NEWS IN BRIEF
Iraq: OP TELIC. A Corporal from 2nd Royal Tank Regiment died as a result of injuries sustained during an improvised explosive device attack on his vehicle on 31 Jul 07. UK deaths since the start of the Campaign thus rose to 164, of whom 105 have been classified as Killed in Action and 23 as Died of Wounds sustained in action. (MoD 1 Aug 07.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Jul 07, 245 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 1,060 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 2 Aug 07.) From 1 to 15 Jul 07, the figures were nine and 30.
Comment: The Commanding Officer of The Queen’s Royal Lancers was quoted (‘Soldier’, August 2007) as pointing out that “many battle groups have to deploy [for OP TELIC] outside their role”.
The US President/UK Prime Minister’s joint Press conference on 30 Jul 07 released two important dates. General Petraeus will be reporting back to the Congress “on or about” 15 Sep 07, while the Prime Minister is to “make a full statement [about Iraq] to Parliament when it returns” (i.e. on or after 8 Oct 07). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0731, 06 Aug 07)
Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Lance Corporal from the Royal Marines was Killed in Action on 29 Jul 07. UK deaths since the start of Operations in November 2001 thus rose to 68, of whom 43 have been classified as Killed in Action and two as Died of Wounds sustained in action. (MoD, 30 Jul 07.)
From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Jul 07, 214 personnel were categorised as Wounded in Action and 554 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 2 Aug 07.) From 1 to 15 Jul 07, the figures were 11 and 45.
Royal Engineers are working on a new 2,350 metre runway at Camp Bastion. When completed in December 2007, the runway will enable C-17 aircraft to fly direct to Camp Bastion from the UK. (MoD, 27 Jul 07.)
Comment: The first of the six Merlin HC Mk3A helicopters being acquired from the Royal Danish Air Force arrived at RAF Benson on 31 Jul 07. It is expected that all six aircraft will be ready for Operations in Afghanistan from March 2008. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0731, 06 Aug 07)
07 Aug 07. Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that Land Rover has concerns about its Government & Military business should the buyer be Tata or a Chinese concern. This would create political and logistic problems for the business. Some sources suggest that Tata is favourite to win and would take Defender production to India. In other news we learn of the possible demise (at last!) of the troubled UK MoD RB-44 fleet, where 851 vehicles are slated for disposal. Sources suggest that the Australian 6×6 Land Rover is being touted to replace the vehicle, ironic as this was the one which lost to RB-44 in 1980 and Pinzgauer in 1991!
07 Aug 07. Sources suggest that news about CV(F)is generally good following the agreement to go ahead with the project. However, as we have suggested in previous issues, the price of £3.8bn remains tight. Sources suggest that the indicative prices (sub-contractors prices without mark-up) submitted by Thales and other contractors during the initial cost studies are now being used as baseline for realtime pricing and that the pips are squeaking. Senior Management at the contractors are worried that at best there will be no profit, at worst no production contract. ? Astute Mk2, watch this space.
07 Aug 07. Utility Vehicle Requirement. Lt-General Dick Applegate, Chief of Material Land, (We apologise for demoting him to his old rank of Major-General last week!), told journalists at the FRES Brief last week (See: BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.9 ISSUE 31, 02 Aug 2007, FRES – NO VOTES HERE, By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE).
07 Aug 07. Sources close to BATTLESPACE say that the bids to buy Reed’s Defence Exhibitions is still on with indicative offers due in this Friday. There 23 expressions of interest which are believed to include bids from Clarion, which itself is up for sale, the Bob Munton-led bid, one from a consortium including Pa