29 Jan 07. Iraq: OP TELIC. ‘Major combat activities’ started on 20 Mar 03 and finished on 1 May 03, spanning two financial years (2002/03 and 2003/04) totalling £2,158m. Subsequent years are considered to be peacekeeping Operations. (Ministerial Answer (MA), 26 Jan 07.)
Soldiers from 1st Bn The Yorkshire Regiment uncovered “a significant arsenal” of ammunition and weapons in Az Zubayr, South of Basrah City on 27 Jan 07. (MoD, 29 Jan 07.) Helicopter assets are currently assessed by the military commanders to be sufficient to support Operations successfully. (MA, 29 Jan 07.)
ArmourGroup (sic) has been awarded three FCO contracts for work in Iraq. (MA, 29 Jan 07.) The Defence Secretary visited Baghdad and Basrah on 30 Jan 07. (MoD.)
The Territorial Army soldiers of 457 Battery, Royal Artillery, have been re-roled as Infantry and are under command of 1st Bn The Yorkshire Regiment. (MoD, 30 Jan 07.) From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Jan 07, 99 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 724 were aeromedically evacuated from Iraq. (MoD, 30 Jan 07.)
The condition of accommodation in Iraq has been routinely monitored since the start of Operations. A package of welfare provisions is also afforded to troops. (MA, 31 Jan 07.)
Comment: The House of Commons debated ‘Defence in the World’ on 1 Feb 07 (Hansard, Column 386 et seq). Opening the Debate, the Defence Secretary noted that OP SINBAD was drawing to a close in Basrah. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0706, 05 Feb 07)
29 Jan 07. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. UK Force Commanders have not requested additional helicopters for Operations in Afghanistan since 1 Sep 06. (MA, 29 Jan 07.) Two Harrier GR9A have arrived at Kandahar Airfield, replacing two Harrier GR7A. (MoD, 30 Jan 07.) From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Jan 07, 92 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 273 were aeromedically evacuated from Afghanistan. (MoD, 30 Jan 07.) General Dan K McNeill, US Army, assumed command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) from General D J Richards on 4 Feb 07.
Comment: During the Defence Debate (Item 1, Comment), the Defence Secretary acknowledged those allies with whom the UK was tasked: from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Romania and the US. The Defence Secretary intends to raise the question of increased military participation by Alliance members during the forthcoming meeting of NATO Defence Ministers (Seville, 8/9 Feb 07). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0706, 05 Feb 07)
05 Feb 07. Germany Plans Missile, Helicopter Upgrades. German lawmakers on Jan. 31 approved the Defense Ministry’s plans to join the United States in developing the next-generation Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2 for €169m ($219.8m) and to hire Eurocopter to upgrade its CH-53G medium transport helicopters for €535m, according to a ministry report submitted to the parliamentary budget committee. Raytheon began Block 2 development in 2004; Germany so far has contributed €7.6m to its risk-reduction phase to develop analog and digital radar receivers, missile containers and batteries, as well as testing equipment.
RAMSYS GmbH, a joint venture of EADS and Diehl BGT Defence, is participating in the development. Now the Ministry of Defense (MoD) wants to extend its commitment to the program. The MoD report sees “a financial advantage for Germany of 149m by continuing the bilateral development” as opposed to buying the missiles after development ends. The German Navy has 43 RAM launchers and 1,004 missiles on half of its fast attack craft fleet and all frigates. The F-123 and F-124 frigates and the new K-130 corvettes will be equipped with the new Block 2 RAM. Existing launchers will be modified so they can be loaded with Block 1 or Block 2 missiles. Block 2 is intended to increase the RAM’s agility and improve its seeker head to make it effective against modern anti-ship missiles. The German Army will cut 13 of 93 CH-53G medium transport helicopters by 20