NEWS IN BRIEF
14 Jul 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. An allegation of abuse by soldiers at Camp Bread Basket during May 2003 has been referred to the Royal Military Police for investigation. (MoD, 14 Jul 08.)
HMS EDINBURGH, CHATHAM and MONTROSE, supported by RFA Argus, were involved in boarding operations in the Gulf which resulted in the seizure of 23 tonnes of narcotics. (MoD, 14 Jul 08.)
“It remains our intention to make further reductions in the number of UK troops in Southern Iraq as and when conditions allow.” (MoD, 15 Jul 08.)
The first of a series of eight electrical substations has opened in the Al Qibla area of Basrah, for the benefit of up to 2,500 homes. (MoD, 17 Jul 08.)
The Prime Minister visited Iraq on 19 Jul 08, meeting Iraqi Ministers and British troops. A statement on the UK’s involvement in Iraq is anticipated. (BBC News.)
Comment: The Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Army is hosting a reception for the
4th Mechanised Brigade in the Houses of Parliament on 21 Jul 08. The Brigade Commander and about 120 members of the Brigade, who returned from Iraq in June 2008, are to be welcomed by The Speaker of the House of Commons and other eminent people. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0829, 21 Jul 08)
14 Jul 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. “We continue to press [the Government of Pakistan] to ensure that the Afghanistan insurgency can not draw support from within their own borders.” (Ministerial Answer (MA), 14 Jul 08.)
“UK Forces continue to expand the authority of the Government of Afghanistan in Helmand….” (MA, 14 Jul 08.)
The Government holds contracts with Global Strategies Ltd and G4S (formerly Armour Group) to deliver elements of its work with the Afghan Police. 84 UK personnel, of whom 24 are from the military, are working with the Police in Afghanistan. (MA, 15 Jul 08.)
The 2,400-strong US 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, together with the UK Forces of Task Force Helmand,
has been improving security in the Garmsir District since 28 Apr 08. 24 MEU is a Theatre Task Force.(NATO, 15 Jul 08.)
A senior Taliban leader, Bishmullah, was killed in a firefight in Now Zad on 12 Jul 08. 15 days earlier the Taliban leader, Sadiqullah, had also been killed by UK Forces in an Apache missile strike. (MoD, 16 Jul 08.)
4,399 tonnes (54%) of the probable volume of opium produced in Afghanistan in 2007 was produced in Helmand Province. (MA, 16 Jul 08.)
“It should never be forgotten [that] the insurgents use indiscriminate methods which inevitably lead to deaths of many innocent Afghans.” (NATO, 18 Jul 08.)
Comment: NATO strongly rejected suggestions that ISAF Forces killed over 50 civilians in the Shindand area on 17 Jul 08 (and hence the observation quoted immediately above). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0829, 21 Jul 08)
15 Jul 08. Complex Weapons: Procurement Plan. In Parliament and at Farnborough International (15 Jul 08), Ministers announced that the MoD had concluded a teaming agreement with the group known as Team CW for the Assessment Phase (AP) of six complex weapons programmes. Team CW is led by MBDA (UK) and includes Thales UK, QinetiQ and Roxel (UK Rocket Motors). The MoD is also a member of Team CW. The cost of the initial stage of the AP is some £74m, while the value of the AP as a whole is some £250m.
MBDA is leading on five programmes and Thales on the sixth:-
* Indirect Fire Precision Attack Loitering Munition (IFPALM – MBDA).
* Future Air to Surface Guided Weapon (FASGW). Two programmes with MBDA leading on the 100kg weapon and Thales on the light weapon.
* Storm Shadow Capability Enhancement Programme (SSCEP – MBDA).
* Selected Precision Effects at Range (SPEAR – MBDA).
* Future Local Area Air Defence Systems (FLAADS – MBDA).
Comment: While Ministers gave the value of the first phase of the AP as £74m, the ‘Defence Contracts Bulletin’ (16 Jul 08) published that the Concept and Assessment Phase for Complex Weapons was worth £54.6m to MBDA UK