NEWS IN BRIEF
15 Apr 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. From April 2004 to February 2008 inclusive there have been nine mortar attacks, 532 rocket attacks and six small arms fire attacks on the Contingency Operating Base at Basrah Airport. (Freedom of Information release dated 3 Mar 08.)
The Prime Minister pledged to keep troops in Iraq until the situation in Basrah was “stable”. (CBS News interview, 15 Apr 08.)
Comment: Controversy continues to surround the detention of RN/RM personnel by Iranian Revolutionary Guards in March 2007. The MoD found it necessary to issue explanations on 17 & 18 Apr 08, both of which concluded: “The Secretary of State for Defence told Parliament on 16 Jun 07 that there was no doubt the incident took place in Iraqi waters. That statement was correct in every regard.”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0816, 22 Apr 08)
13 Apr 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. Two Senior Aircraftmen, one Regular and one Reservist, from 3 Squadron RAF Regiment were killed on 13 Apr 08 in Kandahar Province when their vehicle was caught in an explosion. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 93, of whom 59 have been classified as Killed in Action and eight as Died of Wounds. (MoD, 13 Apr 08.)
UK Forces operate 17 main sites in Helmand Province and numerous smaller patrol bases. (MoD, 16 Apr 08.)
Three leaders of small business organisations visited Afghanistan in order “to show their support for the UK’s Reserve Forces”. (MoD, 16 Apr 08.)
Allegations that ISAF supplied the Taliban with weapons and ammunition are “completely false”. The pilotof a contracted civilian helicopter made a map reading error and delivered his load to the wrong place.
(NATO, 7 Apr 08.) [This can be interpreted as ‘cock-up’ rather than ‘conspiracy’.]
Soldiers from 1st Bn Coldstream Guards returned to Windsor from Kabul on 17 Apr 08. (MoD, 18 Apr 08.)
Comment: Planning is well ahead for the continued stay of UK Forces in Southern Afghanistan. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0816, 22 Apr 08)
21 Apr 08. CTAi, Concept to Reality, who pays? BATTLESPACE notes the reply made to Lord Astor of Hever’s PQ regarding CTAi (See: PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS) Firstly it is now clear why CTAi was not submitted under normal contract Rules as, by the Minister’s own admittance, the system is still a concept. The next question must be, who will pay to bring CTA from concept to reality and how much will it cost? Given the enormous sums spent already and the perceived design flaws and extra barrel wear, will CTA ever come up to expectations? The million dollar question is Baroness Taylor’s Statement that CTA ‘Meets the lethality requirements of both systems, and a single common solution is more efficient and effective.’ With all due respect to the Minister, the Selex WFLIP 40mm ATK Super 40 solution meets the lethality requirements and is a more mature solution with no money required to bring it from concept phase. O put the matter into context the long rod performance levels of both systems are very similar. CTA has slightly bigger bang on their HE as it is 1kg instead of 650g with ATK’s. The benefit is that the ATK Super 40 is actually smaller and lighter for similar performance. So we ask the question, How many extra bangs are actually going to be achieved per buck and how many bucks will it take to achieve this when a similar solution is ready and waiting and could be in service to protect our troops in 2012. Sources suggest that there was little data to compare other 40mm guns as the MoD did not ask what level of lethality could be achieved or sign the TAA to allow the data to be passed over.
22 Apr 08. New cargo trucks head for Canada’s training fields. More than 100 of the latest cargo trucks to be used by British military forces around the world have set sail for the Army’s training centre in Canada. The trucks are part of the £1.3B replacement Support Vehicle programme awarded to MAN trucks in 2005 which