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07 Sep 12. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A soldier from 1st Bn Grenadier Guards died on 7 Sep 12 as a result of wounds sustained while on duty in the Nahr-e Saraj District on 14 Aug 12. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 thus rose to 426, of whom 386 were killed as a result of hostile action. (MoD, 7 Sep 12.)
Sentinel R1 aircraft provided over 60 hours of high quality radar reconnaissance during the past week, while Reaper aircraft delivered over 250 hours of full motion video. Tornados operating from Kandahar Airfield mounted reconnaissance missions using RAPTOR pods. (RAF Ops Update, 1 Sep 12.) [RAPTOR: Reconnaissance Airborne Pod for Tornado, which is a digital camera capable of photographing a large area in a single sortie.]
Every effort is being made to ensure ground lines of communication (that is, overland routes into and out of Afghanistan) remain open. (Written Answer, 3 Sep 12.)
Comment: Answering questions in the House of Commons (4 Sep 12), the Foreign Secretary stressed “our long-term commitment to Afghanistan”. The military commitment will include taking the lead for the Officer Training Academy, while the UK’s prime contribution “will be an economic and diplomatic one”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/35, 10 Sep 12)

24 Aug 12. The Polish military is completing its transformation to a fully professional force by introducing a new command and control structure and procuring new-generation weapons and equipment. Remigiusz Wilk reports Three main challenges have dominated the first decade of the 21st century for the Polish armed forces: the transformation of the army from a conscript to a NATO-standard professional force; overseas deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan; and the modernisation of armament and equipment inventories. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)

02 Sep 12. Airbus Military reconfirms A400M production output for 2013. Airbus Military reconfirmed that it will deliver the first four new generation A400M airlifters to customers in 2013 as planned, following the development of solutions to the recent engine issue, which prevented the A400M from participating in the Farnborough Air Show flying display. “As communicated, we recently had an engine issue on MSN6, the first production representative development aircraft. After receiving the Restricted Type Certificate (RTC) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) last April, representing a big milestone and achievement in the programme, MSN6 started performing the 300 hour Function and Reliability (F&R) testing required for the award of the full Type Certificate (TC). Tests had to be suspended after 160 hours of F&R flying because of the repeated detection of metallic chips in the oil system of one of the engines. Airbus Military has supported the engine manufacturer Europrop International (EPI) in its investigations of the root cause and fixes. EPI’s investigations have demonstrated that the failure does not impact the engines’ full capabilities and that the chip detection was provoked by a crack of a cover plate, a mechanical piece isolating elements within the Propeller Gear Box (PGB). As a responsibility of EPI, they have already made a new design available, which is currently in the validation process. Consequently, the MSN6 engines as well as all series production engines have been sent back to EPI for replacement of this cover plate. We are working with EPI on a plan to minimize the lead-time of the cover plate replacement in order to resume the F&R flying as soon as possible. F&R activity will be able to restart when MSN6 is fitted with the modified engines and upon agreement with EASA of a new F&R plan.”
As a consequence, the civil Type Certification and military Initial Operating Capability (IOC) will now move into the first quarte

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