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NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

May 05. House of Commons: Provisional Calendar. The House is to rise for the Whitsun Recess on Thu 26 May and return on Mon 6 Jun 05. The Summer Recess is planned to run from Thu 21 Jul to Mon 10 Oct 05 and the Christmas Recess from Tue 20 Dec 05 to Mon 9 Jan 06. Oral Questions on Defence are due to be answered in the House of Commons on Mon 6 Jun and Mon 4 Jul 05. Selection of membership of the Defence and other Select Committees is not expected to be completed “for some weeks”. Comment: The House of Commons has reverted to an earlier timetable, including a Summer break of over 11 weeks. House of Lords’ sittings are expected to be similar to those for the Commons. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 05/20, 23 May 05)

16 May 05. Type 23 Frigates: Who Will Buy? The Chief of Pakistan’s Naval Staff conducted an official visit to the UK. Following his calls on the MoD, Admiral Karimullah was reported as saying that his country had been offered the purchase of three Type 23 frigates. A final decision would be taken following discussions on “the funding aspect”. Jane’s Defence Weekly (18 May 05) reported that Belgium was “the front-runner” to acquire HMS MARLBOROUGH and GRAFTON for an estimated €240m (£164m). Comment: The early decommissioning of three Type 23 frigates was announced on 21 Jul 04, with the actual dates subsequently given as HMS NORFOLK – March 2005; HMS MARLBOROUGH – June 2005 and HMS GRAFTON – March 2006. In a Written Answer on 18 Nov 04, the Armed Forces’ Minister said that “exploratory discussions” were taking place with the Government of Chile for the possible sale of the three surplus Type 23 frigates. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 05/20, 23 May 05)

20 May 05. The international market for self-propelled artillery remains robust. In its annual analysis “The World Market for Self-Propelled Artillery Systems” the Forecast International Weapons Group forecasts the international market will produce over 4,200 self-propelled artillery systems — worth in excess of $13.99bn — over the coming 10 year forecast period. In terms of technical trends, most developmental efforts currently concentrate on three main areas: self-propulsion, ordnance and ammunition standardization, and ammunition development. The various players in the international market are adapting to an evolving market environment, precipitated by the end of the Cold War and the emergence of new threat scenarios and military doctrines. Dean Lockwood, a weapons systems analyst at Forecast International, notes that the days of the U.S. and Europe dominating new production in the international self-propelled artillery market appear to be long gone. The international weapons glut and the influx of new players have combined to shift control of the market away from the traditional U.S. and European players. However, these traditional players continue to dominate the rather exclusive high end of the market, while the new players have effectively taken over the significantly larger lower end of the market. According to Lockwood, “The rising star of the international market is now the South Korean firm Samsung Techwin.” Between licensed production of the M109A2 and production of the K9 Thunder, Samsung Techwin has emerged as the most significant single player on the international self propelled artillery market. Accounting for over 25 percent of all new production – worth over 33 percent of the total market value – this relative newcomer to the market will, in effect, carry the market for the next decade with its existing domestic and Turkish contracts. Nevertheless, the U.S. and European players continue to make their presence felt. The NATO-standard 155mm ordnance and ammunition, the state-of-the-art Panzerhaubitze 2000, and the ever-popular M109 series continue to set the standard for self-propelled artillery design. Despite the international glut of self-propelled artillery systems and the uncertainties of the post-Cold War worl

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