widely linked to naval failures during the 34-day war with Hezbollah. Israeli chief of staff Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi accepted his decision and thanked Ben Bashat for his 37 years in the service. (Source: Defense News)