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26 Dec 04. Following the earthquakes in the Indian Ocean the resulting tsunamis (tidal waves) particularly affected India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Damage and loss of life were also experienced in eight other countries. Estimates collated by the Department for International Development (DfID) indicated that, as at 1900Z on 28 Dec 04, over 124,000 had been reported dead and a further 14,000 missing. Following inter-Departmental meetings during pm 30 Dec/am 31 Dec 04, military assistance for the stricken area was authorised. HMS CHATHAM sailed from the Gulf and RFA Diligence from India. A C-17 transport aircraft, loaded with humanitarian aid, left Brize Norton for Banda Aceh in Indonesia on 1 Jan 05. Comment: During 30 Dec and am 31 Dec 04, DR&A telephoned four Government offices (Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, DfID and the MoD) as well as PJHQ. ‘Joined-up Government’ was not apparent when the various spokesmen/women were asked when MoD assets would be deployed. (Disasters are, apparently, not supposed to occur during an extended Christmas holiday.) Operation GARRON is the name given by the MoD for British military assistance to relief operations around the Indian Ocean. Such names are chosen at random and have no particular significance. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 05/01, 3 Jan 05)

BATTLESPACE sends its condolences to everyone who has lost family and friends in this huge disaster

04 Jan 05. A few years ago, Polish aviation firms could not manage without state aid. Now they have no reason to complain. Their worries are reduced to a single question: will they be able to complete all their orders on time. PZL Swidnik, best known for the production of “Sokol” helicopters, recently hired 500 workers to meet increased demand. The Iraqi army has just ordered 20 new helicopters. Swidnik is also working under contracts for Airbus and Eurocopter, producing parts for their airplanes. The sales plans for 2004 amounted to ZL206 and have been met. In 2005, the value of sales is to exceed ZL280m. For the first time in its history, the Swidnik plant will be producing 5 types of helicopters at the same time in 2006. The PZL Mielec plant worries that it would not be able to produce all ordered Skytruck airplanes on time. The WSK PZL in Rzeszow, Goodrich Krosno and Aerotech Kalisz expect to receive offset orders, worth about $150m. Rzeszow will build engines for the F-16 fighter. (Source: Polish News Bulletin)

22 Dec 04. The Russian MiG aircraft building corporation is developing a draft design of the future light export-oriented fighter, Yuriy Chervakov, head of the MiG public relations department, told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday [22 December].”The future fighter development results from MiG’s need to maintain its positions on the international market of light and relatively cheap fighters,” he said. Chervakov pointed out that the new fighter was expected to replace MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters, exported at the present time. According to him, the future fighter development will be based on the backlog gained in the course of implementing the multirole tactical fighter programme, also known as Project 1.42. (Source: Interfax-AVN military news agency web site, Moscow, in English 0710 gmt 22 Dec 04 © BBC Monitoring)

22 Dec 04. PSA Peugeot Citroen, the French auto group, is expected to announce the acquirer of Panhard, its light armoured vehicle unit, in mid-January of next year. In pole position for the purchase is French company Auverland, which is competing against French defence group Thales in association with Volvo of Sweden. Panhard has a profit margin of 3-4 per cent, and supplies the majority of the French army’s tactical vehicles. It also has foreign clients. The company generates about 65m euros in turnover a year. (Source: Original article by J.-P.N., Abstracted from Les Echos)

02 Jan 05. Omsk’s Polet factory began to assemble the middle section of the fuselage of the Russian-Ukrainian AN-70 milit

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