NEWS IN BRIEF
28 Jul 08. Iraq: OP TELIC. The Foreign Secretary condemned bomb attacks in Baghdad and Kirkuk as “cowardly and reprehensible”. (FCO, 28 Jul 08.)
A British Logistic Military Transition Team has successfully trained nearly 200 Iraqi soldiers in various aspects of vehicle maintenance. (MoD, 31 Jul 08.)
Comment: The Joint (House of Lords/House of Commons) Committee on Human Rights published (27 Jul 08) a Report entitled ‘UN Convention Against Torture: Discrepancies in Evidence Given to the Committee About the Use of Prohibited Interrogation Techniques in Iraq’. The Report examines the interrogation of Baha Mousa, who died while in British custody. The prohibited interrogation techniques are: hooding, wall standing, sleep deprivation, food deprivation and white noise. The Report is published as HL 157/HC 527, for £15:50. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0830, 04 Aug 08)
28 Jul 08. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Sergeant from the 4th Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland was killed by enemy fire near Lashkar Gah on
28 Jul 08. A Private from 2nd Bn The Parachute Regiment was killed in Helmand Province on 29 Jul 08. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 114, of whom 87 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 29/30 Jul 08.)
3 Commando Brigade’s Mission Rehearsal Exercise on Salisbury Plain, prior to deployment on OP HERRICK 9, was successfully completed. (MoD, 30 Jul 08.)
The first six MoD Police Officers returned to the UK after six months helping to train the local Police in Helmand Province. (MoD, 31 Jul 08.)
Comment: The current (2 Aug 08) edition of ‘The Economist’ includes an article on the Afghan National Army which suggests that it “is at last emerging as a credible fighting force”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0830, 04 Aug 08)
22 Jul 08. Future Aircraft Carriers (CVF): Construction Schedule. The Defence Equipment Minister has released (14 & 22 Jul 08) additional details for the two CVF. CVF01 is to be named HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH (QE) and CVF02 HMS PRINCE OF WALES (PoW). Principal construction milestones are:-
* Early 2009: Production of QE starts.
* Mid 2010: Production of PoW starts.
* Late 2011: Delivery of first QE hull block to Rosyth.
* Early 2013: QE float-up.
* Mid 2013: Delivery of first PoW hull block to Rosyth.
* Mid 2014: PoW float-up.
* 2014: QE sea trials and contract acceptance.
* 2016: PoW sea trials and contract acceptance.
Initial Operating Capability is expected to be declared once the carriers have successfully completed sea trials and inspection (about four months after the in-service dates in 2014 and 2016).
Comment: The timetable above supersedes the ‘Outline Schedule’ published in the Fact Sheet with DNA 08/28. As previously noted, Ministerial Answers have not always been consistent and yet another version of the construction schedule has now been given. As in so many other areas, Government spokesmen (and women) appear to be in a state of disarray. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0830, 04 Aug 08)
04 Aug 08. Iridium Satellite LLC has selected two companies – Lockheed Martin and Thales Alenia Space – to participate in the final phase of its procurement process for the company’s next-generation satellite constellation, “Iridium NEXT.” Iridium chose Lockheed Martin and Thales Alenia Space as a result of their initial, innovative constellation design concepts; demonstrated understanding of performance requirements and capabilities; and preliminary cost estimates for the manufacture and launch of Iridium NEXT. The final phase will last approximately nine months and is anticipated to result in the award of a full-scale development agreement for Iridium NEXT with one prime contractor by the middle of 2009. Iridium, with more than 285,000 subscribers, is the fastest growing mobile satellite services (MSS) provider and it offers a highly differentiated service capability. Iridium is unmatched for rel