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03 May 10. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 have risen to 284, of whom 250 were killed as a result of hostile action. As confirmed by the MoD (3 May 10), the recent fatalities are:-
* A Corporal from 1st Bn The Mercian Regiment was killed in an explosion in Sangin on 2 May 10.
* A Lance Corporal from 21 Engineer Regiment died following a traffic accident by the Nahr-e Bughra canal on 3 May 10.
* A Sapper (i.e. Private) from 21 Engineer Regiment died after his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device near Patrol Base Pimon on 3 May 10.
From 1 Jan 06 to 15 Apr 10, 1,199 UK personnel were Wounded in Action and 3,311 were aeromedically evacuated. (MoD, 4 May 10.) From 1 to 15 Apr 10 the figures were 18 and 61.
The Royal Dragoon Guards are divided by Squadrons: A Squadron remains in Catterick as Rear Party;
B Squadron is to receive Mastiff armoured vehicles for manoeuvre support; C Squadron is deployed as Infantry and D Squadron is being equipped with Viking all-terrain vehicles. (MoD, 4 May 10.)
The Commander of US Central Command, General D Petraeus, visited Helmand Province to meet British Foreign Office and military staff in Lashkar Gah. The General went on to visit British troops in Forward Operating Base Shawqat. (MoD, 5 May 10.)
Bomb disposal experts from the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) Task Force cleared the road to the market town of Shahzad. The Task Force works with a Royal Engineers search team.
Comment: An Editorial in the ‘International Herald Tribune’ (6 May 10) expressed concern at NATO’s failure to provide sufficient trainers in Afghanistan. Of the 5,200 trainers NATO agreed were needed in January 2010, only about 2,700 have been deployed. All but 300 of the 2,700 are American. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/18, 10 May 09)
June 10. Type 26 Combat Ship: Outline Programme. Warship World (May/June 2010) has published further details of the Type 26 combat ship; the first part of the Future Surface Combatant (FSC) programme, previously identified as C1. The focus of the programme is now on the Type 26, which is to provide medium-scale warfighting capabilities, including anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and land-attack. The follow-on C2 is intended to offer greater versatility at less cost while the smaller C3 vessel is linked to mine countermeasures and hydrographic replacements.
The Type 26 Assessment Phase (as announced on 25 Mar 10) is to be split between an initial 18-month Analysis of Operations, followed by a six-month Validation Phase and an 18-month Phase 1.1 to develop the ship specification. Main Gate approval is planned for the second half of 2013. 10 Type 26 are planned, with First of Class entering service in late 2021 (as the last Type 22 is decommissioned). Thereafter the remaining nine Type 26 are expected to enter service at annual intervals.
Comment: Neither the Type 24 nor the Type 25 ever got off the drawing board (!). The Type 24 was designed to be a general purpose frigate, aimed largely at the export market, while the Type 25 was planned to be as potent as th