NEWS IN BRIEF
01 Jan 09. Iraq: OP TELIC. Basrah’s airport, Basrah International, was transferred to Iraqi civilian control on 1 Jan 09. The transfer of control coincided with Iraq regaining sovereignty of its airspace. Coalition military personnel continue to provide some air traffic control services, with civilian and military operations working side-by-side. (MoD, 1 Jan 09.)
Comment: 1 Jan 09 also saw Baghdad’s Green Zone and the former Presidential Palace handed over to the Iraqi authorities. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/02, 05 Jan 09)
01 Jan 09. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Corporal from 45 Commando, Royal Marines was killed by an explosion in the Sangin District on 31 Dec 08. A Sergeant from 6th Bn The Rifles was killed by an explosion in the Garmsir District on 1 Jan 09. UK deaths since the start of Operations in October 2001 thus rose to 138, of whom 111 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 1 Jan 09.)
Comment: An article in the ‘International Herald Tribune’ (3 Jan 09) claims that Afghans say that “the corruption they see now has no precedent, in either its brazenness or in its scale”. Transparency International now ranks the Afghan Government as 176th out of 180 for honesty, having previously been 117th. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/02, 05 Jan 09)
01 Jan 09. European Union (EU): Change of Presidency. The Czech Republic took over the EU six-month rotating Presidency, from France, on 1 Jan 09.
Comment: The ‘Time Machine’ in Prague is to have festive lighting throughout the Czech EU Presidency, until 30 Jun 09. The official launch of the Czech Presidency at political level is to take place in Prague on 7 Jan 09. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/02, 05 Jan 09)
10 Dec 08. Paveway IV Precision Guided Bomb (PGB): In Service. The Defence Equipment Minister announced (10 Dec 08) that the Paveway IV PGB has entered service with the RN and the RAF. Paveway IV, provided by Raytheon Systems Ltd (RSL), is to be fitted to Harrier GR9, Tornado GR4, Typhoon and (in due course) the Joint Strike Fighter.
Comment: Paveway IV, at 500lb (227kg), is half the weight of the current Enhanced Paveway 2 arming Harrier and Tornado GR4. Paveway IV is fitted with a proximity sensor for detonation of the weapon above target. RSL was awarded a £140m contract in December 2003 for the design, development and manufacture of the weapon system while BAE Systems received a £50m contract for integration of the weapon on to Harrier GR9/9A. Additional contracts worth £100m have recently been placed with BAE Systems and Eurofighter GmbH for integration of Paveway IV on to Tornado GR4 and Typhoon. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/02, 05 Jan 09)
30 Dec 08. HMS MONTROSE: New Command System. The Defence Equipment Minister announced (30 Dec 08) that the Type 23 frigate, HMS MONTROSE, has entered Babcock’s dockyard for a £15m upkeep programme, which is to include the latest command system or DNA(2). The frigate is also to receive the Sea Wolf Mid Life Update (SWMLU) and to be fitted with upgraded guns.
Comment: DNA(2) is based on the system being fitted to the Type 45 destroyers. Fleet Wide Management Systems, the programme to develop a common command system, was contracted to BAE Systems in 2006 for £30m. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/02, 05 Jan 09)
15 Dec 08. Submarine Command System: Installation Complete. BAE Systems announced (15 Dec 08) that installation of the Submarine Command System Next Generation (SMCS NG) on HMS TRIUMPH and TIRELESS marks completion of the programme. SMCS NG has been installed in all four SSBN and the eight SSN remaining in service. Three training systems are also available.
Comment: Following the successful installation of SMCS NG in HMS TORBAY in 2004, the MoD placed two further contracts to cover the remaining boats. The two contracts, placed in November 2004 and April 2005, were valued at £14.5m. The contracts include a