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NEWS IN BRIEF

EUROPE

May 06. NATO’s deliberations on soldier modernization, whereby the equipping of the infantryman is being ‘systemized’ with the aim of enhancing his sustainment, mobility, survivability, lethality and C4I capacity, commenced in the early 1990s. Since then more than 20 such soldier modernization programs (SMPs) have been set up on a national basis in Europe, the US and elsewhere. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

16 May 06. More medical aid for reservists. The health of reserve and regular soldiers was compared Mental health services are to improve for British forces reservists, the Ministry of Defence has said. It comes after a report revealed 25% of reservists who had fought in Iraq experienced a mental health disorder, compared with 19% of regular soldiers. Researchers at Kings College in London said Territorial Army (TA) members had less support than the other soldiers. But they added that overall, veterans suffered lower levels of illness than their 1991 Gulf War counterparts. This, they said, suggested there was no “syndrome”. However the team added it was too early to conclude that more symptoms in soldiers would not develop in the future. It is premature to conclude that there has been no effect of deployment to Iraq. (Source: BBC)

15 May 06. JSF Partners Italy, Norway Reaffirm Support. After several months of work-share complaints that cast doubt on their continued participation in the development of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), officials in Italy and Norway are reaffirming their commitment to the U.S.-led program. Italian Air Force chief Gen. Leonardo Tricarico said April 27 that leaving the JSF program was “not in the interest of the Italian Air Force, and would also damage the national interest.” Rome’s military procurement chief amplified the sentiment. (Source: Defense News)

15 May 06. EU Ministers To Mull Prime Contractor Code. The last puzzle piece in the European Defense Agency’s plan for launching a borderless defense market across the European Union by midyear should fall into place when national defense ministers gather here May 15, EDA sources said. On the table for their approval will be a new code of best practices for European prime contractors, to ensure the benefits of a liberalized marketplace are extended to second- and third-tier defense suppliers. “This will complete the game plan, at least for the first phase,” a senior European Defense Agency (EDA) official said, referring to the agency’s July 1 deadline for launching an open defense procurement market across the 24 EDA countries. All EU nations except Denmark belong to the agency. (Source: Defense News)

15 May 06. Panel: U.K. Research Spending Is Too Low. U.K. government spending on defense research and technology (R&T) has slumped to a level that threatens industrial and military effectiveness, a parliamentary committee report warns. The May 10 report is the result of an investigation of the government’s new defense industrial strategy, unveiled in December, by the House of Commons’ defense committee. The panel said Britain was not spending enough compared with its rivals and called for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to remedy the situation in its revised defense technology strategy, due to be published later this year. (Source: Defense News)

15 May 06. Land Rover is to upgrade its iconic Defender model for 2007. The upgrade of the evergreen and utilitarian workhorse is necessary to meet new legislation and Land Rover says it will help ensure that the Defender remains in production until at least 2010. (Source: just-auto.com editorial team)

16 May 06. John Sunderland, the outgoing president of the CBI employers’ body, will tonight urge Tony Blair to stand up for business, warning that the country faces stagnation unless the role of profit in society is recognised.
The chairman of Cadbury Schweppes will use the CBI’s annual dinner, where the prime minister will be guest of honour, to tell Mr Blair that Britain cannot ta

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